Kolachi Publishers, $0.99
Contemporary Fiction, 2011
While Burhan Ahmed is recovering from a heart attack, he tells his daughter Menaal that he’d like her to marry Hamid, a son of his friend.
Menaal went on to protest, “Mom, he attended public school, they live in a small house in a middle classed neighborhood, he went to the middle class Mecca, for his engineering degree….please! How can you even think we are compatible on any level.” Menaal stated her credentials in front of her parents as if they were not aware of them. “You sent me to the best private schools, I studied at the top business school and then I went to London for my masters and now I successfully run a magazine, I can’t marry a middle classed man,” she said.
Oh, I’m sorry, is this supposed to be a written word equivalent to a cartoon? I didn’t get the memo.
As you can guess, Miss Clearly My Parents Wasted Their Money on My Education makes all kinds of demands because the world revolves around her, until she realizes that she loves her husband. With that realization, she finally cooks him curry and, content in knowing her place in the world (it’s in the kitchen), she waves happily at me as I wonder whether I’m going to faint. Then, I realize that I only paid $0.99 for this and I feel so much better.
The Story of an Arranged Marriage is written like an assignment of someone in an adult English class.
“I gave Arshad a few pictures of you and Hamid has seen them,” Burhaan Ahmed informed his daughter. “Do you remember Hamid, from your brother’s wedding” he asked, adding “if you don’t, then play the wedding video to get an idea.” Menaal tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear, as she responded.
“Dad, that’s all great but you know that family is not my cup of tea.” Burhan Ahmed appeared a defeated old man when he looked at his daughter and said.
“I have known Arshad Mirza for over 35 years, he’s a gentleman to the marrow. His wife is also a very fine lady. Their son would make a very good husband, who would take very good care of you.” Menaal looked around in exasperation and said.
“Dad, I’m an independent woman, I don’t see a need to marry someone I do not like.” It was her mother, who interjected.
If English hadn’t been the author’s first language (and come on, there’s no shame in that, it sure isn’t mine), and she paid something to teach her English writing, she really should consider demanding a refund. Or at least scratch that fellow’s vehicle if a refund couldn’t be obtained.
Additionally, the narrative has ADHD – the author jumps from one tangent to another within the space of sentences.
A complete failure from both a technical and storytelling standpoint, The Story of an Arranged Marriage is an example of how the “publish” button shouldn’t be made available to any random person who fancies themselves an indie author, at least not until they have made sure that their story can be read without making the poor reader wish desperately to turn back time and spend the money on something else instead.
It’s a blessing that this story is no longer on sale anywhere the last time I check. This thing should be locked away in the author’s drawer rather than inflicted on unsuspecting members of the public.