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Today is December 25th, 2009. While millions of people all over the world are celebrating Christmas and their children are opening presents that Santa Claus left in the middle of the night under their Christmas Tree, I am sitting on a beach in Punta Cana Dominican Republic, the land of sun, sea and sand, reading stories written by my dear friend Anwer Zahidi. It is like a literary Christmas gift for me that was sent a few months back but I only got it a few days ago. The book is titled Mandar Wali Gali, and on the title we see a street with a temple.

        While reading the book I was touched by Zahidiís style of writing. It seems as if the writer has one foot in the conscious and the other foot in the unconscious mind, one foot in the present and the other in the past. It feels as if the writer is a middle age man feeling nostalgic about his youth. He reminisces about the stories of his childhood and youth. The memories seem to be fading away as he goes back to meet the friends and neighbors of his earlier years but they have changed so much that, at times, they fail to recognize him. It feels as if the writer wants to relive his past in his stories.

        Anwer Zahidi is a wonderful story teller. He knows the art and craft of story telling with his unique free associations along the way to keep the reader engaged with a touch of suspense. Zahidi has a keen interest in human psychology. He delves deeper in the psyche of his characters. He seem to be intrigued by the abnormal psychological phenomena, whether occult or palmistry, dreams or astrology, alongside synergy and synchronicity. He wonders why different people have the same dream at the same time and how the dream world is connected with the real world. As a story teller Zahidi stands on the border of reality and fantasy, natural and supernatural, physical and metaphysical, life and death. His stories are mythical, metaphorical and mystical. No wonder he is a great admirer of Carl Jung, who was fascinated with collective unconscious mind and folklore.

        Anwer Zahidiís characters seem like his alter-egos. May be he is creating bio-fiction, fiction based on his biography.

        I sometimes wonder why Anwer Zahidi and I have so many similarities:

Both of us were born on July 9th.

Both of us became doctors.

Both of us write poetry.

Both of us create short stories.

Both of us have a keen interest in human psychology.

Both of us translate world literature.

Both of us are fascinated with the mysteries of the mind.

Both of us want to help people with emotional problems.

Both of us enjoy being writers, doctors and healers.

I will ask Zahidi what is his mystical and mythological explanation of such similarities.


E-mail welcome@drsohail.com