By Abdullah Momand
Islamabad: A young writer from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Peshawar, Asia Jamil (Eiman) recently published her first English novel a “Prince Who Destroyed My Life” which is focused on early childhood marriages, gender discrimination and the saga of trans-sexual children in society.
Asia hails from Peshawar and has completed her M.phil in English Language Teaching from Qurtaba University; she has vast experience of teaching as well as working with international organizations as an expert on gender discrimination issues.
In an interview with Asia, she shared that her focus is mostly on early childhood marriages because of which girls not only suffer psychologically but physically too, such marriages evidently result in complications in pregnancies which ultimately affects the physical and mental health of the girls involved. It also, at times become the root cause of complexity in marital relationship and further evolves into psychological issues and often end in cases suffering from domestic violence.
Asia insisted that inside home parents mostly segregate and define the role of genders to children by providing dolls to girls while airplanes and cars to boys. This simple choice of toys as gender-selective toys fundamentally impact and define the future professions of these children in our society. It influences the psychology of children to be goal-oriented in the future or dream of getting married to a “prince”.
Asia mentioned that her third focus in this novel is on Pashto folklore specifically songs which also discredit women and glorify men. For the purpose, she included various Pashto songs which portray women as weak and vulnerable and boasted the bravery and strength of men.
Asia further explains, “in this novel I have also elaborated the challenges faced by trans-sexual children who are rarely accepted by their own families across the country and I have primarily focused on representing two kinds of women; the one who subjugates to patriarchy and the other who stands for her rights against all the odds”.
She added that the first character, whose name is Pagonda gives birth to a transsexual baby following the birth of two daughters and faced not only humiliation but as well as character assassination for her inability to give birth to a son to the family.
“Following rejection to be accepted by Paghonda’s family of her trans-sexual child, a transgender Guru adopts Pagonda’s trans-sexual baby but the maternal mother can’t bear the pain of relinquishment of her baby and at the end going through the process of DADBA Denial-Anger-Depression-Bargaining-Acceptance, Paghonda failed to reach to the final stage of Grief Cycle ” Asia added.
She added that Pagonda is represented as a weak woman who surrendered to the pressure of society while the character of strong woman is Brekhna who adopted the transsexual baby of Pagonda taking good care of him and later the trans-sexual child was inspired to be a writer and became a renowned writer of the country thus denying the assumptions that Transgender could only prefer certain professions which are linked with them.
Asia further added that the objective of representing the character of Brekhna was to help people understand that it should not be the physical appearance we appreciate a woman for, but the abilities and skills to help bring positive changes in the community through decision-making, problem solving, and negotiation skills. Asia Jamil also expressed that since she belongs to the same society and has always witnessed the same environment, it inspired her to take-up the task of opening these issues by writing on them.
“My creative work was not only endorsed nationally but equally credited on the international front and recently the United States (US) organization USIP categorized me among 10 inspiring women whose work bears fruits in society”.