Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Book Review: Train to Pakistan


Train to Pakistan is a bestseller by well known author Khushwant Singh. It was written back in 1956.
This book is a fiction based on the time when India got independence along with the curse of partition. 

Even though its a fiction, it is very much inspired by reality. For a reader like me who has shallow knowledge of what had happened at that time, this book is informative too. The crude truths were never detailed out in our textbooks and we had no clue of the after effects of this political game. This book led me to think upon the unknown sacrifices that had been given willingly or unwillingly on the both the sides, before present day India and Pakistan stabilized. And how the innocent had to lose their lives in the process.

The story revolves around one of the villages called Mano Majra, near the border of India and Pakistan, and the surrounding areas. Mano Majra is a fictional village located in Punjab. Sikhs and Muslims lived peacefully and with brotherhood in the village irrespective of the ongoing riots between the two religions. This novel depicts the daily activities of the people in the said rural area.

It shows how after partition, Hindus and Muslims both faced atrocities while travelling in trains to the land they were supposed, to as per their religion. How both the sides were killed, all the passengers of trains massacred, raped, tortured. Revenge took over humanity and Kalyug had started in literal sense. But also showcases how humanity still exists, and how a robber Jugga saves the train sacrificing his own life. He does it for the sake of his lover Nooran who is on a train going to Pakistan. Humanity prevailed when morals and love inside Jugga took over his bad character and hatred for the other religion. Iqbal, who had been against the killings throughout, did not take part in stopping it when he actually should, all because of his overthinking

Overall, it is a depressing story. You may hardly find any entertainment or cheerfulness throughout. 

The characterization is perfect, the story telling is such that it feels like a movie is being played in front of you, the narration is descriptive yet concise. The dialogues are flawless. It is free of biasness towards religion (Hindu and Sikh or Muslim) and country (Hindustan or Pakistan, as they say)

There is a movie from year 1998 based on the book. I watched the movie soon after finishing the book, and again the reader in me justified being a reader! The movie misses out a lot that can be read in the book.

I rate it 3.5 on 5 and recommend it for those of my age who are untouched of the partition time tales, and are interested in fiction.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at bookreviews@mansiladha.com.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete