About the Book:
Struggling artist Zaheer has always been captivated by the smiles of children. Then, one day, the afflicted children of the world begin to visit him in dreams and visions, trying to warn him about a calamity looming on the horizon. Worried that he is losing his sanity, Zaheer nevertheless tries to help them in the only way he knows: through his canvases. He is convinced that the unhappiness of these youngsters is a threat to the future of humanity. This absorbing tale of stolen smiles and the power of art is shot through with mystery and foreboding.
From the Book:
Zaheer climbs the weather-beaten steps and opens the door to his studio. The air is filled with aroma of paints, spirit, glue, canvas and wood. The room is in shambles, but for Zaheer there is a system in the disarray. To one side, agains the wall near a large windows is a cluttered work table with a lazy susan holding paints, gesso, glues and inks. Next to it is a paint-covered mug with the insignia of his old art school barely visible, into which have been thrust dozens of paint brushes of various types and sizes. Next to the mug lies a palette made of thin wood on which he arranges and mixes his pigments. Above the table is a bulletin board covered in torn green flannel. Here he has stuck photographs of his two sons and daughter, as well as a postcard of the "Mona Lisa", all secured with thumb tacks. The rest of the room is filled with a desk, shelves, chest of drawers, and stacks of finished and unfinished landscapes, still lifes, street scenes and seascapes. Different sizes of empty canvas and long narrow plans of wood litter all the surfaces and spill onto the floor. Tucked away up in a corner is a bird's nest in which, improbably, a live pigeon sits.
Title: The Smile Snatchers: A Novella
Author: Mian Raza Rabbani
Subject: Fiction, Novella
Number of Pages: 114