LAHORE:01July:Encounters,’ a debut collection of thematic short stories (fiction) by Akif Rashid received enormous response from literary circles here at Alhamra Adbi Bethak on Saturday evening. English Literary Society in association with Progressive Writers’ Association organised the opening ceremony of the book, which was attended by distinguished personalities from literature, film and academic circles. Dr Amra Raza, leading scholar from English department of University of Punjab, chaired the evening. While speaking about the book, Dr Amra said Akif’s collection of short stories tickles the imagination with a number of encounters seemingly random social meetings yet actually deeply personal journeys. Each culminates in an exploration of various facets of self so that facades fall away to reveal the hidden current beneath, Dr Amra said. Filmmaker Syed Noor and Shahzad Rafique graced the ceremony as chief guest. They appreciated the writer for his motivating subjects, diverse vision and elegant writing style. Other speakers including Prof Anvar ul Haq, Amjad Tufail, Atoofa Najeeb, Rubia Jilani , Raza Naeem ,Tahir bin Shahzad also praised the writer for his mature art of writing, richness of language and astute use of cultural metaphors. Author Akif Rashid enlightened the audience by reading extracts of stories from ‘Encounters’ during his concluding speech. He briefed the listeners about the topics covered in book such as love, pursuing dreams, the everyday life, religion, attachment and the regrets. He said he has tried to explore the diverse emotions based on similar ideas through different backgrounds and perspectives. While there are certain common themes across the work, the devil lies in the details. Each story explores a cityscape, local or otherwise, and the idea of meaningful encounters with the kinds of people that one can come across in their life, he added.The news.