Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Train to Pakistan By Khushwant Singh

Category: Fiction

Author: Khushwant Singh

Publisher: Roli Books

Price: Rs. 495

Year: First written, 1956,this publication, 2006

Tomorrow India celebrates 60 years of Independence from British colonial rule, Happy Independence Day,India!!! To commemorate the occasion I thought I would share with you a book that I always make time to read around this time of year. It is titled, "Train to Pakistan" and is written by veteran Indian journalist and author, Khushwant Singh. This book is one of my favorites because it describes simply, yet effectively, the price paid, in terms of lost lives, loss of property, displacement etc., the price India paid for its independence.

Having only just returned from vacation I haven't been able to write my own thoughts on Khushwant Singh's "Train To Pakistan", so I share with you what the New York Times had to say:

"Just days before the official birth of independent India and Pakistan in August 1947, Khushwant Singh, a lawyer then practicing in the High Court in Lahore, drove alone across what would soon become a bloody frontier and arrived here at his family’s summer cottage in the foothills of the Himalayas. From here, along nearly 200 miles of eerily vacant road, he would drive on to Delhi and, on its outskirts, encounter a jeep full of armed Sikhs, who would boast of having slain a village full of Muslims. In the face of such ghastly swagger, Mr. Singh, also a Sikh, would realize that he would never return home to Lahore, for what he had just heard was a chilling echo of what he had heard on the other side of the soon-to-be border, except that there Sikhs and Hindus were the victims. That solitary drive would also give shape to “Train to Pakistan,” Mr. Singh’s slim, seminal 1956 novel whose opening paragraphs contain one of its most unsettling lines: “The fact is, both sides killed.” An estimated one million people were killed during the partition, and more than 10 million fled their homes: Hindus and Sikhs pouring into India, Muslims heading in the other direction, to Pakistan. The novel tells the story of an uneventful border village that gets swept up in that violent storm. Now, in a new edition of the novel, in New Delhi has paired his story with 66 unflinching black-and-white photographs of the Partition era, some never before published, by the American photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. This new incarnation of “Train to Pakistan,” has given the book what its author happily calls “a new lease on life.” It has also given Mr. Singh, who at 91 has borne witness to several rounds of carnage in his country, an occasion once again to warn against forgetfulness. “The wounds of partition have healed,” he likes to say as often as he can. “The poison is still in our system.”

To read further please go here

Over 10 million people were uprooted from their homeland and traveled on foot, bullock carts and trains to their promised new home.

The massive exchange of population that took place in the summer of 1947 was unprecedented. It left behind a trail of death and destruction. The Indian map was slashed to make way for a new country - Pakistan.

An aged and abandoned Muslim couple and their grand children sitting by the the roadside on this arduous journey. "The old man is dying of exhaustion. The caravan has gone on," wrote Bourke-White.

With the tragic legacy of an uncertain future, a young refugee sits on the walls of Purana Qila, transformed into a vast refugee camp in Delhi.

(All pictures are by Margaret Bourke-White and have been used in the Roli edition of "Train to Pakistan")

For more information on the Partition of India and India's subsequent independence do check out the Guardian's interactive feature on the Partition of India, 1947

Some more recommended reading and viewing:
(feel free to contribute your favorites)

Freedom at Midnight by Dominique La Pierre and Larry Collins (thanks, Sanjay) (NF)

What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin (F)

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (thanks, A Reader) (F)

Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan (thanks, A Reader) (F)

The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan (NF)

Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa (Thanks, Jennie) (F)

The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India
by Urvashi Butalia (NF)

Sunlight on a Broken Column
by Attia Hossain (F)

Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur (F)

Filming by Tabish Khair (F) (Thanks, Niranjana)

Can You Hear The Nightbird Call? by Anita Rau Badami (F) (Thanks, Niranjana)


Deepa Mehta's "Earth"
(highly recommended)

Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi"

Hindi movie Pinjar

By, Ken Mc Mullen
78 min.
Based on Urdu writer's Saadat Hussan Manto's story about the partition of India and Pakistan. McMullen's film focuses on the historical footnote that inmates of lunatic asylums, like prisoners were transferred to Pakistan and Hindu and Sikh lunatics in Pakistan asylums were sent to India. McMullen and co-writer Tariq Ali's adaptation is ambitious; the asylum becomes a reverse mirror for the seeming order of the political order, and the same actors, for emphasis play both the lunatics and the rulers.

More Reading on India:

"Inspite of the Gods" by Edward Luce (thanks, Madhu)

India After Gandhi by Ramachandran Guha (thanks, Madhu)

Also some words of thanks:

Please check out Jyoti's photo journal for her amazing pictures.


Radha said...

Hi...Welcome back Lotus. Hope you had a great holiday. Love the new banner at the top of your blog (will check out Jyoti's photos journal for sure)
And wish you a happy independence day as well. How did you manage to get hold of those partition pics? They are so very tragic; and bring back the painful moments from the history of the country!!

karmic said...

Hiya Lotus!!! Welcome back, its good to see you. Hope you had a great vacation?

I have to say I absolutely love your new blog look (it grows on me the more I look at it). Your choice of colors is really great and it fits perfectly with the lovely Lotus picture. And thank you for acknowledgment, am happy to help in any way that I can. :-)

I am so glad to see this engrossing post from you about the history around India's Independence and the tragedy of the partition. I loved reading it!

I read "Train to Pakistan" in my teens and remember being very moved by it. The NYT rightly calls it a seminal piece of work. Although it was so long ago it makes me want to get the new edition. The pictures by Margaret Bourke-White are just so very touching.

“The wounds of partition have healed,” he likes to say as often as he can. “The poison is still in our system.” How true!!!

That Guardian feature was amazing, and isn't it interesting how the BBC, The Times, NPR are all doing programs on India and Pakistan's independence?

Thank you for telling us about the book by Shawna Singh Baldwin, I will have to check it out. I am also going to re-read "Freedom at Midnight" and watch Earth sometime.

Another interesting book (that I have not read) but read about is Indian Summer by Alex von Tunzelmann. It offers a different perspective than one that most of us have read about regarding the events and the personalities that played a role in the partition.
I hope I manage to read it.

Thank you so much for a very informative post, it helped me revisit the history of India's independence.

tanabata said...

Welcome back from your holiday. I love your new banner picture! :)
I have What the Body Remembers in my TBR pile somewhere. Someday I'll read it, I promise. And I recently got the DVD of Earth after hearing you mention it previously, but I haven't watched it yet.
Time flies and I never seem to get to even half of what I'd like to!

Radha said...

Hey, btw, I was so excited, I was dying to tell you about this once you return from your holiday...Thrity Umrigar visited my blog and has responded on a lot of our comments on Khayyam... :))

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! This sounds like a fascinating book, and I LOVE your new banner photo!

Lotus Reads said...

@Radha ~ hi and thank you for the welcome back wishes! The pictures are included in the "Roli" edition of "Train to Pakistan" and are also available at various sites on the net. I took most of mine (and the captions) from the BBC. Yes, the pictures are distressing, aren't they? My father is a midnight's child and he traveled those trains as a baby with his grandparents from Lahore to Dehradun.

Thrity Umrigar left a message on your blog? Lucky you! She's a brilliant writer and you will enjoy "If Today Be Sweet", I know I did!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

Thank you for the welcome back wishes, as nice as vacations are, it's always great to be back! :)

So glad you're enjoying the blog's new look and thank you for all the help rendered in making these changes.

I think the new edition of "Train to Pakistan" makes a worthwhile addition to any bookshelf, I would recommend purchasing a copy, it is so worth it! And thank you for the "Indian Summer" recommendation. Funnily enough, *M* asked me about it yesterday and if I was going to get myself a copy. I am very tempted to, I think I am going to order it. Will let you know, OK?

Would love to re-read "Freedom At Midnight" sometime, I remember my hair standing on end when I read all those years ago.

Yes, the media is all abuzz with programs on India and Pakistan and rightly so for it's a very exciting time on the sub-continent.

Thanks for your comment Sanjay and have a lovely Aug 15th!

Lotus Reads said...

@Nat ~ Hello and thank you for welcoming me back!

I know what you mean...there is so much to read and watch but so little time. I used to think audio books were the answer, but sadly that isn't the case because although they render your hands free they still require your concentration.

I'm glad you got the DVD of "Earth". I so hope you like it, Nat. I call it my father's story because, as I was explaining to Radha, he was born around the time of the Partition and had to leave on a train bound for India from Pakistan because his family was Hindu.

Thank you for visiting, always nice to see you here!

@Heather ~ Hello! Oh, I so hope you can get your hands on this book. The one I read is an Indian publication but who knows, it might be available on Amazon, I haven't checked. So glad you like the new banner...when I saw the picture Jyoti took I knew I had to have that lotus flower for my blog with the same name! :)

karmic said...

Hi again Lotus. :) Thank you for your repsonse and it was a pleasure to help with the blog.

I will be looking to get a copy of "Train to Pakistan" and "Freedom at mindnight" soon. How interesting that *M* mentioned "Indian Summer", I think the book is drawing good reviews, if you do get it, I would love to hear your take on it.

Hope you have a lovely Aug 15th too!

Asha said...

Love the Lotus on your blog header, mine was made by other blogger friend too!:))
I do have that book in my Amazon list .Earth and Gandhi ,I own the DVDs,love them!!
Good to see you back,how was your trip? Happy 60th I day!

jenclair said...

Glad to see you're back and hope you had a wonderful vacation. Thanks for the links and the excerpt from the NYTimes. Will add Earth to my Netflix que and look for Train to Pakistan.

Beenzzz said...

Hi Lotus,
Welcome back! I hope your vacation was a good one.

I need to read this book. I will track down and add to my reading list!!! I saw the movie "Earth," and would highly recomment it as well. It was very heart wrenching and I could only imagine that this book is much the same. It's amazing what mankind will do to each other, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Happy Independence Day, Lotus! How was your vacation?

I found 'Train to Pakistan' very moving and disturbing. Have been planning to check out both 'Freedon at Midnight' and 'What the Body remembers' for sometime now.

Some books on Indian Independence that immediately come to mind are 'Midnight's Children' by Salman Rushdie, 'Pinjar' by Amrita Pritam (I haven't read the book, the movie was excellent) and 'Waiting for the Mahatma' by R K Narayan. William Dalymple's 'City of Djinns' has some insightful and touching chapters on partition and life after partition.

PS: Your blog's new look is cool!

Parth said...

I have seen the movie, though I haven't read the novel itself. On the topic of partition, the TV series Tamas still remains my favorite. Also, Freedom at Midnight is an excellent read.

Lotus Reads said...

@Sanjay ~ I'll let you know about "Indian Summer" as soon as I read it, I promise!

@Asha ~ Thank you sweet lady! Gandhi and "Earth" are movies you will watch over and over. I don't have a huge DVD collection, but I would definitely want both those movies to be a part of mine.

@Jenclair ~ Thank you for the visit! I know you will like "Earth". Let me know when you get a chance to view it.

@beenzzz ~ I had a wonderful vacation, thank you for asking! I will do a post on Poland and Auschwitz after I get all my photos sorted out. Yes, I remember you were very moved by the movie "Earth". Perhaps I should mention that "Earth" was based on Bapsi Sidhwa's book titled "Cracking India" which I am told is an excellent read. Thank you for the visit beenzzz!

Lotus Reads said...

@A Reader~ It was a wonderful vacation, albeit short, thanks for asking! Thank you for your book recommendations, Reader. I haven't read "Midnight's Children" yet (shame on me). I really should and soon. I haven't read "Waiting for the Mahatma" either, so I am furiously adding these books to my TBR list! I have "City of Djinns" on my bookshelf here and have read it in parts but I missed the chapters on the Partition..I will go look at them now, thank you so much!

@Parth ~ Haven't heard of "Tamas", perhaps it was on TV after I left India? Will search for more info on it. Thanks for dropping by Parth.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in reading this book. I've not heard of it before, but it sounds like it might be insightful about why India and Pakistan are the way it is today. As usual, you've lead me in a different and new reading direction. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

When I've read about 60th anniversary of India's Independence you were one of my first associations so I came here to check are you still on vacation.
Welcome back and thanks for another great recommendation :)

Cheers! (and congratulations I guess :))

Sai said...

I read Khushwant Singh's book years ago and was moved to tears by it. I have also read Freedom at Midnight years ago. I have also seen "Pinjar" which is based on Amrita Pritam's book and Urmilla Matondkar was really good in it and totally loved Deepa Mehta's Earth, where my fav Aamir Khan and Nandita Das have essayed the roles so beautifully

Anonymous said...

Hi Lotus,
Happy Independence Day!!!

Thanks for the acknowledgement ... I think sanjay has done a fantastic job......I love the colors and format here ...

Keep up your excellent work with writing ...

The way has India progressed, especially these days is spectacular. The Chicago Tribune has given a very laudatory editorial ... Even in UK the Telegraph has taken out a fantastic account of the progress in India.

We should not evaluate our performance by what an American or a Brit says ... But it sure does feel good ... India has emerged as a superpower to reckon with ... althoough much still need to be done ...

Anonymous said...

Lotus, welcome back to a happy Independence day. Great makeover too! lovely post. am in my last few pages of Midnight's Children. :)

Destitute Rebel said...

What a fitting post for the independence day, the cost paid for independece i think was too high, and the cost both nations are paying to maintain an environment favourable for politicians in both countries are high too. Hope things get better. Happy independence day.

Lotus Reads said...

@Ally Bean ~ Thank you and the pleasure's all mine! Glad you could visit.

@Milan ~ Thank you! Yes, this is a very exciting time for India...I cannot wait to see its transformation over the next few years!

@Sai ~ Those are my favorite books and movies too. I have also read about Ken McMullen's 1987 film "Partition" based on a short story by Urdu writer Saadat Hussan Manto.It is about a lunatic asylum and what happens when the time comes to decide whether the asylum should go to India or Pakistan. Guess the objective of the movie is to show there was more madness going on outside of the asylum than in the asylum itself. Having seen McMullen's work I know this will be a good movie to watch!

Lotus Reads said...

@Jyoti ~ Thank you to you for letting us use your beautiful lotus image! I really love your photos and the captions and commentary that accompany most of them. You do such a great job with your photo gallery.

Yes, India has been in the media a lot, so much so that I haven't been able to keep up!

I have been listening to the NPR podcasts and the BBC India-Pak programs. I will have to play catch-up with the print media later. Thank you for the heads-up on the Chicago Tribune and the UK Telegraph and thank you for the visit too!

Lotus Reads said...

@Nocturne ~ Thank you so much! I hope you will put your thoughts and impressions on "Midnight's Children" on your blog? I haven't read it yet, so I truly look forward to reading what you have to say. Glad you like my blog's new frock! :)

@DR ~ Yes, isn't it funny how not too many people will admit to the fact that the cost of independence was so high? Also, having just returned from Auschwitz, I have to ask myself, what have our two nations, India and Pakistan, done to honor and remember the victims of the Partition? Nothing, zilch, nada. Every year we celebrate Independence Day, but do we remember the victims? This is why I had to do this post. I am so glad you appreciated it.

karmic said...

Lotus, I also meant to say that the way you decided to use your independence day post to commemorate the tremendous cost of partition and the lives lost is very thoughful and different.

You highlighted something people should not forget as they celebrate India's ascendancy (using some benchmarks). I do agree that this is an exciting time from India but India is also going to bear immense costs due to climate change and reports from NPR/BBC all point to how unprepared India is.

Sorry don't mean to be a wet blanket and go off topic.

I had never realized there was no memorial to those victims, you make such an important point. Interesting that we commemorate those who fought for the nation but not the innocent victims from the time of it's birth. Is it because they are reminders of a shameful episode from the past? Are they percieved as shackles like those from its colonial past?

Lotus Reads said...

Thank you so much Sanjay!

To the best of my knowledge there is no memorial to the innocent victims of the Partition, but I so hope I am wrong. Not sure why there isn't, is it because the respective governments think of it (the Partition) in a very matter-of-fact way? In other words, that was the fair and realistic price to pay for Independence? I guess life has always been cheap on the sub-continent. Look at my family, we travel all the way to Poland to pay homage to the victims of Auschwitz when genocide happened in our own backyard! But where do we go to honor the victims of the Partition? I like your point about having memorials to soldiers but nothing else. We are a strange nation for sure.

You are also right about India having to bear immense costs due to climate change, the country is so unprepared it's scary.

Sorry for the rant!

J said...

Wow...this looks to be an amazing and very sad book. One that I wish I had read in college...but who has time to read what they want to read in college? ;)

I'll pick it up now, though. So tragic.

I loved (and hated) Earth. Devistating.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the book list. I've always wanted to read about India and Pakistan but never know where to start.

Olivia said...

Oh yes, it was Independence Day but I had no local reminders! The town I live in has a very high percentage of residents of Indian extraction. Unlike with most ethnic celebrations here, there were no revelers or fireworks. (Any excuse for fireworks, you see.)

Olivia said...

By the way, for some reason my comment on your Poland post is lost. I really should check before closing the window...

Tara said...

Lotus, welcome back! I love the new header photograph. This books sounds fascinating and important. I'm going to make a note of it. Thank you for constantly broadening my horizons with your book suggestions and reviews.

Jennie said...

I'm glad so many people are recommending Earth. I haven't seen it, but I loved Cracking India. (Actually, I loved it so much I'm afraid to watch the movie!)

Thanks for the great post Lotus! I checked out Train to Pakistan today and will read it over the weekend.

Booklogged said...

You always write such great reviews and you book choices are always so interesting. I appreciate all that you have taught me about a country which I didn't know very much. It's sad that other people feel the need to dominate over others. Also, that there is war, death, disease, etc. Freedom is worth the price of sacrifice, but I wish it didn't require so much. I'm glad India is free from English rule today and I hope they (or any of us) forget the price.

Booklogged said...

I meant to comment on your sweetness. Those little pictures with your personalized thank-yous are such a clever way to express your gratitude.
You make me smile.

Lotus Reads said...

@J ~ Hi! I think the one on Amazon is a different edition and does not have the pictures, still all the pictures are available on the net so you can look at them as you read. It is a sad read but an important one.

@Matt ~ You're welcome! I will keep adding to the list so feel free to keep checking.

@Olivia ~ Hello!!! Glad you're back. I checked your blog several times before I left for Poland but didn't see any updates. Yes, the expat Indian community tends to celebrate Republic Day (Jan 26) more than Independence Day, not sure why that is!?!

Lotus Reads said...

@Tara ~ Thank you, I'm so glad you like it, it was time my blog had a new dress! :) About the book suggestions, you are so welcome, thank you for always stopping to read my posts, I so appreciate it.

@Jennie ~ You're welcome and thank you for mentioning reading "Cracking India", I should add that to my list of books to read on the Partition. About "Train to Pakistan", like I was saying to J, Amazon has a different edition from the one I read. I hope you don't find the novel too distressing.

Lotus Reads said...

@booklogged ~ Thank you for your kind words, I am so happy you find my book suggestions useful. I have taken countless wonderful recommendations from your blog as well. I think we're so fortunate to have such a vibrant and wonderful book community here in the blogosphere.

Glad you liked the cartoon images...I saw that on someone's blog, but for the life of me, I can't remember whose blog it was!

Happy to have you back home booklogged!

Praveen Krishnan said...


One of the best books by Khushwant Singh!!! The ending is superb :-) This is one of my fav blogs...have always been a hidden reader without posting comments:-)

Id it is said...

I haven't read this one. The only one I've read of his is the one about Delhi. Other than the deft handling of the prostitute metaphor, that novel was quite a let down. However, he's a very articulate speaker; I had the occasion to listen to him speak; he has a great knack of being able to think on his feet.

pippala leaf said...

Welcome back. I like your new banner and blog format.

I recommend two more books related to India:

(1) India after Gandhi : the history of the world's largest democracy by Ramachandra Guha.

(2) In spite of the gods : the strange rise of modern India by Edward Luce.

Both authors did excellent job. Without resorting to usual hype we see in the world media the second book gives a realistic, unbiased and balanced account of the current India with all its problems and potential. Author's narrative style makes it more interesting to read. Those who enjoy Maximun City would enjoy this book too.

Sugarlips said...

Welcome back Lotus :)
Love your new template :)

I've read "Train to Pakistan" couple of years back, found it very moving and disturbing. I've also read Cracking India and Midnight's Children. Pinjar and Earth both were great movies, very powerful and poignant.

Stay Beautiful...!!

Lisa Johnson said...

Welcome back! I hope you had a great vacation.

This was such a moving post. Those stark black and white pictues seem to intensify the emotion and made the pain real. That must have been such a horrible and scary time. It reminds us of the struggle and pain that go with independence. It's not easily obtained.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lotus: Thanks for this book suggestion. I read it and greatly enjoyed it some years ago. I must read it again, and soon. I also enjoed his Delhi, and that too, many years ago.
Your blog looks even more pleasing now.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Anjali: I do hope you had a good vacation. What a wonderful post. I have long wanted to read "Train to Pakistan" I really must try to get my own copy."D" read it a while back and just was floored by it. Said it gave him lots to think about.I have the book, "Freedom at Midnight" (One of "D" favorites) must put that on my TBR teetering pile. (Peony is next up).

I love the new look, you did a great job.


J said...

Hi Lotus! You've a pretty new header :) I didn't really connect with the partition till I heard about it and the struggle to begin life all over again from my FIL. Gandhi and Earth are some good movies I've seen.

Lotus Reads said...

@Praveen ~ So glad you visited and thank you for leaving me such a nice comment. I haven't "seen" you in ages it seems, I'm glad to know you're still reading this blog. Thank you!

@Id ~ Welcome back from your trip! Goa is fabulous...which are your favorite beaches? My dad was transferred there from '74-'78 and we loved Anjuna, it was so deserted back then.

About Khushwant Singh, wonderful that you had the opportunity to listen to him speak. He is in his '90's now and still writes op-eds and reviews books. I wouldn't mind growing old like that!

@Madhu (Pippala Leaf) ~ Thank you so much for your book suggestions. I learned so much from Edward Luce's book although I wouldn't paint Sonia Gandhi as benevolently as he has done. Actually, I was trying to compile a list of books dealing with the Partition as a theme. The Guha book is also making waves...I haven't read the book yet, but I have read a lot of op-eds by the author and he seems to know his stuff. So glad you were able to stop by...I appreciate it!

Lotus Reads said...

@Sugarlips ~ Thank you, I really like the new template too! :) I haven't read "Midnight's Children" yet, but gathering from what people say about the book, I have a treat in store for me.

@Anali ~ Thank you for stopping by. The previous editions of the book did not have these pictures. I found that the pictures made the story even more moving, distressing even, but that's the point, isn't it? We have to be able to feeeeel what those poor people went through...being forcibly displaced from their homes and then slaughtered. And what was their crime? They just happened to belong to the "wrong" side of the border.

@Shashikiran ~ Yes "Train to Pakistan" is a good book to re-read. Glad you like the new look!

@Sylvia ~ Hello!!! Hope you manage to the get the "Roli" edition of this book, not sure why Amazon is not carrying it. Time for India to get it's own Amazon maybe! :) I read 'Freedom at Midnight' a long while ago and am due for a re-read, maybe next year. Thank you for stopping by!

@Jyothsna ~ This year the midnight's children turn 60, in another 20 years or so we may not have too many people alive that can actually bear witness to the atrocities that were carried on after the Partition. Scary thought no?

Anonymous said...

Tamas by Bhisham Sahni, also a television series. I saw it back when I was in high school in India, and it has stayed with me all these years--so much so that I'm afraid to revisit it, for it might not match up to my memories of the piece.

And yes, do add Filming to your list! Also, how about Anita Rau Badami's latest, Can You Hear the Nightbird Call, for a Canadian angle on the subject? And finally, Manto's short stories--absolutely searing.

gs said...

hi lotus.
welcome back.hope you had a wonderful vacation.we missed you very much and were eagerly awaiting your return.
lotus is what lotus does.your header is just terrific and truly represents your special personality.

Lotus Reads said...

@Niranjana ~ I'm definitely going to add "Filming" to the list and congrats, it was lovely to see your review at the Asian Review of Books. I love the site and I often go there for book recommendations. I don't remember "Tamas" which is very strange because I watched a lot of TV in High School. I wonder if I can get it on DVD? Anita Rau Badami is also a great suggestion and yes, one of Manto's stories was made into a film titled "Partition" which I am told is an excellent movie.

Keep up the good reviewing Niranjana and thank you for the suggestions!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, gs!

Thank you so much for your warm comment, I am so fortunate to have such great blogger friends, thank you!


Anonymous said...

I haven't been to the site for a while (I usually just use Google Reader), and I love the new look!

Train to Pakistan sounds really interesting. I'm also excited to see What the Body Remembers on your list of recommendations, since it's one of my favourite books.

ML said...

Lotus, welcome home! Great review and I DO want to read this book!

ML said...

Love the new banner, by the way :)

Happy Reader said...

Lotus, Welcome back! I love the new look of your blog :) Great review (& pics) as always... I really want to read this book now

diyadear said...

hi lotus, hope u had a gr8 vacation... yeah khuswant singh was familiar to me rt from school days as we had some of his work to study in our english literetaure.. will read this one too:)

Pointblank said...

I'm glad I found ur blog. I can use this as a reference. Do u mind if I add you to my list.

Lotus Reads said...

@poodlerat ~ Yeah, I was coming in search of you, I have missed you! "What the Body Remembers" definitely falls in my top-10 list of favorite books by Indian authors, it is a book I would recommend that everyone read.

@ml ~ Thank you! I wasn't away very long, but it does feel good to be back! :)

@happy reader ~ It is a must-read. I hope you can get the Roli edition. Thank you so much for the welcome back!

@diya ~ Lucky you, I never got to study any of KS's work...how I wish I had, the man's brilliant!

@pointblank ~ It would be an honor, thank you very much!

starry said...

Hi! Lotus..love the pic on your header , will have to check out Jyothi's blog.Happy belated independance day to you.

Jennie said...


I noticed that Amazon.com started carrying the Roli edition! But it'll still take 4-6 weeks to ship.

I read Train to Pakistan over the weekend and loved it. I couldn't put it down. I didn't find it as disturbing as Cracking India, but I don't know if that's because Cracking... was my first exposure to the horrors of partition, or if it was because of the more immediate first-person narrative.

I'll probably post my review later this week. Thanks for the great recommendation.

Olivia said...

Is that you on the right sidebar? Dare I ask how many books, or even bookcases, you have?

Parth said...

Yes, Tamas was on TV. I wonder if someone bothered to upload the shows online or whether they are available on DVD. It'd be great if they are.

Anonymous said...

I grew up reading Train to Pakistan. I still feel that numb feeling when I think of it.

Together with Pinjar, it speaks out the pathos of partition.

I think we should read and learn from our History. But we seldom do. Pity!

Mellowdrama said...

I LOVE the train to Pakistan, also add I SHall Hear the Nightingale (Singh) and my personal favourite Bhisam Sahini's TAMAS. If you follow Hindi, you might remember the serial - it almost does justice to the book.

rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.