Title- The Contract
Author- Zeenat Mahal
“…I’ll pay you a monthly salary to behave and appear for all practical purposes as my wife…If you agree, the marriage vows can be taken on the phone on Saturday, since I have an hour free in the morning.”
Circumstances have forced the young divorcée, Shahira, to accept Hussain’s unusual proposition. As per their contract, she’ll have his name, will be paid to look after his ailing mother and motherless daughter and will be left well alone by him. Perfect!
Until her new husband decides to stop playing by the rules…
The Swift Summary– Shahira is a single mother and a teacher by profession. Divorced for around seven years she is beautiful, sensuous and confident. Her experiences in her past had made her a person who is ready to face the world with all courage. But when her mother also left her she was left all alone in this cruel world where people were waiting for getting a chance and trying to use her. She started feeling very lonely and a bit afraid as she has her son Shahaan to take care off.
When suddenly Aunty Salma, grandmother of her student Natasha with whom Shahira has special affection asks her to remarry. She wants her to marry his son, Natasha’s father who is a busy and a rich affluent business man. While Shahira was still deciding on her reply she receives a call from Hussain, Aunty Salma’s son and Natasha’s father that he wants the marriage in the form of contract where he will pay Shahira some amount and in turn she will take care of all the duties that a wife does.
Will Shahira accept the contract? What will happen once she gets married? Will Hussain and Shahira will be able to hide this from the complete world, their family?Will Shahira be able to become the right mother that Natasha needs?
To get all answers read on this story.
My View- The story is set in Lahore,Pakistan. This is a very simple and short story. It deals with relationships. It talks about the problems a single mother, a divorced women faces in south east asian countries. It also talks about how human emotions die once something ruthful happens in the life.
The novel is short and easy in language. The story does not stretch unnecessarily. Every character in the story is given the righteous role and explained beautifully. Shahira, the protagonist of the story is shown as a confidence, beautiful , intelligent and a smart lady and similarly the hero Hussain is shown as an attractive and handsome gentleman.
About the Author– Mahal (@zeenat4indireads) is an avid reader and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She has an MPhil in English literature from Government College Lahore and is currently doing an MFA in creative writing from Kingston University, London. She won a BBC short story competition in 2001 and has been a regular contributor to newspapers. Zeenat has eclectic tastes and an insatiable desire to learn. Her romances are a heady mix of the traditional and the contemporary, old world values face the challenges of a shrinking globe that impinge upon and help shape South Asian sensibilities.
‘Haveli’ is Zeenat’s first published novella. Currently she is working on a literary novel with elements of magical realism, while continuing to write romances.
She can be contacted on her FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zeenat-Mahal.
The Final Verdict– I find this book a ‘Coffee-table’ relaxing read. It’s perfect for those who like to read about love,marriage and relationship. I will rate it 3.5/5.