Every time I am watching an episode of Sherlock, I hear my parents say, “Beta Imran Series mein ye scene pehle bhi ho chuka hai. Anytime I am watching a sci-fi flick my mothers goes, “this is something right out of Imran Series”. My parents have been yapping about this Urdu spy novels called “Imran Series” that they are apparently big fans of. They’re such big fans that my father gave my mother the whole novel set of “Imran Series” as a birthday present. And she loved it. Apparently, my parents aren’t the only fans of this Pakistani version of Sherlock Holmes. So, I finally decided to find out what all the hype was about. Turns out, Imran Series is pretty neat actually. Way ahead of its time. In fact I believe that Netflix should buy the rights and start a television show on it.
This Pakistani Urdu Language book series was wildly popular in the 50’s and 60’s and the hero in the series bears a striking resemblance to Sherlock Holmes
Called the “Imran Series”, this book series is apparently one of the best selling spy novel series in the 1950’s-60’s and is written by Ibn e Safi.
The titular character is Ali Imran who gets a kick out of solving cases. Imran isn’t in it for the glory. He actually does it all, for the love of it. Kinda like Benedict Cumberbatch’s rendition of Sherlock in the television series of the same name. Much like Sherlock, he’s eccentric as hell and isn’t distracted by worldly desires. Like for instance the guy is handsome and charming and the ladies love him. But he’s the least bit interested in women and the luxuries of life, in front of his work. Once again just like Sherlock.
Initially Imran solves cases for his friend Fayaz who’s part of the secret service
While Imran is passionate about this line of work, his dad, Mr. Rahman, is completely against it. And guess what? Mr. Rahman here is actually the Chief of the Secret Society that Imran is also involved in for work.
Much to Mr. Rahman’s dismay Imran is appointed as an ‘officer on special duties’ at the Secret Society. Mr. Rahman can’t do anything about it since the Ministry Of Internal Affairs has recommended Imran.
The detective’s character is very relatable to passionate young people who are trying to “do something on their own”
Imran goes against his dad’s advice to follow his passion. He’s constantly at odds with his mother who is very religious and conservative, and is against her son’s lifestyle.
The title character, Imran, is a multi-layered complex character. Also, he’s a constant disappointment to his family because he keeps various public personas, that aren’t exactly respectful, to solve cases.
Later in the book series there’s a Pakistani version of Justice League that is assembled, too
Imran’s team includes Juliana Fitzwater, Safdar Saeed, Tanveer Ashraf, Khawar, Chauhan, Nomani, Siddeeque, Zafer ul Mulk, Jameson, and Nimi. Each of them brings something new to the table. Their leader is X2 which is Imran but no one actually knows that. They all assume that Imran is an underachieving member of the team due to his goofy outlook but secretly he’s actually their sleuth leader.
Give some of the books a read and let us know what you think.
Cover image via: shortlist.com