This month’s Book Club started with a lovely surprise from APAVAC for the participants… a most original handcrafted Tea Mug, custom-made for us by Colla Monlleó, Plaça Redonda. The mug’s off-white background is broken by the APAVAC logo in its trademark blue and red. I got a specially personalised one! It’s a WOW!
Thanks so much APAVAC!
Our book was ” Love in a Headscarf “…
I believe the title is, in itself, a misnomer…or perhaps not!
Looking back at what drew me to choose this title from among all the others I was browsing through, was the fact that it evoked a feeling that this would be a light read, chick-lit with a quaint twist, something different.
Well, something different it certainly is. Shelina Janmohamed Zahra allows us not only to accompany her on her quest for a life partner, but also gives us a definition of Islam. Not Islam of the theologian, but Islam in its simplicity. The Islam she was taught at her mother’s knee.
She believes, she practises and she makes no excuses about her faith. She attributes her beliefs and her incredible sense of security to her upbringing; the serenity she sees in her mother and grandmother and the steadfast loving support of her father. As you go through the pages, you see her metamorphosis from an innocent 17 year old yearning to be swept off her feet by a John Travolta to a confident mature young lady; one now willing to compromise on her more frivolous desires of what her life partner should be like, while holding on firm to her deeper expectations.
Between suitor and suitor, between indignation and hurt, between laughs and samosas we learn that “jihad” actually means “spiritual struggle” and “shari’ah” isn’t all about chopping off hands but actually “the spiritual and physical laws that help the world hold together, the Divine Code”. How much got lost in translation!!!!
She does find the One, her faith and herself…..and we get to see it all !!!!
On the 18th of July, we return to Afganistan with “Caravans” by James A Michener. Our summer read is Vikram Seth’s “The Golden Gate” and post-summer, we take on Poland, with a collection of short stories “The Elephant” by Slawomir Mrozek.
Michelle Ann Prabhu