Review by Dr Inayatullah Faizi
Asiatic Angling Adventures, as the title reads, is a book by Fatehul Mulk Ali Nasir. Flap of the book precisely describes the narrative as ‘’a journey across Asia in search of some of the hardest fighting game fish in the world, encompassing wild life photography and a general commentary on life in the largest continent.”
As a travelogue, the volume contains useful information on the land scape, ecology, people and culture of Uzbekistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and northern areas of Pakistan.
While going through the narrative, one feels that the writer is a wrestler in aquatic ring and the stranger in the backyard lawn of his fort in Chitral was not wrong when he invited him in his typical Pashto “Raza Pahlawana Phalikhura” tr.Come on wrestler have nuts with us. Theangler in the book has many happy and unhappy adventures.
His first trip to Uzbekistan did not go well, however he made it fruitful in the second trip. The writer is in search of new species for wrestling with in each of his trips.One comes across several names of fish species such as Mahseer, (not mahasheer of Swat River). Kalabanse, mangrove Jack, feather back, barbel, Sturgeon, Arapaima, Snakehead, Trout and many more.
For me specially the landscap of Central Asia and the mention of names like Sir Darya, Charwak lake, Kyzylkumderest, Tian Shan mountain, Samarqand and Bukhara were too familiar.
The description of angling tactics and the use of different sophisticated fishing equipment gives an insight into the latest developments in the field of fishing.
While writing on his adventures, the writer does not isolate himself from his native land and family back ground. Off and on he gives space to the emerging sicio-political situation in Pakistan along with his political ambitions and aspirations.
The writer’s narrative of his latest fishing trip to Shonjo chat in Handarap Ghizer valley via Shandur Pass reminds him his father’s passion of angling in this part of the world. His stay and lunch at Yaftali house Hardchin is also in centinuation of the past legacy which he adores.
The author has dedicated the work to his father, His Highness Saiful Mullk Nasir, he last ruler (1954-69) of the former princely State of Chitral. In the foreword he has admitted that the book is neither on history nor on politics, it is rather on his two passions, angling and travel.
The volume consists of seven chapters spread over 224 pages of high quality art paper with beautiful title in hard binding covered by similarly nice flap. The book has been published by Le tropical Lahore and available on reputed books stalls across the globe.