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Monday, June 18, 2012

First Page Mondays: My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani

Hi friends,

As part of the First Page Mondays here at The Book Worm, here's the extract from the book 'My Feudal Lord' by Tehmina Durrani. Enjoy!

 'My pale-green chiffon sari rustled softly as I moved, and my braided plait of auburn hair fell all the way to my knees. Around my neck a row of diamonds matched my earrings. As I checked my appearance in a  full-length mirror my face flushed with self-conscious pleasure.

 It was spring 1974, in Lahore, the second-largest city of Pakistan. The reception was being held in the main hall of the Punjab Club. Summoned by the honorary consul of Spain, Lahore's beautiful people were celebrating Spain's National Day. My uncle had invited my husband Anees and me to accompany him. Having arrived in Lahore only the week before, it was our first opportunity to meet the city's elite. Anees felt flattered and pleased to be included. He was only a junior executive in the State-owned National Shipping Corporation - these were people he felt he should know. As for me - could any sense of foreboding have told me that I was about to have the most crucial meeting of my life?

 Anees wandered off on his own, making contacts, and I was suddenly alone - a twenty-one-year-old woman feeling very self-conscious among this older crowd, who seemed so self-assured. Around me, in the spacious halls and shaded patios of the Punjab Club, I could sense the atmosphere of the British Raj that had ended twenty-seven years earlier with independence and the splitting up of British India. into two separate states. This was Pakistan, my country; beyond the border-crossing just outside Lahore lay India, our overpowering neighbour. Sharing, to a large extent, a common heritage of culture,.....'

- Debolina Raja Gupta