Shamsie, in BrokenVerses, has represented love as strength and as weakness for women. Shamsiebelieves that every women need someone’s affiliation, who satisfy her sexualdesires. In Broken Verses, Shamsierepresents two roles of love in women’s life. One, in the case of Aasmani andEd, who starts to feel a sort of attraction to each other as they enjoys eachother’s company.
Second, in the case of Samina and the poet, are involved in anunconventional relationship. They both are activist and their purposes aresame, one is targeting the politicians by writing a poems and other criticizegovernment’s acts by organizing rallies and through speeches. So theirinvolvement in unconventional love affair is obvious. The poet praises herbeauty and writes poems in which he gave her so many titles like ‘Pakistan’sGypsy Feminist’ and address her as Laila “It helped that the poems placedher on such a high pedestal that it was possible to ignore the sexualizedimagery and believe the was the possibility of ever winning the love of thisyoung, beautiful creature that fuelled the poet to write about her” (Broken Verses 88). He also states”I write Laila for you. Not the most unconventional wooing poem everwritten, but you know it meant I was going insane with missing you” (Broken Verses 114). They are working forsame causes, but their affair is not acceptable by society because she hasalready married to Akram.
These lines signifies the intimacy between these two”He step aside, and then i see you: your pregnancy still invisible toeveryone including him, but to someone who knows your body as well as I do itis instantly obvious” (Broken Verses114). On the other hand, Samina is too serious in her unconventional loveaffair that she is more loyal to the poet rather than her husband. Samina’sloyalty can be better judged by the lines “She always respected theprivacy of his work, never read anything until he asked her to” (Broken Verses 104). She sacrifices herten years old daughter and divorced her husband to be with her when hears thenew of the poet’s release from the prison and she wants to rush towards him bybreaking social barriers “you yearn for his release so you can be with him- you fear that might never happen – but then he released and further away fromyou” (Broken Verses 93). Love,in the case of Samina and the poet, serves as a strength to stand against theoppressive regime, but in the case of Aasmani and Ed, it shows the weaken sideof the women.
Ed’s character symbolically represents the patriarchal nature ofsociety. First, he manipulates the poet’s letter to keep her close, andsecondly, he is trying to take advantage of her while she discusses about thoseletters “I felt his hand brush my cheek. ‘what can I do?’ I shook my head,my eyes still closed, and I felt is breath on my mouth before her lipsfollowed. I put my arms around his neck, and for few seconds we stayed likethat, our lips resting on each other, the only movement my fingers stroking thenape of his neck” (Broken Verses129). She feels an emotional and sexual grief on her personality. She doesn’twant him to go, When he was leaving for home “Lack of insistence of hislips on mine and then I want nothing more than for Ed to stay” (Broken Verses 133).
She was disappointedwhen she discovers about Ed’s truth, which makes her strong enough to standagainst indigenous patriarchy. The purpose to love is clear in both cases. Thepoet’s love for Samina, provides strength and inspiration to fight against oppressiveregime. On the other hand, Aasmani became the victim of Ed’s plotting anddeveloped a narrative of resistance against male domination.