Reham khan 11/30, a long chapter.
The eleventh chapter luckily form point of view of a reader has something new to offer. Hurray she has moved back to Pakistan finally!!! The author describe describes that her main reason to move to Pakistan is to serve her mother as her mother had been travelling between three different countries living with her three children including the author that RK wished to avoid. The death of her father brought this situation leaving mother in need to travel continually. Surprisingly however she describes that once she has resigned from a senior broadcaster substantive position in BBC and has finalised a plan to move to Pak her mother retracts the offer to let her stay at her home as her brother’s family is needing the family home. Nonetheless the author is able to find an accomodation in Islamabad and move to Pakistan. Further reasons she describes for move to Pak is that she wished to build her CV in journalism for working in an area of conflict and nonetheless to return to her roots. She is noted to be regretting that decision a few times. This leads to her finding a job in local news channels and eventually becoming anchor of TV talk shows and programs that are mainly focused on politics as that is something that is sold on media and this entry provides her an opportunity to get exposed to one political celebrity after another. There is some impressive work carried out mainly around interviewing people in Baluchistan, KPK and Hazara provinces of the Pakistan. Though she continues to present it as my show and my plan but it is obvious that it is mainly done for some TV channels where she is part of bigger team where someone else is producing and running the shows on their channels and is is apparently taking lead on planning and executing interviews. The overall tone and attitude of chapter remains the same as is her expression in previous chapters i.e. “Hello Hello this is RK reporting from xyz location with camera man abc.” Every individual and every interaction has some personalised meanings for author and opens the window for her to be introduced to some very complex, fragile, sensitive and important issues in Pakistani power politics where ethnicity, language, gender, race, religion, creed, colour, class, belonging, affiliation and hatred are all used as tools commonly to manipulate public opinion and to maintain the status quo in the area of influence or political constituency. During the course of these chain of interviews the author also comes across (as described by her) the famous cricketer convert politician Imran Khan for an interview that is mentioned as cross sectional incidence without any emotional tones. Other political characters interviews during this journey that are handed over the certificates of good or bad with ongoing commentary are Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Naeem ul Haq, Baloch Sardar, FATA and KPK politicians. The author gives herself credit for working in very sensitive and dangerous areas that carried high risk of possible attacks, kidnapping or even murders.
Reham Khan 12/30
Chapter 12 is the next phase of author’s life where she has continued on her journey as a journalist and a TV show anchor. The first quarter of the chapter is dedicated to the description of an unfortunate accident that she had on motorway due to negligence of the driver that led to serious injuries, depriving her off her normal movements for at least one month with further prolonged periods of gradual recovery. She describes the misery that she experienced whilst being physically impaired for a duration of time, but despite all challenges she was able to resume working in one month though initially on a wheelchair and with broken hand strapped to chair. The camera was adjusted accordingly to get the view of left side of face as the right was bruised and swollen for a long time. She continued to expand her circle of fiends and continued to interview celebrities for the channel. She made good use of her Pushtu speaking abilities and her background for
KPK to identify and address the difficulties and problems of various nature in that area that gave her an identity of friend of KPK. As is noted in previous chapters the general expression of author is that of a running commentary of a journalist of the experiences, situations and personalities that she is interacting with in that phase of her life. She is on ground and is choosing hard work, dedication, commitment and innovation to spread her wings in media industry with her food ability to make public relations and of course benefit from them as and when required. She is all in praise of herself when it comes to asking difficult questions, confronting big personalities and of being focused on the true difficulties and problems in KPK. The repetition “I”, “My”, “Me”, “Mine” has continued as before. For the first time ever in twelve chapter the author has quoted a reference which is very strange and rather misplaced in overall discussion. It is to support her own personal agenda, saying that FBI confirms that first impressions of a person are very important, therefore she is justified in concluding that her first impressions about people were justified and accurate. It feels funny to read this kind of reasoning from someone who is criticising whole media, nearly all politicians and an entire nation to be unreasonable and emotional in many ways but indulging in unreasonable and illogical conclusions drawing exercises when it comes to making an opinion about something. However the access to media, the time period of elections where politicians are desperate to influence public opinion and acceptance into inner circles of political workers especially PTI has given her quick recognition and acceptance into some core meetings of PTI where she is able to rub shoulders with all high ranking officials of PTI including IK himself. Another person who she befriends with is Ali Raza Gillani also called Ali G who is her key and catalogue to the personal and professional lives of politicians and their families that she makes good use of. She finishes the chapter by describing how outspoken and candid she had been towards PTI chairman Imran Khan and describes his pleasant and polite manners in return as some kind of attempts to torture her. She thinks that the chairman has come all the way to take this interview with some possible personal intentions and she is doubting his and his team’s unusual pleasant and polite gestures when their channel is usually criticising him and PTI and when she had been rather taunting and blunt towards him
Reham Khan 13/30
Chapter 13 has nothing about Pakistani politics. The first nearly half of it is about continuation of very negative character sketch of the her first husband Dr Ijaz Rehman and the second half is the account of being approached by Imran Khan initially with romantic advances and then a proposal for marriage. The first husband has continued to be described as a psychopath who is engaged in cyber bullying her and his own children. He has been described as an extremely mean person who is accusing her of having affair and sexual contact with their cousin, is photoshopping her own daughters’ pics trying to prove them alcoholic and is doing all sorts of online cyber defamation attacks on author and their kids. The author then starts talking about getting more attention and then advances from IK including calling her on her mobile and inviting for for some private discussions that she agrees to. Among others telephonic and personal contacts she describes one major meeting in private at IK’s residence in Bani Gala where he proposes her that has been painted by author as an unexpected event that she refused to accept and responding “I can’t do it” to an attempted kiss that Comes form IK side. The entire sequence of events has some very unique and personalised meanings for author as we would expect from any female undergoing such life events. Though after initial refusal she describes repeat attempts by IK that have been described as getting more convincing for her over time. However at same time she clearly describes that IK has not kept her interactions with some other females hidden from her including a description that between the proposal meeting and the a follow up telephone call IK tells her that he has slept with another woman and she reflects in her expressions that she found it rather unusual and casual that it didn’t mean much for him though for her it was completely unacceptable. Despite this she describes future telephonic encounters as
receiving a spin bowling from a fast bowler and changing the field that ultimately leads IK to find rather making a way to her heart where chapter finishes.
Reham Khan 14/30
Chapter 14 is not only superfluous but unnecessary too in my opinion. The author has rather strange style of writing as she starts the chapter with a very important subject for example in this chapter it is the the Pakistani government’s initiative on war against terrorism in particular the operation Zarb-e-Azab”. However it is disappointing to repeatedly appreciate that such topics are touched upon extremely superficially and are concluded in personal judgments. Now, throughout the book it is extremely difficult to understand that what are the reasons for these judgements, if they are carefully considered, if they are thought after or even if the the matter is understood fully. For example in the entire Zarb-e-Azab operation the area of concern for author is Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the difficulty that they are experiencing. Nonetheless following the mention of IDPs and taking a personal credit of highlighting their problems and celebrating Eid with them, the author instead of throwing any further light on the issue of IDPs moves forward to the topic of IK joining her and celebrating Eid with IDPs, describing it almost as if he has stolen her idea and then focusing on the rest of entire chapter her courtship with IK. In previous chapters she has repeatedly described and emphasised that she is a Sunni, Deobandi, traditional Pushtun who takes pride in adhering to family and cultural values and mentions doing some fasting and rituals of sehar and Iftaar. But this is contrasting with making choice of falling for a man who she knows is clearly having a playboy lifestyle, is seen by her interested and having close relations with multiple women and as per her own description has proposed her rather hastily in grandiose manner. Apart from courtship and sharing how her children approached the matter when she declared the proposal, accompanied with reaction in children, especially the youngest one who was against this decision, there is nothing else that the chapter seems to offer the reader.
Reham Khan 15/30
Chapter 15 is description of continuation of courtship with IK which doesn’t seem to be really reaching to the level of courtship after all, as the author describes to dismiss and dislike the advances from IK but it apparently has culminated in a rather love/hate relationship. Though the chapters are not labelled or titled in this book but apparently a good title for this chapter would be “Romance from container”. The author takes pride in describing that IK had been texting her repeatedly and sometimes non stop, that she found difficult to handle but at the same time the eyes of newly discovered suitor can identify her in gathering of thousands as she is wearing a white “Chadar” and Kaptaan’s eyes keep looking for her as she is source of happiness for Kaptan. As in previous chapters famous names are mentioned in context of personal interactions or in context of what IK is saying about these people in personal interactions with author. Some of these names are Waseem Badami, Yousaf Salahudin (Sally), CM then Shahbaz Sharif (interviews by author) and Javed Hashmi. The focus as before is how they appeared to and interacted with author. All interactions are cross sectional and situation specific. Khan seem to be able to finally pluck the strings of heart of the the author. Let alone the struggle behind Dharna or its background history, the political and power motives and a huge number of other factors, what “Dharna” mainly means for author is the ability of her suitor to identify her in a gathering of thousands and being able to maintain an emotional connection amid all the political activity. Chapter ends where “Dharna” ends, the author’s opinions are frank that it was a disaster for IK as she had envisaged and informed him.
Reham Khan 16/30
Chapter 16 starts with the description that the author finally decided and got married to IK. Contrary to the common propaganda about this book, where sometimes it is referred as “Rehama Sutra”, the author carries out no attempt to offer the story of her bride night or her interaction with new husband as a selling point or even a cheap attention seeking gimmick in her descriptions. She continues to express her running commentary or more precisely “reporting for live broadcast” style writing style in this chapter too. The entire focus as in previous chapters is how she perceives and appreciates things in her own mind i.e. what are the meanings of everything for her regardless of what meanings, backgrounds and understandings they might have for others. As she is getting more familiarised with IK now, sharing time, sharing roof and sharing her own personal space with her therefore obviously she is able to paint a more vivid and clearer picture of her new husband and is able to comment on his personal expressions, his personal likings, his disliking, the choice of language and wards, the eating habits, the interpersonal interactions, the exchange of memories, the share of personal experiences and most of all the love of his new life that is Reham herself. Contrary to how the book is depicted as an attempt of character assassination of IK (they may turn out to be case in future chapters) the author describes a number of good things about her husband too. However they appear to be reflected upon very cautiously as if author is saying “yes there were good things about him, but didn’t be misguided in thinking that he was good over all”. It’s hard to understand that why author is not offering any reasons to the reader to agree with her about her descriptions. For example why should the reader agree with wife only and not attempt to understand that what was/is husband’s stance on something without providing him an equal opportunity to explain himself. In extremely personalised interactions between spouses people don’t care about choices of words or censor what they are expressing or consult a moral code first before opening their mouth. It it feels that everything what ex-husband IK had been saying , doing or expressing has been scrutinised with a personal judgement and offered to reader as a final judgment from an all perfect judge i.e RK. Unfortunately she had a terrible experience of previous marriage and it felt that the aftermath of Ijaz Rehman’s relationship has stuck to her like a horrible shadow in the form of cyber bullying and painful memories. The author seems to have started putting IK in the same compartment of her mind that IR belonged to. She says they both had terrible eating mannerism and nonetheless very bad toilet hygiene that was leading her to spend long durations on cleaning. No reflections have been offered that what sense should a reader make of a very personalised husband-wife conversation i.e. if a tired, exhausted and burnt out husband is saying that thanks God that bloody “Dharna” is over then why should reader even slightly agree that it really meant negative for the husband once he had zestfully and energetically persuaded the whole event for a bigger cause. Any way it is clear right from beginning that RK is the ultimate judge on everything and what doesn’t meet her standards is an absolute substandard. The time is passing and some national events have occurred at the same time including the tragic, unfortunate and heart tearing APS event where over 132 minors lost their lives. However the events as in all precious chapters are touched upon superficially as what meaning they had for her without any in depth reflections on them from any other angle. The new angle emerging now in this chapter is that how IK is approaching and reacting to events that are considered inappropriate, grandiose and megalomaniac by the author. Bani Gala residence is the focus of most of chapter and so is Bani Gala’s true owner i.e. Jemima Goldsmith.
Reham Khan 17/30
Chapter 17 of RK’s book in focusing on her experiences at Nikah and post-nikah period. Contrary to how people had been defaming this book there is absolutely no attempt made by the author to discuss her intimate life with her husband at any level. Reham deserves full credit for fighting a personal battle of a woman who married to her first cousin at the age of eighteen with some very basic education but she never stopped pursuing her own progress or be frightened by any difficulties of life that she later experienced. She is a typical traditional Pashtun background girl who made every effort to please first husband including bringing him kids, making an ideal house and abiding by every rule that he ever laid for her. She kept learning and walked the journey with this young doctor from a trainee to be a consultant Psychiatrist. She made timely decision to get divorced from this psychopath and continued journey to personal, academic and professional betterment with personals effort and talents. She brought up three kids, earned money by doing two jobs at a time and adhered to family and cultural values. She continued to take pressures and broke the unhealthy and rather rotten traditions of society that are attached with a divorcee. The stereotypical image are broken and she continued her personal journey towards developing further relationship exploring her emotional and love life, never giving up and pursuing a second relationship without any support from immediate family (this time kids too in addition to parents and siblings). She rises as a a promising TV anchor in Pak. She takes pride in bringing good academic grade to children, being able to lower her second husband’s Low density Lipoproteins (LDL’s) and adhering to traditions of simplicity i.e choosing a simple dress on Nikah, not demanding any money in Haq-e-Mehar and planning a holy journey of Umrah that is the topic of this chapter. Reham no one is trying to or can possibly snatch these credits from you but look girl that doesn’t provide you the freedom or competence to expect the same in return. Most of claims you are making in your expressions are baseless, emotionally driven and some even ridiculous that make a serious reader laugh rather accept them as face value as your face value is different form those of claims and faces behind them. The tragedy seems on your side is that why no one is appreciating that how good you are and why others are not equally good on your terms and conditions or even on some mutual terms. The same is the theme of this chapter, Nikah, post-Nikah, journey to Umrah and performance of Umrah everything is carried out but it’s not up to the mark, standards orat least to expectations of a all good, all right and all correct RK. The personal judgements don’t include much reflections on stances and approaches of others in particular the new husband. The exposure to new family, family politics, national politics, PTI’s internal politics are all approached by author with same glasses of personal judgement based on her personal mindset and psychological schema that she has based on her personal choices, cultural and religious knowledge and some life experiences.
On IK’s side the schema and mind map is contrast different, he does believe in occult, he is exposed to family politics in addition to multiple other types of politics and he has a much different approach towards huge number of matters that RK was never exposed to in past or would never have even slightest exposure or knowledge of if she was not married to IK.
Reham Khan 18/30
Here we go fully focused on Pakistani politics. Though the approach is neither that of a political scientist nor it is any thought after analysis of background, political decisions or choices of a political leader but a quick analysis of how it is seen through the eyes of a wife who had been practising journalism till one month ago but has been provided an opportunity now to interact, deal, exchange views, rub shoulders and most importantly carry Mrs Imran Khan image and banner with her everywhere. She deserves to be appreciated that although she carried the banner but she didn’t let her personal judgment being clouded and apparently had been making her own impressions and finding the sincere ways that how this all makes sense for her and more importantly how it is benefiting or serving her husband. Actually it is good for a common reader to have these cross sectional and snippets that are approached from sequence of emerging personalities in front of author’s eyes. For common reader on street who has only heard names of these people or has ever seen them on screen it feels like reader has landed in their residence, personal meetings, vehicles and at some level in their personal space. Over some time yeh author makes the reader realise that these people are no different from a common person on street. Their main virtue is nothing else but money and financial gains is the major reason that according to her is connecting them in various ways. The only difference is that at an ordinary common man level people are trying to make money by doing business This however is surprising that why the author is surprised by this all as politics is generally driven by these kind of factors and even in ideological political set ups people need to face these commodities that is part and parcel of political life. From the common room in Bani Gala to posh residences in Dubai and UK that are owned by Pakistani people, she is observing and sharing that with a common reader about how the decisions of parties are made by such rich and influential people and what is the human side involved in all of this. As in all precious chapter the final authority on good or bad is RK herself. It takes some serious turns now as she is presented by IK to others as his spokes person and she has never been given any briefing, or preparation or even a discussion aimed at appreciating mutual understanding and she has started tackling these high fi, rich and influential people with same set of personal skills that she has developed as an educated person and as a professional journalist. She is gradually appreciating that her own undertaking is in contrast with that of her husband in many ways.
Reham Khan 19/30
Chapter 19 is a mixture of opinions that author has about various aspects of IK’s life. It includes her relationship with his precious wife JG, their children Sulaiman and Qasim, Khan’s previous love affairs, Khan’s sexual fantasies in current and past relationships and possible reasons of Khan’s choices not to have a baby with her. With regards last point the expressions in previous chapters make some sense here. In the past the author has been noted to be repeatedly and strongly emphasising that the decisions of getting on with pregnancies strongly lied with her despite being in a very hostile and traumatic relationship in particular the last one that has been described by her as a rather bizarre explanation to cement a broken relationship. In this chapter she describes that Kaptan wished to have a baby boy with her who in their combined fantasy would be able to speak Urdu and Pushtu. However Khan is described as a powerless father who is still strongly attached with his sons from first marriage, the sons in teen age years don’t only have their own unique opinions but are heavily under influence of mother and maternal uncles. The author apparently pins down Khan’s decision not to have a baby with her finally to choices and apprehensions in mind of Khan’s son Suleiman from first marriage. More than that author doesn’t elaborate on this topic. It is difficult to fully apprehend author’s value system here. She describes herself to be a regular worshipper and in particular mentions praying the “tahajad (special prayer before morning prayer)” and “Navafil (prayers in addition to mandatory daily five prayers”. She cries her heart out on the backbiting culture prevalent in attendants of Bani Gala and Imran’s siblings, but, at the same time offers frank descriptions of Imran’s extremely personalised descriptions and chitchats with her some of which are of extremely personalised nature. The reader can’t make up mind that whether they should develop an impression of all righteous RK praying and fasting or a rather gossiping and denouncing RK who doesn’t mind offering the reader what has discussed between husband and wife in a very personalised interaction with no possible option at all to ascertain the truth of it. If RK’s husband is discussing his sexual fantasies with her, it’s none of anyone’s business. Whether it’s IK or a saint or a criminal, it’s between husband and wife. No other comment needs to be made on those declarations by an honest and impartial reader. Obviously an ex-wife and very much current children would fight their battle to own her husband/ their father but naturally it seems to be another huge challenger for author that she had never even thought about. Once she is in the scenario she is appreciating ( in her words things are dawning upon her) that how the ethnicity factors (Judaism/Islamic backgrounds), cultural factors, personal factors, religious and spiritual factors are all contributing towards development of one life scenario after another that she is trying to make sense of. Alcohol was reality of her first husband’s life and is depicted by her as reality of culture of Bani Gala along with drugs too. It’s surprising that why it is so surprising for her. Finally her own kids have started raising questions to her too for example the son Sahir mentioning that mommy by your own description it seems that you have chosen to marry a person who has a kid out of marital relationship, which he thought was against the teaching and his understanding of religious directives. The chapter ends by exposing a number of aspects of IK life that she had access to only because she was his wife.
Reham Khan 20/30
Chapter 20 is the continuation of broadcast of author’s observations in IK’s life as her wife. Author’s descriptions can be interpreted in two ways. First that it’s good that author just shares her observation by picking up a name, may it be Jamima, Jehangir Tareen or Moby, throws some light that what she made of that character in IK’s life (always in her view) and doesn’t give it any final conclusion or opinion and moves on to discuss the next personality. In one way the responsibility of finding or exploring that who those people are, what their background is, what ideology they stand for, what their political agendas are, what roles and interactions they have in IK’s life is; is all shifted on to the reader. It’s like saying I have given you this snippet, so if you are keen go and do your own research. For example the source of author’s information of Mr Goldsmith (Jamaim’s father) is an article that she came across on internet. Now it is left up to reader to either fully agree with RK on whatever her conclusions are about that article or buckle up to find ways to research to disagree with her. The second way it obviously can be interpreted is that being impartial if we don’t know who these characters are whether this be Jhangir Tareen or a child living in Bani Gala or a maid in the house; then the best an impartial and honest reader can interpret is to keep her opinions and descriptions as personalised unilateral opinions in which others are accused, judged, criticised and even hated without being provided an opportunity to offer an explanation or defence in return including the ex-husband IK himself. If you are not much familiar with faces and personalities in Pakistani politics then you receive a huge workload from author to pick, register, explore and research that who these people are and what sense should I make of their political and personals backgrounds apart from what RK is broadcasting for me in the form of her opinions. For example the entire introduction of Pervaiz Khatak is that he was an Atchisonian and good sports man, Jhangir Treen got rich after being successfully able to find a woman from a rich family and Aleem Khan was washing dishes in Canada but became a property tycoon in Pak. That’s all Introduction over from RK, go home and do your own research for the rest please. Fair enough, the reader needs to keep an open mind and non-judgmental stance in that case without having enough information to make an opinions. The openness includes the declaration of reader that if facts change tomorrow then opinion will also change tomorrow. Last chapter was focused on Goldsmith family largely and this one is on Jhangir Tareen mostly. Most of descriptions are those of personal interactions. The author suspects that a boy living in Bani Gala could be another one of IK’s illegitimate child. Reason? Because IK shows fathers affection to him. Any other reason? Yes because IK’s sister has some suspicion on that too. Any conclusive reasons???????? None. The author has already moved to next personality of a girl living in Bani Gala who she suspects is having an intimate affair with IK. Reason? Because she found a text on Imran’s mobile that had sexual content. Any other reason?? Because RK suspects it and the girl was envious about her. Any other reason of this serious allegation ??????? None. Now I can understand that why IK’s Balckberry became very popular and sought after target by many, as the possible evidence to prove all the observational based claims lie in the BlackBerry. Journalists are usually keen to have access to such devises, suggested by multiple international high profile cases. The author seem to be undergoing a serious identify crisis too in this phase of life, it’s difficult to establish a final identify of the person by her descriptions. Are you a British journalist? Or are you a KPK well wisher, or a Pakistani anchor, or a normal middle class Pakhtun Sunni Deobandi woman that you emphasise, or you are IK’s political aide, or IK’s media cell in charge, or just IK’s wife. What is author? She seems to be having different stances and opinions about various things at different points of time in different capacities and they keep changing the shape, nature and form. None of them is consistent. Apparently she is a bit of everything I.e. she has all those roles to play that are embodied in her overall self and she uses multiple lenses to observe a variety of situations as and when needed. She is a dynamic self that is on route to further self discovery in new context too. Chapter is offering description of one personality after another from beginning to end and there is no specific over all topic or agenda except like saying “look at my politician hubby” as Tahmina Khar titled her book, “My fuddle Lord”. Author doesn’t mind giving references from lives if international celebrities like Mandela, Hillary Clinton and nonetheless Naeindra Modi to IK. There are absolutely no reflections from author about the other side of these people, Mandela had multiple love affairs, Hillary Clinton never left her husband despite him being spit upon by entire world in disgrace and Narindra Modi is famously called butcher of Gujrat for 1992 riots. But who cares there when the wife is saying that her hubby needs to learn from these characters then he must have shown response in return that he unfortunately never did, author mourns.