My Son the Fanatic
This short story is written by the author Hanif Kureishi.
The story starts off when the father, Parvez starts observing unusual behavior of his son Ali. Parvez is a taxi driver for twenty years and preferred to work at night.
Firstly, when Parvez saw that his son was changing in all his daily activities thought that Ali was actually growing-up from his teenage attitude and taking more responsibility. But when Ali’s friend were avoiding him and broke-up with his English girlfriend, selling off his belongings, Pravez got seriously worried about it. He also failed to hold a conversation with son about his unusual behavior.
Therefore Parvez thinks of discussing this issue with his other Punjabi taxi driver friends. At first he finds it awkward to open-up because he thinks his friends will blame him for not being a good father but later decides to speak with them and sort out the matter. Soon Parvez’s friend comes up with a conclusion, that Ali might be a drug addict. Parvez begins watching every moment Ali makes, but cannot find that anything is physically wrong with his son.
Parvez gradually realizes that Ali spends more time praying or going to the mosque. In short, he has become interested and fascinated by the religion Islam.
Parvez used to drop a prostitute home from his taxi, Bettina. She was his regular passenger and a good friend. He tried to discuss this matter with her. One evening, Bettina was sitting in Parvez's car after visiting a Client when they passed a boy on the street. Ali used a sharp tongue and concluded that it was against the rules of Islam to drink and smoke.
Pravez gets frustrated and his consuming of alcohol, Parvez ends up beating his son, to which his son’s only repose is the statement; “So who’s the fanatic now?”.
The short-story has two main characters, Parvez, the father, and Ali, the son. There is hardly any clarification of about Parvez’s wife whether she an English, or not. Bettina is an English prostitute friend. Their relationship is close, and they feel as if they can tell each other everything.
Parvez is a Punjabi immigrant from Pakistan and lives in England from last 20 years.
Ali is Parvez’s son, good-looking and resembling his father. His exact age is not determined, but he is entitled a teenager on several occasions and he did have an English girlfriend. Before his behavior changes he was a very good student and had a lot of friends. It is not made clear when or why Ali’s interest for religion occurred, but one thing is obvious: his interest for Islam, in many ways, has gone a bit too far.
At first, it is shown that the son is fanatic. Because of his extreme believes in following the rules of Islam. But later it is discovered that the father becomes extremist and violent, when he can’t control his own frustration over his son and end-up beating and hurting him.
Name: Janhavi Ghodekar.
Roll no: 14