Books with plots featuring romance and love are one of the most preferred when it comes to reading and equally favored when it comes to writing. It because of the manner in which things are narrated which brings a smile to the readers’ face and give them a relaxing and a memorable experience which makes this genre gaining so much favor. Shaheen Kazi in her book, “Age Was Just a Number” brings a book to the readers which is not just packed with romance but at the same time, it also features a variety of emotions a person has in their life which include humor, sadness and maturity. This is what makes the readers laugh and cry and also feel sad for the characters and as a result, fall in love with the book and get attached to it.
Through the character of Sameera, the author shows how on moment in life can change the entire canvas for good and how, avoiding or running away from it is impossible. The author captures more than a decade of Sameera’s life, in which the readers see her growing up from a teenage cheeky brat whose smallest acts also make the reader’s smile and laugh along and see her growing up through her lonely years into a smart, mature woman who learns things more or less, the hard way. “Age Was Just a Number” as the title suggests, is somewhere about the game of age numbers playing a havoc in the lives of the characters and how situations change, the numbers change but individuals do not. The author begins the book with a note of sadness and the readers do know already that something is not right.
Even though Sameera tells her story in a very animated and lively manner, how things fall into place and how events happen with her, the readers always feel that air of sadness as they read through the initial stages of the book. She has light hearted arguments with her mother just like any other teenager. This as a character, gives her instant life of her own. The readers more feel like actually hearing those things aloud instead of reading them in framework of the book. With this, Kazi works on several themes which develop simultaneously. These include the importance of age, purity of love, importance of family ties, friendship, making the right choices, recognizing one’s importance in the eyes of the others and many more in addition to these.
The readers agree more with what Harpreet, Sameera’s best friend says. She is like the voice of wisdom who says what the readers think. But again, Sameera is like any regular girl who does the same things that girls in that situation do. The character of James represents shrewdness combined with stupidity. He may have said a lot of things in the story, but his actions are always under the radar of suspicion of the readers. He also shows the practical side of life. He is grown up and mature but that maturity does not pay off in the decisions he makes and the manner in which he treats people. The manner in which karma gets him is something that the readers may have always wanted but could not anticipate or predict happening. The falling apart of the Rodrigues’ family shows the unpredictability of life and how things can change without any prior knowledge.
“Age was just a number” harps on the idea of the fact that it is not necessary that any particular age can define when things can happen in life. It is only the human mind that decides when they should happen, but natural designs have no such boundaries. The narrative is mainly in the hands of Sameera. She is the one who narrates her tales of fun, moments of enjoyment and times of sadness. All these things bring her much closer to the readers as a characters and they can see through her actions yet overlook them due to her genuine and sweet nature. They cry with her in her sufferings because of James, get desperate as she does, wait with her for the right time, face the same dilemma as she does, but at the same time, they cannot predict how she would handle her situation when there will a change or an unexpected entry of her old flame. Rehan is the projection of the perfect timing in life, of the fact that things happen when anyone can least expect or perhaps has no expectations at all. But as soon as he enters the narrative, the readers know that time for Sameera have changed for good. Despite this, the author does keep an element of surprise for the readers and unveils it on the exact time when it was needed. Readers who are looking for a light hearted read which has the package of romance and many other things should go for reading Shaheen Kazi’s “Age Was Just a Number”.