India-Pakistan ties have always been a subject of intense debates, but Prabhu Dayal's book on the same has a different side of the story.
Ambassador Prabhu Dayal's Karachi Halwa, published by Zorba Books, was officially launched on Friday, March 11 at the India International Centre Annexe, in the presence of some eminent panelists. MP Mani Shankar Aiyar, MP Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP Pawan Varma, MP Gen J J Singh, Ambassador G Parthasarathy and Ambassador TCA Raghavan launched the book in the presence of many other luminaries.
Mani Shankar Aiyar was the Consulate General when Dayal had joined the consulate and he calls Mani a 'dove' and Parthasarathy a 'hawk' in his book, with reference to the modern scenario.
“There is a thread of humour running through the book, in spite of neat capsules of information on the Indo-Pak relations. It takes a special kind of an author to recognise humour in a situation and to be able to translate that into words. Ambassador Dayal has done that and also given little known facts about the Pakistani establishments in Karachi Halwa,” said Shalini from Zorba Books.
The book is based on the author's rich experience while serving in the Karachi Consulate in Pakistan, it is a witty and insightful portrayal of Zia-ul-Haq's rule in the then Pakistan. Karachi Halwa as the name suggests is a first person account offering the readers a unique side of the Indo-Pak relations and Zia-ul-Haq's rule.
“Karachi Halwa has the sweetness of halwa in many places but is not indigestible like many halwas because it is so light and airy. It leaves you pondering in a very constructive way. It is a delightful read, fun from the beginning to the end,” said Shashi Tharoor
“They (Pakistan) run an inefficient dictatorship and we run an inefficient democracy”, joked Mani Shankar Ayiar talking about how similar the two countries are among many other aspects, while sharing his experiences in the Pakistan Consulate at the event.
The book has interesting illustrations done by Prabhu Dayal's wife, Chandini Dayal. Till date there have been many books on the Indo-Pak relations dealing with the matter in a very straight forward and serious manner, but this is probably the first book, a one-of-its-kind that gives the reader a firsthand experience of the country that the Indians have such pre conceived notions about. Moreover, the book does not deal with the matter lightly, rather presents the whole scenario from a different angle which eventually can make the reader think differently.