Fiction Gets a Dutch Touch


Picture of Ehsan Sehgal

A Pakistani-Dutch Writer Ehsan Sehgal publishes three books

By Zaib Azkaar Hussain


Ehsan Sehgal an eminent Pakistani-Dutch poet and writer has recently published three huge books; two are the results of his wisdom, study and experiences of life and third one an autobiographical novel.

These books titled ‘Breathing Words’ and ‘The Writing That Fragrances’ though sound very heavy (of 300-page and 400-page respectively) books, they are indeed very light in their essence. The first book ‘Breathing Words’ is a collection of beautiful poems. Most of the poems could be termed as blank-verses or prose poems but they have a perfect rhythm in their presentation and association of thought and feeling. The other book which is a collection of observations or quotations by Ehsan Sehgal speak volumes for his creative skills and understanding towards literature, philosophy, psychology and social sciences.

Like see his poem titled ‘Hope Within Hope’ says “I have died again, and again—–Now, one would bring me alive—–So that I may long survive—-Perhaps anyone would come—–Such as the light—And would enlighten me——–For the faculty of sight.”

See one of his different poems titled “As  You Want” that states “If you make me a fool…I will be as your sick desire…If you flirt me…You will find me, the same…For your ugly enjoyment….If you play zigzag…I will leave you, to do that….Accessing your moral values…..If you think, I am intellectual….I will prove that, with my words of wisdom…If you love me, with your heart….You will find me….In every beat of your heart.

If, you open your eyes, to the mirror…..You will see the truth…..Do not degrade yourself….Do not underestimate others.”

In the end in this book Ehsan Sehgal say “It is a truth; I am also a liar since if lie to hide and protect from the evil people.”

No doubt, his book titled ‘The Writing That  Fragrances’  has a large number of beautiful quotations such as “Love is such power that neither forces nor give up’ and ‘the time never comes back; however, the memories stay in mind forever.’

Besides, quotations, this book also have some poems like ‘The voice of freedom’, ‘Voices of human rights’ and others. Some of his nice quotations are state: ‘My thoughts match with your thoughts. I is your view, but I do not think your thoughts match with me. It is my analysis. Is it a serious problem, isn’t?’.

His third book ‘titled The prisoner of Hague’ is an autobiography rather an autobiographical novel and no doubt it presents the grief of life, happiness, sadness, agony, hope, disappointment and a lot of other issues Ehsan Sehgal faced in his life when he left Pakistan and settled in abroad. He had to leave the country due the fear of political victimization in Pakistan (in Ziaul Haque era; the then dictator General Ziaul Haque had ousted an elected prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) and at reaching Holland he had to face a lot of problems. In his novel he has exposed a lot of characters, including relatives, friends, writers, journalists and other dignitaries. Of course one cannot agree to each and every view of the novelist as some information can be made part of novel (where he discusses the lives of some families and organizations) on hearsay basis and not on the basis of facts. Yet his narration and style of presenting life and issues and above his the hurdles and conspiracies he faces are above doubt and the novel presented in monologue form brings to light the harshness of life very brilliantly and some of its parts appear to be written in stream of consciousness.

Sehgal began his literary career in the year of 1967. His first publication was a novel, but his next books were all collections of poetry. He has also written Ruba’i. He also published his collection of collections (‘Kuleeyat’ titled ‘Zarb-e-Sukhan’).

He also published a collection of aphorisms in Dutch in the year of 2010. The book, De Wijze Weg (“The Wise Way”), was later written and translated with the assistance of Naeem Arif under the tile of “The Wise Way”.

Amazingly Ehsan Sehgal had taken part in 1965’s war while he was only 15-year-old. He called up that he had obtained a brief (six-month) training and later he was awarded with ‘Tamghaa-e-Jang’ (war model) in 1974.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *