The partition of India in 1947, which gave birth to Pakistan, left hundreds of thousands with dislocated homes. The borders might have been drawn between the two countries but what could not be separated are the tales of pain, agony and bereavement that the people went through during partition. A latest book “Bridge Across The River” brings alive those heart-wrenching moments through an honest and bold narration.
Authors like Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Khushwant Singh, Amrita Pritam and others have written many books on partition. But this anthology brings some lesser known yet powerful stories which not only explore the human tragedy but also the memory, healing and friendship.
The book, edited by Jasbir Jain and Tripti Jain and published by Niyogi Books (pages 202; price Rs 395), comprises of 16 short stories written by authors like Keki Daruwala, Kulwant Singh Virk, Gulzar Singh Sandhu, Surjit Sarna, Ahmed Salim and Tahira Iqbal.
“The partition narrative is a complex web of political and religious discourse overlaid with diverse emotional experiences and responses. The literature it has generated also reflects these complexities and is an interplay of history and memory,” says the book.
This collection seeks to debate issues and throw light on discourses other than those of violence and darkness, working with a chronology, located in time. The narratives unfold expectation, hope and harmony, violence, gender issues and questions of guilt and reflection. As the stories trace the shifts in emotions and focus on individual wills, the undercurrents of cultural oneness form a counter-discourse.