Published by Penguin Random House India, The Whispering Chinar is written by Ali Rohila, the new literary voice from Pakistan.
About the book: Inter-connected stories that delve into religion, patriarchy and feudalism, the banker-author recounts the stories as seen by the chinar tree in this debut collection. Beginning from the 1970s, when the Indus was dammed near Charbagh, The Whispering Chinar chronicles a time and a place of belonging, of nostalgia, and of relationships and friendships from an unknown part of our world.
In Charbagh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, a short detour from the Grand Trunk Road that leads towards Afghanistan, stands a chinar tree in the garden of Khan Mohammad Usman Khan. The tree has stood for generations, a silent witness to the many stories of Charbagh, its grounds held sacred until the day a bullet fired by the oldest son of the Khan hit one of its branches.
In Charbagh, a village where modernity slowly creeps in, there are tales of unrequited love, of family honour and religious persecution, of patriarchy and breaking its shackles, and of what it means to belong to Charbagh in tumultuous times.
About the Author:
Ali Rohila is a Pakistani banker who has previously written Read No Evil, a collection of essays published in 2015. A descendant of Nawab Hafiz Rehmat Khan Rohila, the Pukhtoon ruler of Rohilkhand, Khan’s family migrated from Bareilly, India, to Pakistan in 1950. The Whispering Chinar is his first short story collection.