Author: Reena Nanda
Year of Publication: 2018
The stories of partition have come to me in the form of ‘kissey-kahaniya’ by elderly people in the family, who had their ties and associations, and now are only a memory which brings tears in their eyes.
The Indian independence and subsequent separation of a common land through borders resulted more in breaking beautiful bonds, than making two separate countries.
The book From Quetta to Delhi: A Partition Story is another gem in partition literature. It focuses in its writing on elements which are long gone and forgotton but still bring back an emotional touch when recalled and visualised. The story is heavy on emotion. As a reader, one has to pause and imbibe before moving on to the next scene.
The writing is extremely cinematic, so the entire experience becomes grand. Quetta is actually ‘Kota’. One even forgets, on which side of the border is the story developing.
The relationships, practices, beliefs, supersitions, abuses are all so interlinked and similar. The context of lives of the people shakens up when they can’t place what has happened where. So does that of the reader.
The novel is running in a third person narrative, which makes you feel like a little kid narrating what he has heard from his/her elders.
Author has cleverly and beautifully immersed colloquial terms and their translations so that any reader who is unaware of these terminologies, also gets acquainted with the whole setting.
Lalaji is my favourite all throughout as he is a man of feminist ideology in a rooted patriarchal setting. Every character has been distincly developed.
Read the book and avail the experience that it is.