Sajjad Zaheer’s “Dulari” in Angaaray explores the hypocrisy of unguarded sexual desire pitted against social conventions – the story criticises the exploitative relationship of a maid servant by her master’s son. This was a common predicament of slave women in contemporary middle-class households. The preying of the vulnerable by the powerful is not merely sexual, but is essentially economic. Here, the space under scrutiny is an upper-middle class Muslim household, where the male protagonist is an educated youth who is aware of the numerous social mishaps but chooses not to protest or voice his opinions. The narrator describes him as the following –
The family is a microscopic representation of the macroscopic contemporary society. The female protagonist, the adolescent Dulari, is an orphan who works as a domestic help. The depiction of the growing sexual relationship between the two shows that female sexuality was being taken seriously by Zaheer. The author fluently depicts her consent to Kazim’s sexual advances, ‘The girl closed her eyes and gave over her body and soul to his loins’ (Zaheer 52).
Social bindings had played havoc with Dulari since birth. Even this affective relationship suffers an onslaught when Kazim is married off. Unable to take the betrayal, Dulari runs off to stay with