life rattle show no. 1179

Presented on Sunday, NOVEMBER 20, 2011


Hosted by John Dunford


Hina Najam reading her stories
"Dada Abba"
"The Sautans"

tonight's Show

Tonight, on Life Rattle Number 1179, we feature two brand new stories by new Life Rattle writer Hina Najam.

Hina Najam was born in the month of the monsoon rains in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1988. She says it always rains on her birthday. Najam, her brother Rehan, older by three years, and their parents immigrated to Canada in 1992. But job opportunities in Canada were poor at that time. Four months later, the family returned to Pakistan, where they lived in a joint family system with her father’s family until 1995.

After her grandfather’s death, the nuclear family moved into their own home. Her father worked as an auditor at a national bank, and her mother as a chief librarian for the biggest chain of private schools in the country. In 2000, a couple of weeks before Najam’s rainy birthday, she and her family immigrated back to Canada where her parents took on odd labour jobs. Najam collected Archie Comics, 160 of them. During her high school years, she wanted to be an archaeologist, but decided to pursue the sciences instead, and began university studying chemical and physical sciences. Not liking her chosen program, she transferred into commerce, a field in which she currently pursues a career.

Hina Najam writes convincingly in the voice of a child who quietly observes the world around her.

In tonight’s first story, "Dada Abba," Najam tells of a little girl who doesn’t realize, until she is in front of her classmates at school, that her beloved grandfather has passed away and she will never see him again.

Tonight's second story, "The Sautans" set in Karachi, Pakistan, where a girl witnesses the lives of two Sautans, the wives of one man whose joblessness and gambling obliges the women to works as maids in the narrator’s household.