Azizul Hakeem

As a literary genre, the essays generally cover a wide spectrum of issues, topics and themes, ranging from something mundane and topical to relatively serious and philosophical. Indeed, they sometimes synthesize both aspects in the same piece, e.g. in the author's essays on evening walk (Twilight Ritual) and Good Conversation. Apart from some of the common features that most personal essays share, as mentioned above, there are well-known characteristics associated with such a genre, like irony, wit, charm, a certain level of intimacy (as if talking to a close friend) that often attract the readers of such essays. It also highlights the unassumingly simple, informal tenor and approach that make it easily accessible to a wide audience without compromising the essential seriousness and the strengths, such as insights, reflections, stimulating ideas etc. For those who enjoy the personal essay, the real fascination lies in the quiet and subtle transition from the simple to the complex, from mere observation to philosophical negotiation. The modest facade conceals an underlying subtlety, as the essay often moves from casual observation to incisive evaluation of ideas, perceptions, and values in all kinds of human enterprise. Yet, at all times the essays highlight the distinctions and nuances, constantly sifting the essentials from the inessentials. It is the informal, often charming style that makes it enjoyable. The final effect is something of a highly satisfying experience. It may turn out to be a memorable encounter for the reader.