Romance Blossoms Beneath Sufi Tree at KahaniBagh

  • Riaz Ahmed’s UBL Literary Award winning novel ‘Shajar Hayat’

The novel “Shajar Hayat” is currently undergoing a translation into the Turkish language, marking another prestigious milestone for its creator, Riaz Ahmed, who has already garnered numerous accolades. His work resonates not only with those familiar with his art but also with strangers, spreading joy among his friends and well-wishers.

Riaz Ahmed’s words, life experience, and observation possess a rare and distinct quality, and it’s a source of pride to engage in conversations with this humanistic writer and artist. In the literary circles of Lahore, Riaz Ahmed possesses an unmistakable identity and a multifaceted persona.

The arrival of a new day, with the sky painted in vibrant rainbows, unveils the enigma of the universe and the magic of the present and the intangible. It showcases the capacity of words to adapt to the splendor of life and the way colors metamorphose into the language of emotions. It is in these moments that a heartfelt song transforms into mesmerizing melodies. True art, the highest form of artistic expression, narrates its own unique story.

Riaz Ahmed, a name synonymous with steadfastness and unwavering commitment, is slow to sway in the crucible of his thoughts, ideals, and convictions. He proudly and unabashedly expresses these qualities. His artistic endeavors encompass eight facets, and though he delves into philosophy and possesses a profound historical understanding, his initial introduction to the world was as a painter and artist. Having designed over ten thousand covers, he has imprinted his unique style upon them. When he embarked on crafting the novel “Shajar Hayat,” he embraced a modern symbolic style, underpinned by deep philosophical narratives and illuminated by profound thought. It defies the norms of conventional storytelling, with characters adorning non-traditional attire. The artist behind thousands of covers found that, as he sketched lines and filled them with colors, he stumbled upon the enduring solitude that permeates human existence in this vast universe, veiled within profound symbolism. The readers of this novel are no ordinary audience.

Amidst the unfolding narrative, a tragic accident unfolds on the motorway, as Behzad, traveling with his parents to Islamabad, becomes entangled in a modern and innovative language and expression. In the haven of “KahaniBagh,” three central characters, Behzad, Professor, and Neeli, convene. Each color within this tapestry carries its own unique charm and enchantment. Blue symbolizes universality, pink embodies innocence, chestnut exudes merriment, gray signifies melancholy, and red epitomizes passion. The name “Sufi” is lovingly bestowed upon a noble and generous man within this garden, and his fragrance, shelter, and fruits become the collective treasure of the entire landscape, despite his advanced age defying the frailty of old age. A mysterious stranger’s arrival within this garden sparks a captivating exchange, with the professor revealing, “I am a professor and write stories. Understand that like you, I paint pictures with words rather than colors.”



Saleem Jadoon
Saleem Jadoon
News Editor at Pakistan Today


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