Justuju ka Safar is an exploratory narrative describing the struggles of the protagonist Abdullah.
This is the story of Abdullah who opens his eyes into a world of misery, pain and scarcity of resources. The entire prose revolves around the concept of struggle and dissatisfaction. Abdullah belongs to an underprivileged background on whom society has closed all doors of success. This makes him question about the uncertainties around him.
From the beginning till the end the story is an amalgamation of the endless questions raised by Abdullah whose answers he seeks from his father, the maulvi and wadera of his village, his teachers and colleagues. As the story moves forward, subtle climaxes are seen when he touches the success ladder through distinctions in studies and career.
However, it appears that success in education and career was not something that Abdullah sought after all this time. His questions and dissatisfaction persists even after he completes all items on a long maintained ”To Do List” of what according to society ‘success’ is.
Justujoo ka Safar is a travelogue of a character who is on the journey of self discovery. During this journey he finds out that he has lost his spiritual identity. This brings him spiritual agony and he travels from one place to the other in search of his spiritual being and finally he realizes that in order to be an “abd (special one)” he must become an “insaan (a worthy human)” first. This is the point where Abdullah connects himself to God and begs him for spiritual contentment.
The novel is a philosophical inquiry into the meaning of life, the reason of self and many other questions from epistemology, logic and ethics that have haunted inquisitive minds from ages.
The story directly connects to all readers who are discontent in their lives despite of heaving the abundance of wealth, a family and a good career. The struggle of Abdullah to attain the mercy of Allah makes him prepare a new “To Do List”. The difference between the two lists is that this was meant for Allah and the previous one was meant for the world. Hence, the story demonstrates that the character finds everything except his God which leads to further misery.
The author, Zeeshan Usmani adopts a writing style which undoubtedly befits a literature piece. This book is interspersed with present and past incidents that are woven together so well that the reader feels connected to every succeeding chapter of it. Longing of the heart, desire, struggle and patience are the most prominent ingredients of this book. The prose progresses in a way that links the reader so vividly with the story that the emotions of the reader oscillate together with those of the character. The selective use of poetry throughout the book adds to the beauty of the writing.
The book is published by Sang-e-Meel and has 271 number of pages. Overall, it makes for a delightful and magical read. It can be said that the book is a wonderful combination of poetry and prose which is very rare in Urdu Literature. All in all, the book is brimming with emotions, good, bad and grey, penned down to perfection by the author. For all of those who want to see their inner self through the reflection of this book and those who wish to break the chains that this world has bounded them in, this is the book for their ultimate guidance.