This was the last thing the troubled governor of Punjab province of Pakistan, Salman Taseer, would have wanted. A book written by his son, who was born out of Salman’s short-lived marriage with a prominent Indian columnist.
Aatish Taseer, a 29 year-old London-based journalist, in his soon to be released book titled, Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands, exposes the hidden life of his father, which would not go down well in the political and social classes of Pakistan.
In an interview to weekly magazine, Outlook, which has acquired the rights of the book, Aatish said the book is a fictional version of his real life.
Aatish moved back to India as a child with his mother, after his father abandoned them in London. He grew up as a Sikh, but was always aware of his “Pakistani and Muslim ancestory”.
“Twice in his childhood, he makes long-distance overtures to his father, but is rebuffed. In 2002, at the age of 21, he tries again, by simply landing up in Lahore, and meets with greater success,” the magazine quotes Aatish as saying.
Hurt at his father’s indifferent attitude towards him and his mother, Aatish decided to write about all this in a novel and tell the world what he had gone through.
In a sensational disclosure, Aatish said : “How was his father, who drank Scotch every evening, never fasted and prayed, even ate pork and once said: ‘It was only when I was in jail and all they gave me to read was the Quran..(This portion of the text has been deleted as it was deemed unprintable.),”
Defending the decision to make public the personal relationships and things involved in it, Aatish said “the personal circumstances contained a bigger story.”
“The timing of the book is slightly insane,” Aatish admitted, hinting the political turmoil his father was going through as a politician in the present times.