Ali Imran                                      Back



Ali Imran’s character is a complex and versatile one. He is a bright and young Oxford graduate holding both M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees. In his most deceiving personality, he seems to have a moronic quality. The closest parallel that can be found in western literature would be the character of the detective Columbo. However, Columbo and Imran belong to two different spheres altogether.

Imran is very agile and energetic. When it comes to fighting an enemy face to face, we always find him winning the battle. Imran is a man with a great character, and has extraordinary sex appeal. He has a nice muscular body and looks stunning. But he always puts on a front of appearing stupid and moronic. Thus, his features make him look distinguished, but he uses his expressions to camouflage himself as one of the stupidest men on earth. He never reveals his true side to anyone, as he knows that it will not be good for his career, which is far dearer to him than his life. Thus, he is always shown acting stupid, insane, and funny, keeping the readers in hysterics at his every action. Even his father, Mr. Rahman, becomes so sick and tired of his jests that he orders Imran to leave the house. In his opinion, Imran is a very stupid person who is of no use; and so he doesn’t want to associate with him. However, Imran manages to open his father’s eyes on several occasions, garnering praise for his efforts and bravery. Imran’s mother (whom Imran call “Amma Bi”) loves her son, though she often beats Imran with her sandals. Imran also has a sister named Suraiya, who is also sick and tired of Imran, who, like a typical older brother, is always messing around with her.

Imran dresses eccentrically; for example, he might wear a pink coat, with a light green shirt, a yellow necktie, white pants, and a purple flat hat with a red rose in it. Ibne Safi refers to this as Imran’s “Technicolor Outfit.” This doesn’t mean that Imran is always dressed like this. When required, he wears expensive suits, and looks stunning as a result.

Most of the time, Imran drives a two-seater sports car, which he parks in a garage near his three-bedroom apartment, where he normally resides. He also has a Buick parked at “Rana Palace.”

Imran is a colorful character with four personalities in one. As Ali Imran, he acts as an opportunist who can become either a police informer or a blackmailer as the situation demands. This cover is obviously for the police department and the villains, who do not have a clue as to how important a position he holds.

Imran’s most clandestine personality is that of X-2, Chief of the Secret Services. Only three other characters know this secret. One of them is Sir Sultan, Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Imran reports directly to him or to the Head of the State. The second person is “Black Zero,” Imran’s favourite agent in the Secret Services. The third is a long time friend, Roshee. She is an Anglo-Burmese girl who Imran saves during one of his adventures (Bhayanak Aadmi), through which she gets to know his secret identity. Roshee is trustworthy and has helped Imran in several cases. Imran’s secret is safe with her.

The other two personalities Imran assumes from time to time are the Prince of Dhump and Rana Tahavvar Al Sandooqui. As the Prince of Dhump, he is the head of a fictitious state known as Dhump. He assumes this role whenever he has to use his influence over others through a show of riches and power. With an armed bodyguard (Joseph) in company, this character is hilarious beyond belief. Rana Tahavvar Al Sandooqui is shown as a businessman who is out of town most of the time. His huge villa, “Rana Palace,” is apparently left under the care of his servants and the bodyguards. In reality, the Secret Service members use the mansion as a hideout and operations center. The two other buildings that the Secret Service uses are “Daanish Manzil,” which was destroyed during an adventure, and “Psycho Mansion,” which operated under the disguise of a psychiatric clinic.

Imran appears to work as a normal member of the Secret Service. His fellow team members are always either making fun of him, or having fun at his expense. These same members, when they hear the harsh and commanding voice of X-2 on the phone, shiver with fear. They know he is around, watching them. X-2 rarely appears in front of them; when he does, he is wearing a black mask and tight black clothes that completely obscure his identity. Of course, being an expert at altering identities, he also completely changes his voice before addressing them. The rest of the time, X-2 either contacts his subordinates through the transmitter or telephone.

Imran has perfected the art of literally dodging bullets. This is called “Sing Art,” which he learns from an international Chinese criminal, “Sing Hee.” Sing had devised a technique by which he is able to dodge any bullets fired on him by judging the hand movements of the assailant, and moving swiftly. Sing Hee performs it in front of Imran once (Lashoan ka Bazaar), and Imran asks him to do it again. That is enough for Imran to grasp the technique involved. Then Imran surprises Sing Hee by challenging him to shoot at him; Sing Hee cannot believe his eyes when he is unable to shoot Imran. Despite the fact that both characters are bloodthirsty for each other, the evil con man declares Imran to be his rightful nephew in the cunning art.

Imran’s complex personality seems to be result of his upbringing. Ibne Safi divulges details about his personality in Dr. Duago. Imran’s father, Karam Rahman, Director General of the Central Intelligence Bureau, has always been a very strict man. He wants everything done his way. Mr. Rahman had Imran attend a Christian Missionary School as a child, for the quality of education was better there. Imran’s mother is a very religious and pious Muslim lady. She wants him to follow the religion. As a result, he gets confused over what he learns in school and what he is compelled to practice at home. He develops a dual personality at home and in the outside world. As a result of his father’s dictatorial rule, his missionary school’s training, and contradictions in what he learns and what he practices, he ridicules almost anything and everything. Despite all his personality shifts and conflicting scenarios, he seems to adhere to the basic principles of human rights, and law and order.

Like Faridi, Imran is also unmoved by the charms of the fairer sex; hence, he is very hard to trap. Due to his apparently vulnerable nature and innocent looks, women develop a crush on him as soon as they meet him; but most of the time, Imran treats them roughly and offers nothing but a cold shoulder. Maybe like Faridi, he too deals with this as strictly a personal matter not to be publicized. Imran’s wit is legendary too. His remarks are humorous and satirical on almost every aspect of life. His personality is enjoyable, yet at the same time provides food for thought.

Imran is fiercely patriotic and has no qualms about doing anything whatsoever to protect his country, which is never named in any of the books. Imran is portrayed as a character that is so preoccupied with fighting spies working against his country, that he simply has no time for trivial things like love, romance, marriage, or settling down with a family. Imran’s only priority in life is to defend his homeland from its enemies; everything else is secondary.


Copyright © 2005 Mohammad Hanif