Thursday, July 7, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 6

A Book that made me sad

I've read quite a few depressing books but being the sort of person I am, I tend to forget things I don't like/ things that disturb me. (Actually, I tend to forget things. But, here, this applies better. :P) However, Partition literature (and I've read a lot of it) has always stayed with me. I talk about Indian partition lit, not Irish, German or Palestinian. And I think that is because I can relate to it and I know people who have gone through it all. So, it was very difficult to choose which one of all the Partition lit books I've read should I put up here. The two works I was the most confused with are The Ice Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa and short stories by Saddat Hasan Manto, particularly, Thanda Ghosht. So, finally I picked The Ice-Candy Man simply coz it's a book whereas Thanda Ghosht is a short story. And yes, I know it's a very lame way of choosing but that's the best I could do.

It was also made into the very nice film-1947: Earth.
The Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa: It depicts the horrible times of Partition but at the same time it's a bit aloof since it's narrated by a child from a community who was never affected by the Partition. However, I think it is that aloofness that gives the book it's impact. Here are these horrible things happening to people, committed by their own friends and neighbours and all these people feel nothing! "Until yesterday, we were the best of the friends but today, you are nothing more than a Hindu/ a Muslim to me. I am going to kill you mostly because I fear if I don't do it first, then you'll kill me. And while I am at it anyway, let me find some of the most gruesome ways to kill you coz if not, the other people from the community will mock me for being a sissy. So, I'll kill you even if it kills me inside." And the best thing about the book is that it's narrated by an 8-year old girl. Her innocence really puts into perspective the pointless violence of the Partition.

I know it's depressing and I cried through most of the book but at the same time, I would really recommend everyone to read it coz it's so beautiful!

*Picture courtesy Google Pictures

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