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Hassan Rauf

Hassan Rauf

Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistani writer, founder of T.P.S.G and The Rapport (Literary platform and magazine). Six publications with over 10,000 strong following on various platforms. Devoted father and an engineer by profession.

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About the author

On the surface, Hassan Rauf is an accomplished civil engineer with vast experience in the field of concrete technology and construction. In addition to co-founding his own company (www.rockstone.pk), Hassan led and expanded it into a well-recognized manufacturer and supplier of concrete products all over Pakistan. He has managed over 30, small to medium projects and over 2 large projects since 2013. He also worked as a free-lance consultant for projects involving concrete mix design, placing methodologies, and project-specific concrete requirements since 2017. With strong technical knowledge and progressive experience, he continues to successfully deliver projects and creates innovation in the world of concrete.

Hassan was born on 6th November 1990, in Pakistan and grew up in an upper-middle-class family by local standards. Throughout his years of education, he was well decorated academically. Despite living in a country with an unstable socio-political environment, Hassan developed into a well-qualified professional. This very same environment however triggered an inquisition within him from a very young age. He often came across situations and circumstances that one might not consider “normal”. Soon he began to notice and understand the systematically implemented devices in the local society, which in his opinion contributed adversely to both the personal growth of the people and the collective growth of the nation especially by stripping people of empathy and hindering self-development. It was not until Hassan went through a life-changing debacle triggered by one of these devices that he turned towards writing. He decided to dedicate himself to creating awareness in his generation and he chose the pen to do so.

Hassan describes his journey in the following words, "There are many horrors in this world, but I believe that there is nothing more dreadful than the human mind. There are many reasons for me to believe this, and it is because of all these reasons I write. Like concrete, which slowly gathers strength as it hardens and cures; I have become stronger through my experiences and life lessons as well. With all that I have learned, I remember who I was before it all happened. A pleasant simple guy. I have always felt that the written word is perhaps the most effective way of expression. The thought to start inspirational writing came after a life-changing debacle. I found writing to be cathartic and decided to start writing about self-love, loss, and recovery to give hope and provide emotional support to people who are or have gone through emotional difficulties in their lives. This gave me a purpose and soon I found myself writing handwritten poems, passages, and stories. From all this, I found that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword and the response to the handwritten poems and passages further motivated me to write a book about life lessons."

Hassan founded a platform in 2018 (www.thepleasantsimpleguy.com) to gather like-minded writers and artists to produce content to inspire self-development and promote empathy in his generation. The website features the writings and art from various writers and an exclusive literary magazine called “The Rapport”. The magazine is a collection of literary works and art carefully selected through submissions made by writers and artists all over Pakistan. Young writers and artists are encouraged to produce content about self-development and empathy. Today, the website is a well-connected, free platform that vests writers and artists with passion. The platform has a strong social media presence with around 6000 followers on Instagram alone and 6 successful magazine launches to date.
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The Child in the Mirror

A father introduces himself to his daughter who he could never meet through a haphazard arrangement of his lost memories as he tries to remember them by looking at his reflection in a mirror

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Biography & Memoir
55,000 words
100% complete
3 publishers interested

Synopsis

An old man sits in his garden with an antique mirror. He enjoys the scenery and tries to remind himself of his past by looking at his reflection in the mirror. His reflection seems to change into his younger self as memories come back to his forgetful mind. The old man is anxious yet excited to relive his memories. He is looking for one particular memory though. Eventually, he completely drowns in his thoughts and his experiences are narrated to him. As he goes through a haphazard picture of his past, he recalls his thoughts and beliefs which slowly evolved as he experienced more of life. He rediscovers himself and how he had developed into a profound man. The old man goes through memories that link his personality and character with various events of his life and the people who helped create those events. He reminisces his relationship with his parents and his siblings and feels a mixture of regret and joy. The old man recollects a series of blurred flashes at first which bring his early childhood memories to life. His early source of inspiration; his relationship with his parents, is revealed and its evolution throughout his life is explained as he recalls more memories. He sees his mother and his father through the eyes of the child he once used to be and he experiences the early events of his life that laid the foundations of his personality.

As his mind and thoughts become more coherent, he remembers his brother who was always his partner in crime in imaginary adventures which they would share. He goes through the events that shaped his relationship with his brother and also had an impact on his character and personality at large. These memories are then followed by a recollection of events he experienced with his younger sister. He remembers how they helped shape each other significantly throughout their young years. The old man then finds himself indulging in the memories that remind him of his elder sister, who had always been there for him. He contemplates about her role in teaching him basic morality and about how things changed once she left after her marriage. All these memories remind him of his life lessons, which are narrated for the old man’s daughter to help her understand her father and learn from his life.

He then reintroduces himself to concepts like death and love. He relives the last days of his grandparents lives and articulates the changes their passing brought in his life. He goes through the tragedy of losing his first love again, but finds solace in the positive impact it had had on him. He realizes his life grew rather ironic after struggling to build a perfect future for himself and his first love while going through the changes set in motion by the mid-life crises in his father’s life. The writer then narrates the role of other people and events in the old man’s life as the related memories resurface in the old man’s mind. As he progresses through time, he manages to recognize the point in his life after which nothing was ever the same again for him.

Eventually, when his mind is restored, the old man remembers the developments that led to the focal point of his past; his failed marriage. He struggles with the difficult memories until he recalls the day his daughter was born. At this point, he tries to justify the reason behind his inability to meet his daughter using all the memories he had just recalled. The emotional dilemma meets his rationale as his feelings are narrated. As his memories become exceedingly overwhelming, the old man puts the mirror down. He starts losing his thoughts at once and not wanting to recall them again so soon, he leaves his garden. A final surprise character is revealed at the very end establishing that the old man’s story is not yet finished.
All the events that he collects in his mind present his story, character, personality and his beliefs for his daughter, so he may introduce himself to her someday through the book. The deliberate haphazard arrangement of memories reflects his state of mind. The book is also meant to serve as an introduction to an absent father for other children and also a consolation for fathers in similar circumstances as the writer.

Sales arguments

  • Founder of literary website: www.thepleasantsimpleguy.com which has a large following (about 10,000 followers)
  • Successfully publishing a literary magazine since 2019 including the latest issue in collaboration with he British Council. The magazine has 2500+ confirmed sold copies per issue
  • Instagram wih 6000 followers and well known local recognition in literary events
  • Well-established professional with a network of 1000+ on linked in alone, not to mention real-life contacts
  • Book has been hyped since time of its conception in 2019 and has marvelous potential among followers

Similar titles

  • Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward - Discusses the challenge of loss, especially from the perspective of a specific ethnic group/society. The Child in the Mirror discuss a similar challenge with a different perspective.
  • The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon - A non-conventional memoir, much like The Child in the Mirror which talks about the cultural difference and how western culture is often frowned upon in the ease yet many aspects of it helps younger people grow differently.
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron - Talks about a failing marriage, which is also a major turning point of The Child in the Mirror which connects the idea of arranged marriages in the writer's culture to the success/failure of the same.

Audience

All men and women from in their twenties (20-19) and people who fall outside this age bracket but want a fresh perspective towards life. People who are interested in reading about cultural challenges faced by Pakistan's younger generation.

3 publishers interested Express interest
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PROLOGUE

It is dismal yet quite laughable that as we grow older, our memories slowly fade into nothing. I'm not talking about the significant events of one's life and related memories. I'm talking about small, everyday memories. Those little things we do and experience from childhood till we pass onto the next realm. These everyday experiences eventually shape and define one's existence. They create the person you become. That is why, they matter and that is exactly why it saddens me greatly that most of these memories are forgotten either naturally or because we don’t make an effort to remember them. We continue to plow through time, looking for new experiences and slowly piling them all up within ourselves, only to forget how it felt to have had them. This is what makes all this laughable. The things we do every day seem not to have mattered at all in the end. The few significant events and achievements are what we are all remembered by.

He sat back on his chair staring at the words he just wrote. The sunlight pierced through the window just above the desk where he sat. The merry light was shining against the old wooden surface exposing the aging texture. Old notebooks were piled up on the desk against the wall just below the window. A noticeable layer of dust covered them except the ones on the far right, they had a stack of papers on them instead. A small decorative paperweight shaped like a flower made of concrete was keeping these papers in place. A cup was placed near the edge of the desk with pens and pencils untidily stored in it. After reading the words, he raised the pencil against his chin and glanced outside the window. The trees right outside the window were trying to catch the sunlight. The overgrown grass beneath them was moving gently against the light breeze. This sight always took him back to his childhood. He had stood in the very places where the trees stood tall now and planted them with his hands. It seemed like just yesterday when all that mattered to him was taking care of these very trees and watching them grow.

He put the pencil down and placed the piece of paper he just wrote on, under a concrete flower, on top of all the other papers. He looked at the time and shrugged before getting up from his chair. He moved as fast as his old limbs would carry him. A strange urgency overtook him and with an almost cheerful excitement, he opened the drawer in his old wooden nightstand. The wood, much like the desk, was showing its age and the drawer creaked gently. He quickly pulled out something wrapped in pieces of faded cloth. Without closing the drawer behind him, he grabbed his walking stick from beside his desk and headed for the main door. His footsteps were quick and he hummed merrily as he walked outside. The gentle wind greeted him and he felt it caress his wrinkly skin. His already disheveled silvery gray hair moved softly in the wind. He stood for a second, taking in the fresh air, and then started walking briskly towards the trees. They were three in total, spaced about fifteen feet from each other. The thick trunks and the vast spread of their branches resembled a canopy on pillars. He always felt safe under these oak trees, which were almost as old as him now. There was a small bench placed against the trunk of the tree in the middle, facing away from his house. He sat down and took a deep breath calmly and stared at the unending sky above him through the broad leaves. It was dusk and the sun was going down. He always believed that dusk resembled the very nature of our existence; the light fades quickly, a brief scene of the beautiful sinking sun, the flash of the red sky, and then darkness. He noticed the houses below starting to light up. The streets also lit up as darkness fell. The house was built on the very edge of the town, upon a hill with few other houses and from where he sat, he could see the whole town below and the whole universe above. The latter was lit up with countless stars which he often tried to count in vain. He smiled at the lights above and below and then unwrapped the faded cloth to reveal an old mirror. Much like everything else he owned, the frame around the mirror was made of wood that showed clear signs of age. It was carved with circular patterns forming small flowers. The frame itself was also circular with a pointed edge on the top and the bottom. The mirror inside, despite being old was pristine. It shone in the moonlight and reflected the light on his old face. He held up the mirror and looked at himself. An old man he had become. His face was wrinkled, much more around the eyes. He stared quietly at his broken smile until he felt a strange energy in his bones. He kept looking in the mirror anxiously until a young boy looked back at him. Eventually, the dusk vanished into the night and the old man was starting to feel cold. Patches of clouds were covering up the stars above and mist began to blur out the lights below. The leaves of the trees around him began rustling softly as if singing to the rhythm of the wind. He huddled within himself, crossing his arms listening to the leaves. The night was ringing with the music of nature and he found peace in that. He let his back rest against the bench and stared at one of the lights below. It was a street lamp, flickering without any rhythm. Thoughts began to speak in his mind.


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