I’ve read this novella, The Contract long ago. I am spreading love with the books I have read and loved! Please read and spread some love to Zeenat Mahal.
Considered about taking the wedding vows over the phone and not having to bear your to-be spouse on an everyday basis? Zeenat Mahal will introduce you to how it feels. The Contract written by the ‘Haveli’ writer is a novella of about 95 pages. Based on Pakistani ethnicity, the story consists of little details about the culture in Lahore, Pakistan with a writing style too lucid to take you to Lahore without yourself being there!
The Contract is a contract marriage between Hussain and Shahira, where Hussain wishes to pay a monthly salary to Shahira to ‘behave’ like a daughter-in-law to his ailing mother and also take care of her along with his motherless daughter. The intriguing part to me was the vows to be taken over the phone! Shahira, who was done with men was happy that she’d not have to see her ‘contracted husband’ on daily basis. This made her agree to the terms.
Shahira begins to share a warm relationship with aunty Salma who also bonds well with Shahira’s 7-year-old son, just like a grandmother does. All is well until Hussain shows up for a gathering. The best part actually begins here, where they have to pretend to be a couple and not let anybody figure out about their contracted marriage. The high stake businessman may be attractive to a lot of women, including the evil woman trying to break a marriage, but to Shahira, he was just a deal.
I would say Nudrat’s character was very stereotypical. With all the attention he got from other women and nothing but curtness from Shahira, Hussain began to find her intriguing. Strict with her demand for no sexual relations, Hussain was fine initially. But when the heat increased, he wanted to change the clauses. And it brought me dismay by the response Hussain gave with regards to Shahira’s confession of being raped in the previous marriage! As if it was okay to forget the wounds of previous marriage even though a few years had passed? Keeping the comment aside, all the characters in The Contract are well developed and the plot adds the cherry on the top. The writing style is very interesting, just as it was in Haveli! Given the number of pages, it is not boring at all and you wouldn’t want to skip any page!
I would recommend The Contract, especially if you enjoyed Haveli by ZeenatMahal. And if you happen to read The Contract first, don’t forget to go back and read her previous book, Haveli; you’d definitely enjoy!