IBNe SAFi 

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Ahmad Kamal Faridi (Inspector Faridi, later Colonel Faridi) is a fictional spy and crime-fighter, famous as the lead character of the Urdu spy novel series Jasoosi Duniya (The World of Espionage).

Faridi is the only son of Nawab Azeezuddin Khan, who left him a fortune on his demise. His father was an aristocrat, famous for his adventurous nature. Faridi is often regarded as a copy of his father in looks and instincts. Ibne Safi mentions several of Nawab Sahab's friends who come in contact with Faridi. Little detail is given on the rest of Faridi's family.

Faridi is a highly educated man who has a passion for solving mysteries. He does not join the police department for monitory reasons. According to him, he does not start out at a higher post, which could have been offered to him on a silver platter, because he would not have been able to do real detective work; he might have ended up doing clerical chores in some confined office. He always declines offers of promotion. His senior officers are shown to envy him, as he sometimes works directly for higher authorities and reports directly to the head of the state.

Inspector Faridi is a well-built, tall, and attractive man whose physical strength is evident in almost every adventure, especially whenever he is engaged in an encounter with his opponents. However, it is his supreme intelligence and remarkable mind that make him stand out amongst all the other characters of Jasoosi Duniya. Many people perceive him as grumpy and old, but he is in his early thirties (thirty-two to be exact, refer to Dilaer Mujrim). The most prominent features on his face are his eyes. He appears to be a sleepy, lazy, and careless businessman (Zameen Kay Baadal). However, those famous eyes are very deceiving. Behind them is the most alert mind of the century. Few people are able to talk to him while looking straight into his eyes. He has a strong, powerful build like a lion, but is as swift as a leopard. Leonard, an infamous criminal, has both his ankles broken by Faridi’s bare hands. He has also mastered the art of dodging bullets and is twice as good as Sing Hee’s “Sing Art.”

His methods of detection are mysterious. Throughout the course of the narration, he seems to be on the sidelines of the whole game. Yet in the end he comes in and resolves the mystery in such a way that his stealth and cunning art leave the reader mystified. Sometimes he employs psychological means to subdue, deceive and defeat his enemies. In one of the stories (Baygunaah Mujrim), he makes a very evil and anti-social villain beg for mercy when Faridi tortures him with water droplets constantly falling on his forehead for hours at stretch.

Faridi’s character has a multitude of inspiring qualities. He believes in leading life by strict rules, controlled emotions, and objectivity. His abstinence from drugs, non-conjugal sex, and controlled desires show the strength of his character. Other strong traits include respect of the law, nationalism, observation, common sense, and optimism.

His assistant Hameed calls him “Father Hardstone” because he never reveals his emotions. He is shown to be immune to the tricks of the trade of the fairer sex, and never seems even a little bit inclined towards them. And if he ever does seem so, it is only to deceive his opponents and camouflage his other activities.

Father Hardstone was, however, once involved with Nawab Rasheed uz Zaman’s daughter Ghazala. The romance did not last long. Faridi does not like talking about his affair with Ghazala, and always contains his emotions. He realizes that his life cannot afford to include a strong emotion such as love, which could eventually become his greatest weakness in solving mysteries and catching culprits. The fact that he does not choose to fall in love with a member of the opposite sex does not mean that he cannot love, or is not affected by it. Rajkumari Tara (Zehreela Aadmi) was one of the unfortunate girls who loses her life for Faridi. The account of her devastating destruction leaves Faridi trembling and astounded.

Faridi is also unique in his selection of hobbies. His major interests include reading and domesticating dogs and snakes. He seems to know several languages and is found reading books in different languages, including German. Many breeds of dogs can be found in his enormous doghouse. He seems to possess some famous species of dogs, such as the African Yellow Dingo, German Shepherd, Greyhound, Bloodhound, etc. He takes the same approach with pet snakes. Black Mamba and Indian Cobra are some of the more dangerous kinds that he can handle with ease due to his training with reptiles. One of the most distinguished arts that he has mastered is incapacitating snakes by grabbing them by the tail and jolting them. His expertise in snakes and their venom is evident in many of the adventures.

Like Sherlock Holmes, Faridi maintains a regular laboratory at home in which we find him busy with secret experiments. He can be found spending long hours there over the course of different cases. He is an expert in plastic makeup, and can change the complete personality of his subject through his art. Readers have been surprise numerous times when Faridi tears off the makeup from his face, for they realize that one of the bad guys was actually Faridi himself in disguise.

Faridi lives in a lavish mansion of gigantic proportion. His residence encompasses a backyard of several acres. Many rooms, including bedrooms, living room, dining room, study, library, laboratory, and servant quarters, have specifically been mentioned in his novels. A front porch for parking and a huge garage for his cars is also part of the same residence.

Faridi drives models of several state-of-the-art auto brands of his time, namely Cadillac, Buick, Lincoln, and Aston Martin. In addition to his regular means of conveyance, Faridi's garage carries several vehicles for different occasions. For example, in Jungle Ki Aag, Faridi preps up a Jeep with machine guns and other arms. On several occasions, he repaints his Fiat for concealment before going on a specific mission. Faridi also owns a boat (Saatwaan Jazeerah) that is used once or twice to chase down criminals.

The title “Colonel” is an honorary, much awaited title that he reluctantly accepts after he catches a very contemptible character, Gerald Shastri, in Jungle Ki Aag. Hameed also receives the title of “Captain” at the same time. Faridi also possesses “special permission” from the President to interfere in any matter that requires his attention. Many of his colleagues, and even some senior officers, envy him because of the endowments that he receives either by inheritance or by travail.

Colonel Faridi's wealth is inconceivable. The reader gradually realizes the extent of Faridi’s great wealth, an aspect of his character that makes him so mystical. From the owner of expensive vehicles, Ibne Safi eventually takes Faridi to a level that is just unprecedented – an owner of an independent state (refer to Zehreela Aadmi and Baychara/ree).

Faridi is also the head of a secret crime-fighting organization called “Black Force.” As opposed to other organizations in Ibne Safi’s novels, most members of this team know the identity of their boss. However, the members of Black Force are so secretive about their identity to outsiders that even Hameed, who believes he is Father Hardstone’s closest companion, gets irritated. Black Force is an international organization and its members are found all over the world. These members are usually recognized by code names such as B11, B2, etc. Not much is mentioned about the working and structure of this organization. It is probably Faridi’s best-kept secret.

 


Copyright © 2005 Mohammad Hanif