Item description for Train to Pakistan (Lotus Collection (Series)) by Khushwant Singh, Margaret Bourke-White & Pramod Kapoor...
This unique illustrated edition of a modern-day Indian classic includes previously unpublished pictures by internationally acclaimed photographer Margaret Bourke-White. In the summer of 1947, the frontier between India and its newly-created neighbor, Pakistan, had become a river of blood, as the post-Partition exodus across the border erupted into violent rioting. In Train to Pakistan, truth meets fiction with stunning impact, as Khushwant Singh recounts the trauma and tragedy of Partition through the stories of his charactersstories that he, his family and friends themselves experienced or saw enacted before their eyes. Sixty years later, in an age where these tensions still lie close to the surface, Bourk-Whites photographs of the Partition illustrate Khushwant Singhs prose with a stark and almost unbearably heart-rending subtext.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 8" Weight: 1.12 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2007
Publisher Roli Books
ISBN 8174364447 ISBN13 9788174364449
Availability 0 units.
More About Khushwant Singh, Margaret Bourke-White & Pramod Kapoor
Khushwant Singh is a renowned journalist, the author of several works of fiction, and an authority on Sikh history.
Reviews - What do customers think about Train to Pakistan (Lotus Collection (Series))?
Outstanding Novel Jul 11, 2008
This book gives us gripping information about what all these people went through during Partition and how a nation was torn apart. It is an important part of history that few of us knew about. Now I have found many books and films that tell the story, but this was the first one I read and it's a keeper....very well done.
A story with the backdrop of Indian partition holocast that displaced 20 million people and killed over a million Jul 9, 2007
Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan shall ever be considered one of the most significant chronicles of the horrors that accompanied the partition of India. In this spare and tight narrative, Khushwant Singh selects Mano Majra, a small village near the border, as the place where Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs come to terms with religion based division of a country. To be uprooted from one country, the country that was your home was several hundred years or more, is an extremely painful experience. Khushwant Singh choses to leave the sentimentality to the reader, and just draws a series of sketches of how the events influence his nicely crafted characters.
The characters are closest to the villagers, Policemen and Magistrates I have known in reality. The conversations, the arguments, the brotherhood that extends beyond religion in villages, and the complexity of human nature is all brought out by this pithy masterpiece nicely. Without going into the details of story or characters (which I will let you read and marvel at yourself), I can tell you that the storyline, in spite of the baggage it carries in terms of trains full of dead bodies, forms a reading full of suspense, agony, mystery and things run to a brilliant climax.
Why hasn't Khushwant Singh's novel acquired the reputation it deserves in the world literature? I think there are several reasons which primarily are related to how the novel is written. I believe Khushwant Singh could have spent a little more time and text on the history of Sikhism and Islam in India. What happened in 1947 was perhaps a consequence of accumulated hatred of centuries. What happened against the Jews in Europe wasn't the result of Hitler's personal vendetta alone, what happened in India wasn't a result of Jinnah (or you can blame Indian National Congress, if you like Jinnah) alone. We need to look at these in the light of bloodshed that had preceded these events.
Train to Pakistan presents one of the best studies (in English) of Sikhs and villagers of India. Another novel from the same time Maila Anchal (The Soiled Border) by Phanishwer Nath Renu is a complimentary study of villagers in Bihar, as these villagers witness rise of caste based politics and changes in wake of India's freedom. Since the events during partition involved a million deaths, and uncountable inhuman excesses (rapes, slashed breasts, castrations), the novel provides context for very strong emotions. In the dark dance of death and murders, there are occasional glimpses of romance, friendship and kinship.
I would urge every Indian and Pakistani to read this book. It is part of our painful heritage. The book is perhaps not as descriptive as it should be for the taste of non-Indian, non-Pakistani readers, but I am sure it presents the Indian holocaust in a very delicate, refined and understated fashion.
Exceptional ! May 13, 2007
Khushwant Singh weaves a tapestry linking stories of seemingly ordinary characters caught in a much bigger scheme of events. A masterful novel - A must read indeed.
Top example of romanticism in post-partition India May 11, 2007
Much has been written about this classic by Khushwant Singh: the social impact of partition, the moral message behind what happened, the role of religion & class in rural India, politics at the time of independence, etc. However, the most dominant theme and least spoken fact about Train to Pakistan is that it is one of the best examples of romanticism in post-partition and independent India.
Singh spends a majority of his time in the book characterizing all facets of nature that rationalization or objectivity fail to capture yet good works of romanticism transcend. Singh provides intimate descriptions of things that seem irrelevant to the story and yet constitute the story: the village, its seasons, its daily routine, social interactions, folk songs, Sikhism, and most of all detailed characterization of individuals. It is important to know that Singh does not make judgements. Those who try to infer one do so for their own closure.
Just as the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution had deep influences in the movement of romanticism in 18th century western Europe as a revolt against the social, political and economic happenings; it is natural that the events of 1947 that underline the socio-political behavior of India and Pakistan till date would result in a similar reaction in Indian literature.
Singh is a pious Sikh born in Hadali, now Pakistan. Like millions of people like him, the world rocked in the 1940's and was never the same again. The deep influences of those years have poured out with poetic charm, romantic passion, and numbing despondency. Read it ten times and you will learn as much in the tenth read as you would in the first.
A Speeding Train Mar 1, 2007
A strong, bitter, black portrayal of a week in the life of an Indian village on the Pakistan border in 1947. From the first page, the book speeds toward its dreadful conclusion with the power and momentum of the train in the title. I'm eager to read more by this author.