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Mirages of the Mind

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Basharat and his family are Indian Muslims who have relocated to Pakistan, but who remain deeply steeped in the nostalgia of pre-Partition life in India. Through Mirages of the Mind's absurd anecdotes and unforgettable biographical sketches, which hide the deeper unease and sorrow of the family s journey from Kanpur to Karachi, Basharet emerges as a wise fool, and the host ...more
Paperback, 574 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by New Directions (first published 1990)
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Steve Kemple
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This falls under the category of "books I never wanted to end."
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You know you are in for a ride when the introduction to your book says it’s “a challenging book. It is challenging because of its length but more so due to its erudition.” Never one to shirk a challenge, and given I was looking forward to reading some Urdu fiction in translation, I dived straight in. And what a wonderfully colourful and rich world we have.

Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, born in 1923, is a highly respected businessman as well as a multi awarded writer. From General Manager at the Muslim C
Salman Tariq
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
نوٹ :کتاب پڑھنے سے پہلے اس کو مت پڑھیں ۔۔یوسفی کے قلم سے نکلے دوسرے باب پر اک تبصرہ

یوسفی جس کوزے میں انسان کو بند کرتا ہے وہ بہت تنگ ہےجس میں انسانی حالت ناگفتہ بہ ہے ان کے لفظوں کے کھیل تماشے اور ادب کی کن کنیوں میں چیتھڑوں کا کھیل دیدنی ہے یوسفی ماہر سرجن کی طرح سوسائیٹی کو "خلیفے نائی " کی کینچی سے ڈائیسکٹ کرتا ہے اس نان سرجیکل اپروچ سے معاشرتی چیخیں مولانا کی حالاتِ زار بن کر "بشارت "کے دماغ پر نقش چھوڑتی ہیں اس قصہ پارینہ میں پیپ سے رس رہا خون" بلبن" ہے جو بزرگوار کی رندی بھی ہے اور کئی حرا
Himani Jaggi
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A beautiful slice-of-life book, hilarious in half the places and heart wrenching in others. This book won't treat you to a traditional structure with a plot, a build up and a conclusion. Instead, you have to approach this book like a daily conversation with a wise elderly person who will keep you engaged and entertained with hilarious anecdotes and at the same time show a deep understanding of life and human nature.

As the name suggests, it follows the lives of people who are caught up and entan
Mian Faizan
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far one of the most beautiful, witty,funny and yet heart wrenching books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
the chapter titled "Kaun Kaisay toot ta hai" is one of my favorite works in urdu literature
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
کتاب کیا ہے صاحب ، ہند و پاک کا اچھا خاصا سفر ہے . پورا کتھا ساگر ہے . بات سے بات نکلتی ہے اور کانپور سے کراچی ، کراچی سے سرحدی کوہستان ، وہاں سے یو پی کے دیہات اور قصبات پہونچ جاتے ہیں . کتاب پڑھنے میں ایسی دلچسپ اور انداز ایسا شگفتہ کہ جی چاہتا ہے صفحات کا سلسلہ کبھی ختم نہ ہو
! طنزیہ و مزاحیہ تحریروں کے شائقین اس دریاۓ لطافت میں ایک غوطہ ضرور لگائیں

Hira Qazi
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a real treat for mind :) must read it
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mirages of the Mind.
Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi.
2014. Pp-560.
Random House India. "Sometimes the only way to survive loss and life is by resorting to humour." Mirages of the Mind, the English translation of Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s Urdu novel Aab-e-Gum, is all about that- camouflaging pain with humour.
The narrative talks about the struggles of a Muslim family, it's journey from Kanpur to Karachi, a journey not just geographical, but a journey psychological and intensely emotional.
The entire text despite
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Catching up on some book reviewing...

I got a big kick out of this, which is less a novel than 5 novellas or even a whole bunch of connected stories and anecdotes. It's about several Indian Muslims who move to Pakistan after Partition, and it's poignant and funny and sad. It reminded me in parts of the Wise Men of Chelm stories. It's quite long, but it reads like a recorded conversation-it wanders and meanders and remembers this and makes reference to that and eventually usually gets back to wher
Adnan Arshad
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi was a professional banker and writer as well. My first book by him was "Hakam e Badhan" which was very good.

Aab e Gum revolves around mainly Basharat (wood trader) with two chapters dedicated one to his Father-in-Law and pathan friend.

Unique writing style of author is at its peak in this book, perhaps that's why it's most popular book by him. It's sad, funny and captivating. Plot of novel is loose but characters somehow are interlinked.
Choice of words/vocabulary is awesome
Ehtisham Shahid
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
کیا ہی خوبصورت کتاب ہے۔ جی چاہتا ہے پڑھتے رہیں۔ یوسفی
صاحب کا اندازِ بیان نہایت شیریں اور رواں ہے۔
Zahid Ali Sher
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abdul Salam
Feb 06, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
26 January 2020
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The review by one Himani jaggi.. suffices.
For this beautiful book.
Ahmed Arijo
it can be interesting for me.
Muhammad Nouman
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yousafi, at the epitome of his genius.

“While flowing through the desert of the past, the heady rivers of memory descend into the mirages of the mind.”

Though Nostalgia seems to lie at the core of the book (the book is set in post-partition Karachi, Lahore, Lucknow and Kanpur but the narrative often flies to the pre-partition times), it is not the theme that has led me to include this book suddenly in the list of my all-time favorites, but rather what the author mentions in passing somewhere in the prose:

“But look at what nonsense I’
Umar Shaikh
One of the best books I've ever read. A great combination of sadness and comedy written in a very conversational style.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
I think this was just a lot over my head. I couldn't keep track of all the characters, references, narrators (were there more than one?), chronologies, anything really. There were entertaining stories that I got out of it, but halfway through I decided I had had enough and wanted to move on to stories with plots and characters that I could understand.
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This book follows Basharat and his adventures in Pakistan. Throughout the book, he and his family learn to deal with their new home, while missing India. The book is a series of stories that help the reader to know what the author was experiencing as that transition is made.

More about this book can be found on my blog:

Disclaimer: I was awarded this book in a Goodreads giveaway. While I did not pay for the book, the opinions expressed in this book are strictly
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
آبِ گم کے بارے میں کیا لکھا جائے کہ اس کتاب کے بارے میں جاننے کے لیے اس کو پڑھنا ضروری ہے۔ یہ کتاب مشتاق احمد یوسفی کی آپ بیتی بھی ہے، طنز و مزاح کا شاہکار بھی ہے۔ اس کتاب کے مزاحیہ جملے پڑھ کر انسان بے حساب ہنستا ہے، اور جب ہنس ہنس کر بے حال ہوجاتا ہے تو یوسفی صاحب اچانک ہی ایسا سماں باندھ دیتے ہیں کہ قاری سوچتا رہ جاتا ہے آیا یہ کتاب مزاحیہ ادب کا شاہکار ہے یا سنجیدہ ادب کا۔

میری نظر میں یہ کتاب اردو میں لکھی جانے والی بہترین کتاب ہے جو بڑے بڑے شاہکار و بیسٹ سیلر ناولوں پر بھاری ہے۔ آپ اس کو آ
Faraz Beg
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to pick up this book as a comical/satirical book since it's written by Yusufi Sahab. But by the time you finish reading it, it becomes one of the most fascinating books on human behaviors written in Urdu. The protagonist, Basharat, takes us from the time of his adolescence through his professional life and then at the verge of his end.

Never before have lives of ordinary looking people been described in the detail and the artful manner Yusufi saab has done.
Rashid Rehman
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I ever read. This was for the first time that I read Yousafi sb, and after reading this, I have become a huge fan of him. He has described human tragedies in a light and thought provoking manner. You cannot read even a single page without laughing.
Mirages of the minds ,mushtaq ahmad yousafi
Sher Jan
i mlove mushtaq youufi books
Hamza Sipra
Oct 28, 2014 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
humor and satire with a tinge of sadness
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: indian-author
Clever book, but challenging to read with the Urdu translation.
Muhammad Waqas
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely Marvellous Piece of art
World Literature Today
This book was featured in the Nota Benes section of the March/Apr 2016 issue of World Literature Today Magazine.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It appears as if Yusufi's prose is deeply influenced by Josh Malihabadi. A good book however but not one of his best.
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Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi D.Litt (HC), SI, HI is an Urdu satirical and humor writer from Pakistan. Banker by profession, Yousufi has also served as the head of several national and international financial institutions.
He has received Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the highest civil honors by the Government of Pakistan. He was also given the highest literary award by Pakistan Academy of Letters i

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