"My son the fanatic" is short story written by Mr. Hanif Kureshi who mainly talks about his son in the entire story.
The start starts off, by talking about a man named Parvez, who is a Pakistani immigrant living in the UK. Parvez works hard as a Taxi Driver, so that he can earn money and buy all the things for his son Ali, that Parvez never got when he was young.
But one day, Parvez was worried about Ali's sudden change in behavior. Ali suddenly threw out all the things that Parvez had worked so hard to buy all those. Parvez wanted to discuss this problem with his friends but he was afraid to do so, since he always used to brag about Ali's good behavior in front of them. But Parvez just couldn't stop himself from sharing this problem and finally tells his friends about Ali's sudden change in behavior. After having a short conversation with them, his friends advise him that Ali must be addicted to drugs.
Parvez tell about this to his friend Bettina who is a prostitute. Parvez had saved her from one of her violent clients and since then they have been good friends. Bettina advises him to check if there are any physical changes in Ali, like his eyes will be bloodshot red etc. This may help to identify if Ali was actually doing drugs. After that Parvez keeps a close eye on Ali, but finds absolutely no changes in him. The only one change Parvez could notice was that Ali had started growing a beard and also started says the Namaz, 5 times a day.
Parvez later takes his son out to a restaurant for dinner. Parvez wanted to discuss about this change in behavior with Ali and sort things out. Parvez orders a drink and pork to eat, but Parvez ends up arguing a lot with Ali and finally over drinks due to his frustration. Ali criticizes Parvez's way of life and believes his father is "too implicated in western civilization" and that Parvez has broken many rules of the Quran by eating pork and consuming alcohol. Ali also tell Parvez that he was gonna give up his studies as he thinks, "Western Education cultivates an anti-religious attitude".
After this event, Parvez completely feels that Ali's was now out of his hands and he has lost his son. Frustrated, he feels like kicking out Ali from the house. But Bettina tries to change his mindset. Bettina tells Parvez to understand what exactly is in Ali's mind. The very next days Parvez tries to explain to his son what his ideas and attitudes towards life are. But Ali was all mad on Parvez for not following the rules of the Quran and living the Islam way of life.
A couple of days later, when Parvez was driving along with Bettina, they spotted Ali's walking on the road. After Bettina forces Parvez, he requests Ali to come in and sit. Bettina tries to explain Ali on how much Parvez loves him, but Ali's in turn insults Bettina. Offended, she leaves the car, while it is still in motions.
Parvez returns home and consumes a lot of alcohol, since he was very angry with Ali after what he does to Bettina. After some time he goes to Ali's room and beats him up, but Ali just doesn't retaliate. When Parvez slows downs, Ali's asks him "Who is the fanatic now?!"
My point of view on this
I think Ali is the fanatic, since all Parvez wanted is to see Ali's living a normal life. But since Ali suddenly turns over religious, there may have been a possibility that he must have come under the influence of some form of a religious terrorists organization or something like it. Parvez was also worried about Ali talking about Zihad and Islam domination of the world. These kind of things will scare the hell out of any father. Also Parvez tries his best to talk to Ali on this, but he just wasn't ready to listen. Its clearly seen how Ali was the fanatic in the story.
- Rahul Sharma
Roll no. 34