Kites shall hover, kites and vultures shall continue to hover for long…
Like the receding tide of the sea, the tide of the riots had subsided, leavingKites shall hover, kites and vultures shall continue to hover for long…
Like the receding tide of the sea, the tide of the riots had subsided, leaving behind all kinds of litter and junk and garbage.
The above two quotes from the book summarise the before and after of the book clearly. Bhisham Sahni a master story teller sketches the darkness of partition through Tamas. This is not one story but multiple entwined stories creating a sequence of events building the partition saga.
Bhisham Sahni and his true landscape description of the society, gives us another piece of excellent writing. His keen sense of finding a story in theBhisham Sahni and his true landscape description of the society, gives us another piece of excellent writing. His keen sense of finding a story in the obvious reminds me of the serials Hum Log and Nukkad from the 80s. On a daily basis we see our housemaids working, but what we fail to observe is the complexity of their lives. Whether her parents love her, whether her husbands wants and treasures her, how does she live, does she have a roof on her head, how she manages her ends in a city where you yourself struggle to meet your needs. Basanti is story of such a girl who over the course of the book goes through all her struggles and grows into a woman. How she emerges from her Bollywood dream of ‘love around the trees’ and ‘Sukhi Sansar’ and finds peace in her destiny. The writing is simple and lucid yet gives you a strong image of the life across the road in that slum, you consider a menace to the society. ...more
For any constant reader, sometimes one finds authors who are only one book wonders leaving us wanting for more and sometimes one stumbles on authors wFor any constant reader, sometimes one finds authors who are only one book wonders leaving us wanting for more and sometimes one stumbles on authors which make us glad and even more glad knowing they have a great collection to read from. As my reading progresses, and I venture into new genres, explore new writers and discover new themes I not only widen my choices but also deepen the chosen.
This is what I felt when I read Bhisham Sahni adding to my favourite league of legendry Indian short story writers – Prem Chand, Saddat Hassan Manto & Ismat Chugtai. All these authors beautifully write about the issues plaguing our society in the 19th and 20th century – the gender bias, child marriage, religious politics, changing family values, social barriers and evolving traditions and values. Barring Premchand the other three authors were greatly impacted by the dark times of partition living in undivided India at the time of Independence. In many of their stories they capture the pre and post independence era bringing forth the beautiful and ugly side of relationships and religions. How the partition and religious fervour created distrust against the same people with whom, they grew up, studied or lived their entire lives. A man caught up in religious hate and group mentality can do such selfish and mean acts which even he feels ashamed to acknowledge or accept later.
A common man struggling with daily issues of money, social status, family, relatives, ethics, self-respect and moral choices. Each story touching the cords of your heart in a way that you feel that you have lived through them or probably even living through them. He forms a warm emotional connect with the reader through his stories about changing patterns of Indian society & family life, crumbling structures of joint family and emerging trends of independent and modern nuclear families. A lot of his stories are on older people reminiscing their younger days of glory and freedom being a burden on younger generation during their older days. How the same parents who give birth, take care and provide for us become a burden on the children with age. A man while watching his old and sick mother and her friend talk about their fun filled younger days, feels like two teenage girls are chit chatting. An age old powerful bureaucratic man lives a lonely and empty retired life, a woman lives like furniture in her son’s home still finding little joys in his happiness. Bhisham creates a satire on the changing Indian victim amidst the pre-historic legal system where a man looses and later finds his prized new scooter, but stays stuck in the maze of Indian judiciary tamasha even after the scooter passes its age and time.
Bhisham’s stories based on common world and common people but so unique in their own way. Definitely add him to your list of authors its worth a read any day. ...more
Ismat Chughtai.. one of the contemporaries of Manto.. so that brings in a comparison.. but i would not do that.. even though her being a known and conIsmat Chughtai.. one of the contemporaries of Manto.. so that brings in a comparison.. but i would not do that.. even though her being a known and contemporary of Manto makes her very special for me..
So for Ismat her short stories, inspired by the partition saga, the hindu-muslim divide, the common women, family life and relationships of Indian Muslim women of 19th century - they all warm your heart. She writes simple stories with simple characters from everyday life happening in our neigborhood, something we keep hearing from people.. but each of them has a very strong message and strong characters.. holding the spirit of the story beautifully.
Her story Lihaaf got her bad name for writing vulgar literature and also accused in teh court of law.. well for a woman of 1950s this can be quiet serious branding her wrong for all her life.. but i like her courage and her spirit writing what she wanted to not killing a story or creativity on the altar of moral police..
Reading her in Hindi was difficult because a lot of Urdu words were used which do not make sense to me but it was an experience as it is very close to her original writing. So read it for this generation of writers from the partition era...
The entire journey of 300 pages was just awesome.. the story, the characters, the magic, the twists & turns, the plot.. making my imagination as lThe entire journey of 300 pages was just awesome.. the story, the characters, the magic, the twists & turns, the plot.. making my imagination as lush & green as rains turn the 'Konkan region'..
Unlike a magic or fantasy book it does not have a super hero or magical stuff giving super powers.. its about how cleverly & ethically the Aiyaars use their tricks to investigate the truth, spy to end animosity between kings and finish wars without a single shot fired... It gives you a feeling of ‘Lord of the Rings’ kind of an epic faring better in lot of ways but lacking mainly because its written in a regional language, infact not even polished Hindi but the local Hindi dialect of UP & Bihar.
The stories are set in a typical lower middle class society of an Indian village. Daily struggles of people with poverty The Seventh Steed of the Sun
The stories are set in a typical lower middle class society of an Indian village. Daily struggles of people with poverty and societal norms with its roots in a worldly struggles of capitalism vs socialism. The stories are as colloquial as you would have heard in your society or community. Girl likes neighbour boy, big dowry demands, parental pressure, young girl married to rich old man, million rituals for bearing son as a hire – even now if you open a newspaper these themes will be underlying the news. So what makes this book special…
Very rarely we come across a book which has strong social message imbibed in human drama. A strong narrator and a very keen audience can bring such depth to a story that it turns into a classic. Most of you would have heard of it as a film by Shyam Benegal. I had been wanting to read this book since I saw the film about 15 years back. And nothing can beat the power of the book, the language, the story telling technique, the characters, the title, the humour, the plot, are all makings of a masterpiece. Dharamvir Bharati is definitely an author who gives Hindi literature a proud name. You can feel that the Hindi language is giving more power to the story and the characters.
I had seen ‘Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda’ long back and since then I had become the fan of the movie and then its creator ‘Shyam Benegal’. But the real thingI had seen ‘Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda’ long back and since then I had become the fan of the movie and then its creator ‘Shyam Benegal’. But the real thing which made me like this movie was its story.. so grounded with small town realities and people, with no heroes or heroines but characters living normal lives with complications of life, love and livelihood. So I started searching the person behind the story and knowing it was ‘Dharamvir Bharati’ I wanted to read his book. He has been a popular Hindi author with a lot of acclaim and credit to his name. His books have not been translated into English and even though it would have been it would have missed essence of small village India and their simple dialects and daily conversations.
So after my considerable search I found his one book ‘Gunahon Ka Devta’ in the book shop outside Prithvi Theatre in Bombay. Weird isn’t it, out of all the places..