(THE STORY OF DR. DREAD'S
JOURNEY FROM INDIA TO U.S.A.)
My heart was pounding like an Iron Smith's
blower. That box was laid wide opened in front of me and I can see
so many books of different titles and colors but my eyes won't be
able to see ones, for which they were searching.
I had put both of my hands inside the box
and overwhelmingly started taking out the books, one after another.
The box was full of books and as to the exact number; it has 39
Those five books, for which I was looking
anxiously, were buried right underneath all other books. ďWhy does
this happens to me all the time?Ē I asked myself, "Whenever I am
looking for something that I need, always finds it last, why donít I
find them right at the first place and why always I have to look for
them till the end?Ē
That all started when through a Face Book
friend of mine Mr. Mohammad Hanif (founder and administrator
www.ibnesafi.info), tagged me in a news about English translation of
Ibne Safiís spectacular Dr. Dread set from his renowned "Jasoosi
Duniya" has under publication by Blaft Publication of Chennai, India
in association with Tranquebar Press.
A few days later, again through Face Book,
I have learned that Dr. Ahmed Safi, son of Ibne Safi was heading to
New Delhi for an Inauguration Dr. Dread's set in English, translated
by Shamsur Rahman Faruqui, which was planned to be held on Friday,
April 22nd in New Delhi, India.
I was so excited after getting all these
informations that now like Urdu and Hindi my most favorite writer
Ibne Safiís work will also be available to the of readers of English
language and like the name of Ibne Safi is honored because of his
extra ordinary writing skills wherever reader of Urdu language are
available, now he will be soon know amongst the English language
I was also very anxious to get the copies
of Dr. Dread series in English, but how?
That was a million Dollars question keep
circling around my mind, I had immediately started searching any way
to get those Books here in America, as soon as they were being
released in India.
Soon I have found the web site and the face
book page of Blaft Publication and first I have send them a message
through their own web site and requested that I am interest to get
this set directly in U.S., didnít received any reply but after a day
or two, on my inquiry posted on their face book page, I have
received the following message at my post:
"Unfortunately the print editions are not
yet available outside the Indian subcontinent. The books are however
available in the US, Canada, Europe & Australia/New Zealand for sale
as eBooks, both for the Kindle (on the Amazon store) and in EPUB
format (from Lulu.com)".
When it comes to Book reading, I consider
my self still an old fashioned person and like to read my book,
holding it in my hands, so I can feel and smell them and I wanted to
keep this first English addition in my collection so I don't want to
get them as an ebooks and just interested to get them as paper
Then Ahmed Safi Sahib informed me regarding
the partner company of Blaft Publication in USA, Small Press
Distribution (SPD Books) in Berkeley, California.
I have contacted them via email and
received a quick reply in which they showed their unawareness about
the publication of this set but they promised me that within few
days they will let me know that when this set will be available in
I have received their reply within next few
days and they told me the same thing that right now these books are
just available as ebooks and it will take a little while to be
released in U.S.
One of my friend Akbar here in U.S., from
Mumbaiís suburbs, now was my sole hope and I told him that if
possible please call back home and try to arrange somebody who can
buy this set and can mail it to me here and provided him the address
and phone number of Landmark Bookstores in Mumbai, which was
provided to me by Blaft Publications. We also called that company
from U.S., to enquire about the availability of the books and they
said that they don't have any information about the books and the
I again sent a message to Blaft
Publications at their Face Book page and informed them about it and
with some more messages, almost after 2 days I have received a link
for www.flipkart.com and that was the final answer to all my worries
Since Flipkart.com wasn't able to ship the
books to U.S., I have decided to get them shipped to Akbar's home
and they will finally ship to me here in U.S.
While searching Flipkart.com web site, I
have found so many other book of Ibne Insha, Nasim Hijazi, Intizar
Hussain and even one of Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's too. So I had
ordered total 39 books and paid them through my credit card. They
shipped all my required books to Akbar's home and finally I have
received my little over 13 kg parcel on May 4, here in U.S.
Now I am busy reading Dr. Dread series in
English and already finished first two books.
Inshallah, very soon I will try to
introduce all other titles to the friends of Face book, which I have
received from India.
Dr. Ahmad Safiís comments:
"Bhai Amin... you made the saying come
true... Where there is a will, there is a way! I can understand your
enthusiasm as a long time fan and lover of Ibne Safiís novels. Let
me share the story of my enthusiasm here with you... When I arrived
the venue of the Launching Ceremony in Delhi on the 22nd April... I
was dying to get a glance of the printed versions of the four books
(which I had been reviewing as word documents earlier!) There was a
stall setup at the gate to the Hall where the ceremony had to be
conducted. I was intercepted with the hosts and other guests who
extended a very warm welcome and I was overwhelmed by all the love
and respect that they showed... but my eyes were on the Book
Stall... I wanted to sneak out and get there and hold the books...
So I started slowly moving towards it... the people were already
rushing the place and it was getting difficult to cut through the
crowd and reach the stall... I then tried hard and pushed myself in,
forgetting for the moment that I was the chief guest and must have
behaved accordingly, but the desire to hold the books had gotten
over me... I moved fast but was pushed away and elbowed out by
another enthusiast who came in front in his quest to get to the
books... And then I felt a hand on my shoulder... it was Shamsur
Rahman Faruqui Saheb... smiling and saying "Aray miaN... isi taraH
hum loag dhakkam pael kiya kartay thay novel laenay kay liyay...
Join the club!" And suddenly I had this eerie feeling of History
Repeating Itself... and I was a part of it... gave me goosebumps and
I can safely say, Amin, I understand your passion. God bless you!
(BTW later I was presented with initial four copies by Ms. Renuka
Chatterji of Westland-Tata and I did not have to do the dhakkam pael!)"