Life lessons from a rural babu

February 5, 2023

Asad Ali Jappa’s latest book aims at offering paths to success and prompting reflection

Life lessons from a rural babu


sad Tahir Jappa recently launched his latest book, Dehati Babu, a collection of 72 essays on topics ranging from religion and cultural behaviour to economy, current events, and foreign affairs. Despite the subjects being well-covered in the print media, these essays bring a sense of freshness and novelty to the discussions.

Jappa’s writing style is unique and captivating. The book is filled with life lessons from a rural babu who has dedicated his life to rural civilisation and culture. A particularly noteworthy essay is Qarz Chaar Phoolon Ka, in which the author emphasises the importance of honouring one’s parents and the idea that one day our children will seek our forgiveness.

The book portrays the beauty of rural life in a compelling manner, almost making the urban reader regret not being born in a village. Acknowledging the lack of basic amenities and cleanliness, the book highlights the truth and honesty prevalent in rural areas, which it claims is hard to find in city life. The book is structured as a collection of short stories with titles like Maan Boli ki Moat, Zindgi say Dartay Hoe, Farishton say Barh Kar hai Insan Banna, Jaltay Chanaar and Dhund ka Raaj. Each title adds a distinct flavour to the story it represents.

Born in Chiniot, Asad Tahir Jappa started as a lecturer in English literature. He later became an inspector of police after passing the Provincial Public Service Commission exam. He then went on to pass the Federal Public Service Commission examination and become an assistant commissioner in the Income Tax Department.

He is currently serving a commissioner at the Federal Board of Revenue. He is also a columnist for an English and an Urdu newspaper. In addition, he is widely recognised as a motivational speaker. Dehati Babu has gained popularity due to Jappa’s dedication to his work as an author, who showcases his village, professional expertise, TV appearances and personal life in his writings.

The book is garnering praise from people in various fields. Jappa himself is an inspiration for the younger generation, providing direction and positive energy.

The author retains memories of his village childhood. He recalls walking to school early in the morning, carrying a sack of manure and a plastic sheet. The joyous memory of his early academic success still resonates with him. During a class, he recalls, he had impressed his teacher by spelling three Urdu words correctly. He was promptly promoted to first grade as a reward.

Jappa’s writing style is unique and captivating, filled with life lessons from a rural babu who has dedicated his life to rural civilisation and culture.

He recalls the 14-kilometre daily trek to the middle school and back. Jappa remains connected to his hometown, its folk wisdom and roots, never letting his character or relationships be impacted. He remembers the nights of his youth, listening to the sounds of tractor-played tape recordings of Mansoor Malangi, Talib Hussain and other folk musicians. It is clear that Asad Tahir Jappa has never let go of his connection to his roots as a village boy.

In his article One More Chance, the villager offers inspiration for those intimidated by life’s challenges. By sharing the story of an American, he writes, “When faced with a dead-end of failures, disappointments, worries and problems, instead of surrendering and lamenting, attempt to discover a new version of yourself.” He encourages readers to take a chance, as this may transform their destiny.

The book also features an article, Dharti kay Baitay, in which he describes trees as the offspring of the earth. Strong trees equate to a strong earth. Their leaves, fruits, and role in attracting clouds maintains its fertility. Jappa writes, “The example of these trees is given by people who are useful to others”.

In another essay, titled La Nabi Baadi, Jappa writes about the end of the prophethood with the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

In The Housewife, he sheds light on a housewife’s daily duties and responsibilities. He advises against belittling the housewife’s work and encourages the abandonment of the condescending attitude expressed in questions like “What do you do all day?”

In another article Jappa suggests that government officials should utilise mosques to solve public issues. Written in elegant Urdu prose the article captivates readers with its compelling message.

The book Dehati Babu offers new perspectives and paths to success and prompts reflection. Not only is the book aesthetically pleasing, it also holds valuable insights. The proceeds from the book will be used to educate deserving children.

Dehati Babu

Author: Asad Tahir Jappa

Pages: 366, Paperback

Price: Rs 1,495

The reviewer is a government educator and freelance columnist based in Gujranwala. He teaches English language and linguistics. He has an MPhil in English literature from the University of the Punjab. He can be reached at

Life lessons from a rural babu