Review: Kabuko the Djinn

BY Shail Raghuvanshi IN A+, Fantasy, Magical Realism NO COMMENTS YET

By Hamraz Ahsan. Grade A+

I had heard and read about djinns before but had never pondered much about them. So, it was indeed with a great amount of pleasure and admiration that I read the book which delves deep into the world of djinns through the life of Ajee Shah, a boy born in Pakistan. It is as if I was transported into another world albeit a strangely realistic one, with the plot being set in a modern background.

Kabuko the Djinn

Kabuko the Djinn is the evocative story of a djinn who journeys through human life in search of occult knowledge.

Wishing to study the dynamics of the human species for himself, in order to unearth the secrets of human power, Kabuko enters the body of Ajee Shah, a boy born in post-independence Punjab, Pakistan.

As Kabuko loses himself to the trials and tribulations of living an ordinary yet intrinsically exceptional human life through Ajee, sex and the supernatural collide, entangling them both in a cataclysmic event that is to change their lives forever.

Woven throughout this tapestry of youthful yearnings and a desire for transcendental knowledge are real secrets of the Islamic occult, true stories of Muslim saints, and the folklore of the Punjab.

The depth and intensity with which the author has created the main character Kabuko is really applaudable. Converting stories of Muslim saints into a mind blowing novel and transforming folklore of Punjab into a story so real in its creation is not easy. But, the author Hamraz Ahsan does it beautifully as if he himself was the djinn occupying the inner world of a human being. In an existence where we humans are not even partially aware of the universe that exists inside our thoughts, emotions and the soul itself, being led into the same world by a creature belonging to another sphere is a fantastic experience! It is eerie sometimes, because the author has made the entire cosmos of the book so very realistic that one cannot but believe that the events in the novel are actually happening.

Kabuko the djinn wishes to experience human life more personally and ‘unearth the secrets of human power’. He is advised to enter the body of Ajee Shah and then, therein begins the fascinating journey of the djinn and the reader. Infancy, youth and its desires, love, lust, hurt, joy – everything is experienced as if the djinn was watching a show and also undergoing the experiences himself. The unique world of birth, death, separation, fulfillment, frustration, illusion and reality – experiencing the mystery of different entities and their significant rules that govern life make Kabuko’s life interesting and perplexing. He gets the satisfaction of having experienced the emotions and reflections of the human world but he also loses out a lot in the process. Does he finally succeed in the goal that he had set out to accomplish? Does he ever get to leave the human world? Do the humans get disturbed by his presence in their world?

The book takes you on a journey you never believed ever existed. Slowly and steadily you are drawn into the djinn’s world and there reaches a time of conflict when you are caught amidst the emotions of Kabuko and Ajee Shah. Which world would you choose if you had the benefit of choice – the one that you are familiar with or the one that promises a ride of magic and muse? And what about Ajee’s mind, body and soul? Does it stay unaffected throughout Kabuko’s stay within? Who is the one that enjoys the ride more – Kaubuko or Ajee? That you have to read the book to know.

With an experienced journalist writing this novel, much is expected and the author does not fail to disappoint. The research and imagination gone into creating an illusionary world of djinns and mystery is to be appreciated. So, believers and non believers, have a blast!