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Songs of Blood and Sword – Fatima Bhutto’s Upcoming Book

February 23, 2010

Songs of Blood and Sword is the title of Fatima Bhutto’s upcoming book. The subtitle of the book reads, ‘A daughter’s Memoir’. I think the book would be interesting for that would be the first time someone as close as a daughter would write about a man who had been always dubbed as a ‘terrorist’, ‘a non-serious politician’, ‘a villain’ and what not.

Fatima shared a close bond with her father. One can feel the love and pining in an anthology of her poems titled Whispers of the Desert (that was published when she was 15) and also when she used to write a column A Hundred Beats for The News International, she wrote down a detailed account of that fateful day when her father got assassinated. She was home with her kid brother waiting for their father to return to play a game of basketball with them but their world turned upside down when Murtaza Bhutto got killed in a fake encounter outside his Karachi residence. It’s been almost 14 years to that day and the bereaved family still awaits justice.

I remember once I had mailed her asking what she had to say regarding the sensational revelations in Raja Anwar’s book The Terrorist Prince about Murtaza Bhutto. She replied that his book was mostly based on hearsay as the author himself was jailed in Afghanistan at that time and then she added that Anwar didn’t publish the book when Murtaza was alive tells a lot about his integrity. At that time the author was living in exile in Germany and published the book after Murtaza’s assassination. Both those points carried weight. I have read The Terrorist Prince and though it is a fast paced book that set the conspiracy theorist drooling I too found it based on the continuous hearsay – the author frequently quotes others (without actually witnessing the incident) and also that book has a sensational tone while any serious and authentic history book should be exclusive of such sensationalism.

Those were the days when Fatima used to stay in touch with her readers. She did reply to several of my emails, especially the ones where I had raised valid points regarding the content in her articles. She doesn’t reply to emails now. I don’t know whether she doesn’t find it worthwhile or is it that replying is a time consuming job. She wrote in her article titled Frequently Asked Questions published in The News International on September 2nd 2007:

When I started writing this column just about a year ago, I made a decision to put my email address at the bottom of my article. It isn’t a phantom address or a lonely inbox that I created specifically for this column; it’s my only email address. I am the only with access to it and I do my best to read and reply to all the letters I receive.

Then she further quotes some FAQs and her replies like:

FAQ 1: I’ve read some of your articles online and wanted to write and ask you what you do?

Uh. This. This is what I do. It’s not a nine to five job but it’s my job. I write. It’s not exactly strenuous but it’s what I love to do and it takes up a lot of my time, thank you very much.

FAQ 4: Seriously though, if you won’t give me your cell number, could we at least make friendship?


In the end she writes:

And by the way that’s not me on Orkut either.

I remember someone had created her fake account on Orkut and had thousands of friends. I never added her!

The fact that the book has been authored by Fatima Bhutto is enough to make me excited. I have read many political and personal memoirs before but not by a writer as young as her. The other thing I appreciate about her is that she doesn’t get involved in the mud-slinging so typical of the politics in the sub-continent. I have no idea if that is her virtue or weakness but her anguish is always subtle and sarcastic that not many people tend to understand anyway.

I would try to get hold of that book as soon as it comes out. These days she is promoting her book. She tweets @fbhutto. It took me some time to come to terms with the fact that it was the ‘real’ Fatima given the nature of her tweets. I do her like tweets sometimes such as when she tweeted: Sabeen just mentioned a couple & said happiness was in sight for them. ‘Divorce?’ I asked. Silence. No, they’re getting married she said. I just loved the sarcasm. Similarly, she expressed her dislike for Facebook: If it was a choice between world peace or me joining Facebook, the world would burn. I couldn’t agree MORE with Fatima on that one. Let the world burn, I’m better off Facebook!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 10:35 am

    fatima fan 😛

    since i am also following her, i believe she likes to distance herself from strangers, though she is like us sharing cut jokes and other, it’s a nice post you should tweet the link to her, i believe she will read.



    • February 23, 2010 10:54 am

      Huge fan indeed! But only of the ‘writer’ Fatima! 🙂

  2. pistaye permalink
    February 24, 2010 7:48 am

    She was quite miffed about the “fake” Fatima Bhutto on Facebook. It’s amazing how people come up with these lame accounts and others go ahead and add them :/

    Facebook sucks 😀

    Oh, I’m looking forward to her book too. Never been a fan though.

    • February 24, 2010 9:37 am

      It’s natural to be miffed! And ironically the ‘fake’ Fatima on twitter has more followers than the real one! 😀

  3. February 24, 2010 8:28 am

    u’ve been tagged …. !!

    • February 24, 2010 9:39 am

      I’m honored! Will take some time to post it but sure I’ll do!

      Thanks! 🙂

  4. pistaye permalink
    February 24, 2010 12:23 pm

    LOL. Crazy! Seriously.

  5. February 24, 2010 2:20 pm

    Good stuff. I am a great fan of fatime bhutto.

    • Nadeem permalink
      February 25, 2010 6:00 am

      Btw why are you a great fan of her, have u found any special thing in her…..

    • February 25, 2010 9:29 am

      She writes really well. Her views are acceptable. She isn’t into politics yet which is a great thing!

  6. Adnan permalink
    February 24, 2010 4:36 pm

    Actually in our part of the world, we create “a Villain” out of “a hero” and make “a hero” out of “a villain”. So, that’s indeed the case with Fatima’s father too.. Our media and so called establishment made him a villain though he wasn’t at all.. U know what Ayesha! I always take the dicatate of media as the other way around. When they make us to believe that a man is a hero, I feel he might be a villain in reality and when they say a man is a villain, I consider him a hero in reality.
    I’m really lookig forward to read the book. U’ve written a very good link once more. Thanx Indeed for that..

    • Nadeem permalink
      February 25, 2010 5:59 am

      I agree with Adnan, Now in Pakistan media is dicatating every thing, they create truth, they create false, hero and villan. They actually do nt give u right knowledge, for example look at their relgious programe., they only talk about what masses want to listen. I do nt think media is fair at all.

    • February 25, 2010 9:30 am

      I tend to agree with you regarding the media and their games!

  7. zindagi-ki-diary permalink
    February 24, 2010 7:11 pm

    I got to read that book. Murtaza bhutto was ill prepared when his father died. He would have come around but Benazeer decide to dump him and later Asif Zardari seeing him as Bhutto’s only legacy killed him. Is it on Amazon….?

    • February 25, 2010 9:33 am

      He was very immature and emotional and wanted to take revenge from Zia. He ran away to Afghanistan and unfortunately couldn’t gather himself to launch a political movement against him. When he joined politics it was already too late.

      Once the book releases it will be up on Amazon (USA). Right now it is on Amazon (UK) and one can pre-order.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    February 25, 2010 8:08 am

    going by the above stated comments of Adnan and Nadeem…. i would like to add that the media also portrays India as their chief opponent….which in fact is utterly wrong notion !!

  9. February 25, 2010 8:12 am

    hey..Fatima looks very b’ful….
    i was hooked to her photograph only….later on i found that she’s a writer too !! 🙂

  10. Bushra Khan permalink
    February 25, 2010 8:37 am

    Cant wait to read the book.When is it coming?

    • February 25, 2010 9:35 am

      Don’t know the exact date! By April I think…

  11. March 22, 2010 9:35 am

    I’ll be going to the book launch sometime next week. Want me to ask her something for you? I’m excited for her too, writing is something which keeps world going round. In smooth orbits.

    • March 23, 2010 7:36 pm

      I’ve no question. Thanks for asking! 🙂

  12. March 22, 2010 9:36 am

    Actually this week. 🙂

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