If there’s one defect I find in Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s massive novel, The Mirror Of Beauty, it’s that it takes up too much of my mind. I finished this 952-page, one-kg novel two days ago, and have found myself completely unable to get beyond the first paragraph of the first page of any other book since. Which is both frustrating and happy-making. The first, because while I know for a fact that I’ll re-read this book one day, that day unfortunately cannot be today, so p-l-e-a-s-e can I go on to something else? Please? And the latter because, well… I don’t often come across a book which pulls me so entirely into the world of its making that I can’t find my way out again. So when that does happen, I’m ecstatic.