After the phenomenal success of Hussain Sherazi’s first book Babu Nagar, he has now written another masterpiece Dawat-e-Sheraz, and I am proud to read it and give my humble comments on it. This book is a true reflection of former bureaucrat Hussain Ahmed Sherazi.

I have a very old association with Hussain Sherazi, him being AC Customs and I as AD. The Emigration Department posted us in Islamabad where I can say both of us ‘Babus’ started our civil service or the ‘Babu service together’. Back then, he used to live in Satellite Town. Hussain bhai used to be an amazing host; his own Dawat-e-Sheraz was great.

He was very popular with all the babus and very helpful to his friends. I met him last in Islamabad where he very kindly delivered a speech on my book, ‘Modi’s War Doctrine’. I found him exactly the same as the old Hussain Sherazi with the same smiling face, full of life.

We continued to rise in our ranks in this world of babu-istan in a city where graves are also positioned grade wise. I thank God that despite living in this fake city, which classifies friendships based on grades and position, we remained very close.

Hussain is a very passionate person with a rural background like mine; both of us hail from Sialkot.

This smiling face had the big tragedy of having lost his very young handsome married brother in an accident behind it, and I know how much he loved his brother. All of his close friends can still see that pain in his face.

The jolly nature of Hussain is admired by all his friends and associates. It will be unfair on my part if I fail to mention his kind support during my ordeal after the fall of the second government and also while I was in Adiala Jail. Very few friends would dare to meet or support me but he was that one friend who always remained.

We have grown in the babu career together and I can claim that I know that he is a man of multiple skills. Writing comedy is not easy – perhaps I should say that comedy writing, especially while highlighting drawbacks in a lighter manner is not easy. We can see his abilities and capabilities and his most interesting intellect in the form of this book.

Dawat-e-Sheraz correctly portrays the ironies of our society and its ambiguities. Mr Hussain has done a great job at pointing out the hypocrisy in our society in a very light-hearted but strong voice. The book rightly points out everyday topics of our lives including ambition, dreams, desires, relationships, and a collective lack of honesty in our DNA. While doing so, the book also provides a very strong message in terms of self-improvement and doing as we preach. In other words, there is a lot for us and new generations to learn.

The author quotes examples from his own life to signify a personalised touch to his thoughts as narrated in the book which reflects his own true personality within.

In one of the most interesting excerpts from the chapter ‘Bachpan ka Sawan’ (page 178), he talks about finding happiness by helping others and making them happy – a truly remarkable thought providing a sense of purpose in life. This is what I mentioned in the beginning; that he used to be a great source of moral help and he would go out of the way for his friends.

In a chapter about friendships, ‘Dosti aur Gubaray’ (page 117), the author rightly points out the importance of friendships in life. The author beautifully points out the irony in friendships these days where friends are considered ‘disposable’. It is hard to find good friends but when you do, you hold onto them. This is why the author has dedicated this book to one of his closest friends.

Mr Hussain is a living legend who touched the height of his career and earned respect through his honesty and now, I am proud of the fact that even Attaullah Qasimi is his great fan.

Mr Attaullah Qasimi is also a writer of versatile qualities. I met him in exile when he was Ambassador in Norway where I visited him with SMBB and I found him to be a man of great vision. I feel so happy sometimes when I see clips of both great men together.

Overall, the book provides a very positive message to its readers to move towards a journey of self-improvement while being cognisant of the hurdles and hypocrisy of our society. That is the only path towards collective success.

In fact, we as a country could not become a nation with united views as we do not have a collective approach. We the politicians run the country with polarised thoughts and do not rise above politics. As the babus do not have constitutional protection, they remain scared to deal with the fate of the nation through the files and hence this atmosphere of non-protection is in fact eroding the efficiency of the babus which Hussain has appropriately portrayed in his book and I, being a former babu, fully endorse him.

I expect him to write a book in the same spirit, as some babus and politicians allowed our economy to slip into the present red zone.

In the end, I pray that may God give him more ability and strength to pen down many historic aspects of our country in his own unique style.