The Return 9 Reviews

By: Zuhaib Shaikh

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Price: 600 PKR (For Pakistan)
Price: 250 INR (For India) 


Bound by an insufferable childhood, the siblings reunite on the cusp of a haunting choice. While pain and tears have softened her, they have turned him raw and cold. As they unfurl the dots and connect them with their searing past, catastrophe lurks in the fields of darkness where the harvest is always tantamount to what was sown.

“How is it that one river of spilled blood is so insignificant while the other is so revered, so holy? What makes the shed blood innocent, who decides on the holiness, those who mourn or those who pull the trigger?”

On the other side of town, a school bell goes off....

ISBN (Digital) 978-969-696-059-1
Total Pages 35
Language English
Estimated Reading Time 30 mins
Genre Drama
Published By Daastan
Published On 02 Sep 2018
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Zuhaib Shaikh

Zuhaib Shaikh

Zuhaib Shaikh takes refuge in words and, upon emerging to the surface, tells stories through micropoetry, haiku, short stories, theater, stand-up comedy, screenwriting and a novel which has been in progress for a number of years now. When he is not writing, he is a teacher and a coach, a dreamer and a pariah. Connect with him at:


Dec 11, 2018

The story is beautifully written, well crafted and well planned. The ending brought tears to my eyes. Reading this brought me inspiration and motivation to write.

Tahniat Saba


Nov 27, 2017

A devastatingly beautiful story- the theme accurately touches that sense of having being failed by family, by the society and finally by fate as well. Author depicts the harsh reality of what happens when individuality & innocence are not nurtured.
The story opens with a gloomy setting and escalates to a tragic one; as a reader our emotions are in a turmoil as severe reality of war torn village/tribal areas hammers our hearts but at the conclusion the author does gifts us (readers) the 'laughter of children'. That laughter is both a catharsis and a lesson; it gives hope to readers and makes it clear how important it is to see suffering of others and become a sheltering tree for them. Our society needs that now more than it had ever before.

The time of plot is based upon a single evening and during that the past and present of two estranged siblings is depicted. A brother who's already broken comes for shelter to his sister who's almost broken.

Coming towards the stylistic view of it then vocabulary and sentence structure is good. However there aren't much symbols or allusions; probably there wasn't a need for them as the strength of the plot spoke for itself. The plot and theme is the dominating factor of the story and language is assisting them.

Considering that its a short story then everything is perfectly measured in its development- the plot theme characterisation & language, every factor compliments eachother. Secondly its well according to the defined requirements of the competition which it deservedly won.

The author has a good understanding of the complexities of war effected areas which as a reader reminded me of Jamil Ahmed while the depiction of harsh reality reminds of Musharraf Ali Farooqi.

Do read it folks!

Feb 22, 2017

Excellent read

Feb 06, 2017

The ending was climactic!

Jan 16, 2017

An excellent game of words, The Return had me gripped till its shock-filled end—indeed a relatable and thought-provoking read.

Jan 14, 2017

Arooha Arif


Jan 12, 2017

A wonderful read. Looking forward to read more of your work.

Rimsha Qazi


Jan 11, 2017

if this is not the story of the year, I don't know what is!

Arham Bhaiji


Jan 10, 2017

Loved it! Had me hooked right to the end.

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