Stories of bankers and Pakistan have been imprinted onto public consciousness by recent events. This translation from Urdu of Zarguzisht offers a unique humorous perspective on both bankers and Pakistan. Zarguzisht is the memoirs of Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s early years in banking, and life in Pakistan, and is a bestseller in Pakistan. Like “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortensen, the cultural and social settings are in Pakistan, but from a different viewpoint, in the cosmopolitan city of Karachi in the early 1950’s, soon after Pakistan became independent from the British Raj. The setting includes a British General Manager of the bank who interviews and hires an ex-Indian Civil Service emigrant as a trainee banker. The book takes the Western reader on a humorous adventure in a parallel world in the society and culture of Pakistan and India, a world that is both very similar and very different, a world that is converging, or some may say, colliding, with the West. In addition to Indophiles and those who have traveled to India and Pakistan, the book could be of interest to those who seek both humor and a broader understanding of the diversity of that region and its people. Western readers may find it rewarding to cross cultural boundaries to read subtly satirical humorous accounts of job interviews, training, poets, actresses, theater, bureaucrats, businessmen, bankers, embezzlements, office politics and romance, cocktail parties, British expatriates, American foreign aid, Western diplomats, bringing up a family, and living from pay check to pay check.
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