{Audiobooks} Cracking IndiaAuthor Bapsi Sidhwa – Bilb-weil.de

ThePartition of India is the backdrop for this powerful novel, narrated by a precocious child who describes the brutal transition with chilling veracity Young Lenny Sethi is kept out of school because she suffers from polio She spends her days with Ayah, her beautiful nanny, visiting with the large group of admirers that Ayah draws It is in the company of these working class characters that Lenny learns about religious differences, religious intolerance, and the blossoming genocidal strife on the eve of Partition As she matures, Lenny begins to identify the differences between the Hindus, Moslems, and Sikhs engaging in political arguments all around her Lenny enjoys a happy, privileged life in Lahore, but the kidnapping of her beloved Ayah signals a dramatic change Soon Lenny s world erupts in religious, ethnic, and racial violence By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, the domestic drama serves as a microcosm for a profound political upheaval


10 thoughts on “Cracking India

  1. Seanna Seanna says:

    I d never have read this book if it wasn t for what this idiot did it was a book in the local high school s IB International Baccalaureate curriculum One of the mothers decided it was pornographic and demanded the school remove it from their curriculum So, being the Indian Porn aficionado that I am is there such a thing There must be , I trotted off immediately to the local porn purveyor and picked up a copy Then I read it, waiting for th I d never have read this book if it wasn t for what this idiot did it was a book in the local high school s IB International Baccalaureate curriculum One of the mothers decided it was pornographic and demanded the school remove it from their curriculum So, being the Indian Porn aficionado that I am is there such a thing There must be , I trotted off immediately to the local porn purveyor and picked up a copy Then I read it, waiting for the porn to happen It never did Instead, I was treated to an education on the partitioning of India as I traveled through the pages of a truly top notch story Highly recommended Unless you are looking for Indian Pornography


  2. W W says:

    Also published as Cracking India,this powerful,raw and haunting book is Bapsi Sidhwa s masterpiece.I was born decades after Partition,but just reading about the slaughter taking place at the time is blood curdling Bapsi Sidhwa is herself a Parsi,so her account is fairly neutral.She was a young girl herself at the time,living in Lahore.Likewise,the narrator is a young Parsi girl Lennie.She is polio stricken like Sidhwa herself was.The most powerful part of the book deals with the killing spree t Also published as Cracking India,this powerful,raw and haunting book is Bapsi Sidhwa s masterpiece.I was born decades after Partition,but just reading about the slaughter taking place at the time is blood curdling Bapsi Sidhwa is herself a Parsi,so her account is fairly neutral.She was a young girl herself at the time,living in Lahore.Likewise,the narrator is a young Parsi girl Lennie.She is polio stricken like Sidhwa herself was.The most powerful part of the book deals with the killing spree that went on at the time,as Hindus,Muslims and Sikhs slaughtered each other as the British finally prepared to leave India at the end of World War II.Mobs were on the rampage,innumerable killings were taking place,women were being raped,entire neighbourhoods were being destroyed and a mass exodus of refugees was underway in either direction.Many of them would not make it to the other side.Sidhwa masterfully depicts the chaos.She also narrates the story of a boy whose entire family was slaughtered in cold blood.As for Ice Candy Man himself and his wickedness,I didn t like the character.This part of the story didn t interest me much.The book works far better as a depiction of the broad sweep of events.It was interesting to find that this book has even been taught in schools in the US,and that a petition was made to ban it for pornographic content.That s rather amusing,Sidhwa does not shy away from bawdy humour and rather graphic situations.But how many books are banned because of that The book was also adapted as a film in India,Earth.Out of curiosity,I m watching it.From what I ve seen so far,there is no comparison with the book.Bollywood superstar Amir Khan plays Ice Candy Man,and looks thoroughly odious.Sidhwa has written other books,but those are just not comparable


  3. Anum S. Anum S. says:

    There is much disturbing talk India is going to be broken Can one break a country And what happens if they break it where our house is I ask Cousin Rubbish, he says, no one s going to break India It s not made of glass Cracking India also known as Ice Candy Man is one of those novels that 16 year old Anuminterested in North American YA not that there s anything wrong with reading a particular genre as long as one matures enough to eventually give other genres and nationalities There is much disturbing talk India is going to be broken Can one break a country And what happens if they break it where our house is I ask Cousin Rubbish, he says, no one s going to break India It s not made of glass Cracking India also known as Ice Candy Man is one of those novels that 16 year old Anuminterested in North American YA not that there s anything wrong with reading a particular genre as long as one matures enough to eventually give other genres and nationalities a chance would never have liked But 24 year old Anum can very clearly appreciate the importance of reading any and all fiction related to the 1947 partition an event so shocking and traumatic that its repercussions still resonate in the here and now in both Pakistan and India and of course Kashmir, but that is a topic for another day.For those of you who don t exactly know what the partition was so basically most people who aren t Pakistani or Indian if you are either of these two, feel free to skip this whole paragraph , the summary goes before 1947 there was one huge land area called the Indian subcontinent, ruled by these group of power hungry, eventually decadent rulers called the Mughal Emperors think Taj Mahal, Akbar the Great, all those cool architectural wonders in India , who then lost power to the British colonial powers, who went around wrecking all kinds of havoc on the land, eventually causing the people in the area to want to kick the British people out demand for self independence, right to rule, lots of other important historical stuff that really isinteresting than our history books make them sound But before the British could be kicked out, a decision had to be made about who was going to rule the area upon their leaving, and this led to major conflicts between the Muslims and Hindus in the subcontinent not the only religious parties in the area but certainly those in the majority who both had different ideas about what should happen Long story very very short, in 1947 when the British eventually left, the whole area was divided into two one piece was called India, and was considered the land of the Hindus although of course other minorities continue to exist there, and the state is actually secular again, a topic for another day and a completely new state called Pakistan was created supposedly a land for Muslims but of course any well read human being will tell you that the rampant violation of human rights makes it something else entirely.Impromptu history lesson aside, this book is about partition, written from the point of view of a young Parsee girl Zoroastrian for you, in case you didn t know Think The Diary of Anne Frank, except this is fiction and the setting is another major historical event involving lots of death and conflict and at the same time emergence of adulthood and the pains of growing up.Lenny, our protagonist, suffers from polio Pakistan is one of the two countries where children still suffer from Poliomyelitis literally the rest of the world has managed to eradicate it , a disease which affects young children and causes muscle weakness and in some cases paralysis Taken care of by her Ayah, a beautiful young Hindu girl, we follow Lenny s story through the events leading up to 1947 and afterwards, and even though I ve spent literally my whole life reading dreary, boring historical texts about the partition, there s something else entirely about reading how individuals got affected by the crushing brutality of those days The radio announces through the crackling There have been reports of trouble in Gurdaspur The situation is reported to be under control Which means there is uncontrollable butchering going on in Gurdaspur, Ayah, Lenny s vivacious and responsible caretaker who is adored by her huge group of admirers, is the main proponent of our story, but there are enough side characters to retain our interest Lenny, with her crippled leg, isinterested in retaining her abnormal foot, because she believes it helps her live a lifepampered than other people Her doctor certainly encourages the notion by telling Lenny s parents not to strain Lenny with studies and exams, to not pressure her nerves by sending her to school, to basically let Lenny live wild and free What will happen once the cast comes off What if my foot emerges immaculate, fault free Will I have to behave like other children, slogging for my share of love and other handouts Aren t I too old to learn to throw tantrums or hold my breath and have a fit While other children have to clamour and jump around to earn their candy I merely sit or stand, wearing my patient, butter wouldn t melt expressionand displaying my callipers and I am showered with candy.Right alongside Lenny s growth from an innocent, pampered five year old to her teen years is the story of the partition and of how the changing times enter Lenny s household as well Her Ayah, who acts as a sort of beacon for men of all religions because of her beauty and sexuality, is always surrounded by Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, all of them intent on engaging in discussions not only about politics but about what to eat that day and where they want to meet up mundane things, silly things amongst all the serious, charged atmosphere This, I found truly intriguing All these people belonging to different faiths sit down regularly and have frank, if sometimes bitter, but mostly honest conversations about what the political climate is like, and how it affects them In the current times we live in, I honestly can t imagine sitting down with a Christian or a Hindu belonging to my country and having an open conversation about the treatment of religious minorities over here, or what the politics of the country are doing to the religious atmosphereFunny things are happening inside the old cityStabbingsEither the police can t do anything or they don t want to A body was stuffed into a manhole in my localityIt was discovered this morning because of the smell a young, good looking man One thing that manages to help balance the viciousness of the story s darker side is Lenny s own life and the characters that fill her surroundings Her loving, stern mother and her quiet father, her younger brother and her cousin, the neighbours and the tenants, the chef and gardener and guard, all of these have a life of their own and dot Lenny s life with what some might term as irrelevant rambling, but I thought were necessary for one to be able to breathe amongst all the other moments of sadness Still, the majority of our story, being that it is situated in such a volatile period of history, comes back again and again to its main, central plot point that of the partition itself I become aware of religious differences.It is sudden One day everybody is themselves and the next day they are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian People shrink, dwindling into symbols Ayah is no longer just my all encompassing Ayah she is also a token A Hindu.But even though this story tackles such a sensitive topic, about a period of history riddled with so much violence and destruction, it s still quite funny Weird, but true Blatant humour, subtle jesting, even moments of outright hilarity occur here and there, lending a lighter touch to the otherwise horrifying repetitions of rape, death and kidnapping that dot the narrativeIf we must pack off, let s go to London at least We are the English king s subjects aren t we So, we are English And of course, it was inevitable that familiar names names I ve seen regularly in textbooks and figures I ve seen famous pictures of would eventually crop up, because what is a discussion about the 1947 partition without Jinnah the Pakistani leader or Gandhi the Indian one But the fascinating thing this story does is that it plants these figures in that time very solidly, like figurines coming to life out of history books Suddenly the actions of Nehru and Gandhi and Jinnah and Lord Wavell and Mountbatten, people who existed too long away for me to really care about, suddenly seem muchsignificant, carrying so muchweightWhat s it to us if Jinnah, Nehru and Patel fight They are not fighting our fight, says Ayah, lightly That may be true, but they are stirring up trouble for us all But the book makes it clear that for most of the characters, the machinations and manipulations of the leaders feel like they re far away from their own lives Only a few raise their heads up and face the fact that the effects of dealings at a government level are spilling over into the streets, but the idea that politics happen at a distance from the civilians, who love all their neighbours equally irrespective of religion, is part of an overall theme that s repeated againOur villages come from the same racial stock Muslim or Sikh, we are basically Jats We are brothers How can we fight each other And againSo what if you re a Sikh I m first a friend to my friendsAnd an enemy to their enemiesAnd then a Mussulman God and the politicians have enough servers So, I serve my friends And againI m alert to what s happeningI have a radio But our relationships with the Hindus are bound by strong ties The city folk can afford to fightwe can t We are dependent on each other bound by our toil To us villagers, what does it matter if a peasant is a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Sikh However, all of that crumbles and falls apart once the actual rioting starts, because even though the Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus remain friends, their relatives are raped and kidnapped and butchered by other Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus, and it is only a matter of time before they fall upon each other And when they do, when friends turn against each other, it is where the story hurts the most Those were the moments when you need a break from reading this novel, because you ache both for the Muslim whose family has been slaughtered during a train ride, but you also pity the Hindu whose family is the one the remaining Muslims take their anger out on There s no end to the viciousness, the circle of vengeance and killing that erupted during the partition the largest mass migration in human history, with millions of deaths on both side, and unbelievably chilling statistics An example Some seventy five thousand women were raped, and many of them were then disfigured or dismembered A naked child, twitching on a spear struck between her shoulders, is waved like a flag her screamless mouth agape she is staring straight up at me A crimson fury blinds me I want to dive into the bestial creature clawing entrails, plucking eyes, tearing limbs, gouging hearts, smashing brains but the creature has too many stony hearts, too many sightless eyes, deaf ears, mindless brains and tons of entwined entrails.At its heart the story is about Lenny s passage into her teen years, as a child suffering from polio, discovering her sexuality, learning the difference between white lies and truth, but because it is set in such an important period of history, it becomes somethingAnd even though it s not the best thing I ve read by far, it was still chilling enough, still visceral enough for me to stop and feel and thinkdeeply about partition than the sort of second hand barely there sympathy you feel after reading about it in history books Recommendation I am Pakistani In a snap Just like that.The story is vicious in its honesty, and in how the characters react to the situations around them There really are no moments of hiding the brutality, and it s heartbreaking Definitely recommended, but only if you re in the mood I review Pakistani Fiction, and talk about Pakistani fiction, and want to talk to people who like to talk about fiction Pakistani and otherwise, take your pick To readreviews or just contact me so you can talk about books, check out my Blog or follow me on Twitter ORIGINAL UPDATE So apparently Ice Candy Man and Cracking India are the same book Different names Thank god for best friends who are completing a thesis which requires them to be smart and know this stuff Also, shouldn t Goodreads have a system where they categorize this as one book


  4. Asghar Abbas Asghar Abbas says:

    Sidhwa is definitely one of my favorite, favorite Pakistani writers She is an inspiration, truly But this is a harrowing and a very grim novel Though it is arguably one of the best, if not the best work, on this theme, it is still bitter to read despite its excellence, or maybe because of it It reveals all the raw wounds that are still fresh, without reflecting much on the healing part, but how do you heal from the wounds you inflicted yourself The hand that had cut your skin and sliced you Sidhwa is definitely one of my favorite, favorite Pakistani writers She is an inspiration, truly But this is a harrowing and a very grim novel Though it is arguably one of the best, if not the best work, on this theme, it is still bitter to read despite its excellence, or maybe because of it It reveals all the raw wounds that are still fresh, without reflecting much on the healing part, but how do you heal from the wounds you inflicted yourself The hand that had cut your skin and sliced your limbs was unsurprisingly your own No balm for that Maybe that s the whole point, this book serves as a mirror, a witness It is almost nonfictional in its unbiased, bleak, unsentimental, unrestrained accounting of that brutal time I feel people outside the subcontinent can marvel at the sublime writing here , can appreciate itas they should, I mean that part of history is still very much hard and painful to read about It didn t show us what the occupying outside force but what we did to each other The British didn t divide and conquer us, they only conquered us we were already divided and we still are People as whole are divided, in any place even within the same place Its companion piece movie Earth is visually stunning and finest film ever made on this subject, a true motion picture The movie highlighted a period often ignored and not looked into much deeply, but it is a fascinating piece of history that continues to teach usabout ourselves than we d care to admit


  5. Anum S. Anum S. says:

    There is much disturbing talk India is going to be broken Can one break a country And what happens if they break it where our house is I ask Cousin Rubbish, he says, no one s going to break India It s not made of glass Ice Candy Man also known as Cracking India is one of those novels that 16 year old Anuminterested in North American YA, not that there s anything wrong with reading a particular genre as long as one matures enough to eventually give other genres and author nation There is much disturbing talk India is going to be broken Can one break a country And what happens if they break it where our house is I ask Cousin Rubbish, he says, no one s going to break India It s not made of glass Ice Candy Man also known as Cracking India is one of those novels that 16 year old Anuminterested in North American YA, not that there s anything wrong with reading a particular genre as long as one matures enough to eventually give other genres and author nationalities a chance would never have liked But 24 year old Anum can very clearly appreciate the importance of reading any and all fiction related to the 1947 partition an event so shocking and traumatic that its repercussions still resonate in the here and now in both Pakistan and India and of course Kashmir, but that is a topic for another day.For those of you who don t exactly know what the partition was, so basically most people who aren t Pakistani or Indian if you are either of these two, skip this whole paragraph the summary goes before 1947 there was one huge land area called the Indian subcontinent, ruled by these group of power hungry, eventually decadent rulers called the Mughal Emperors think Taj Mahal, Akbar the Great, all those cool architectural wonders in India , who then lost power to the British colonial powers, who went around wrecking all kinds of havoc on the land, eventually causing the people in the area to want to kick the British people out demand for self independence, right to rule, lots of other important historical stuff that really isinteresting than our history books make them sound But before the British could be kicked out, a decision had to be made about who was going to rule the area upon their leaving, and this led to major conflicts between the Muslims and Hindus in the subcontinent not the only religious parties in the area but certainly those in the majority who both had different ideas about what should happen Long story very very short, in 1947 when the British eventually left, the whole area was divided into two one piece was called India, and was considered the land of the Hindus although of course other minorities continue to exist there, and the state is actually secular again, a topic for another day and a completely new state called Pakistan was created supposedly a land for Muslims but of course any well read human being will tell you that the rampant violation of human rights make it something else entirely.Impromptu history lesson aside, this book is about partition, written from the point of view of a young Parsee girl Zoroastrian for you, in case you didn t know Think The Diary of Anne Frank, except this is fiction and the setting is another major historical event involving lots of death and conflict and at the same time emergence of adulthood and the pains of growing up.Lenny, our protagonist, suffers from polio Pakistan is one of the two countries where children still suffer from Poliomyelitis literally the rest of the world has managed to eradicate it , a disease which affects young children and causes muscle weakness and in some cases paralysis Taken care of by her Ayah, a beautiful young Hindu girl, we follow Lenny s story through the events leading up to 1947 and afterwards, and even though I ve spent literally my whole life reading dreary, boring historical texts about the partition, there s something else entirely about reading how individuals got affected by the crushing brutality of those days The radio announces through the crackling There have been reports of trouble in Gurdaspur The situation is reported to be under control Which means there is uncontrollable butchering going on in Gurdaspur, Ayah, as Lenny s vivacious and responsible caretaker adored by her huge group of admirers, is the main proponent of our story, but there are enough side characters to retain our interest Lenny, with her crippled leg, isinterested in retaining her abnormal foot, because she believes it helps her live a lifepampered than other people Her doctor certainly encourages the notion by telling Lenny s parents not to strain Lenny with studies and exams, to not pressure her nerves by sending her to school, to basically let Lenny live wild and free What will happen once the cast comes off What if my foot emerges immaculate, fault free Will I have to behave like other children, slogging for my share of love and other handouts Aren t I too old to learn to throw tantrums or hold my breath and have a fit While other children have to clamour and jump around to earn their candy I merely sit or stand, wearing my patient, butter wouldn t melt expressionand displaying my callipers and I am showered with candy.Right alongside Lenny s growth from an innocent, pampered five year old to her teen years is the story of the partition and of how the changing times enter Lenny s household as well Her Ayah, who acts as a sort of beacon for men of all religions because of her beauty and sexuality, is always surrounded by Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, all of them intent on engaging in discussions not only about politics but about what to eat that day and where they want to meet up mundane things, silly things amongst all the serious, charged atmosphere This, I found truly intriguing All these people belonging to different faiths sit down regularly and have frank, if sometimes bitter, but mostly honest conversations about what the political climate is like, and how it affects them In the current times we live in, I honestly can t imagine sitting down with a Christian or a Hindu belonging to my country and having an open conversation about the treatment of religious minorities over here, or what the politics of the country are doing to the religious atmosphereFunny things are happening inside the old cityStabbingsEither the police can t do anything or they don t want to A body was stuffed into a manhole in my localityIt was discovered this morning because of the smell a young, good looking man One thing that manages to help balance the viciousness of the story s darker side is Lenny s own life and the characters that fill her surroundings Her loving, stern mother and her quiet father, her younger brother and her cousin, the neighbours and the tenants, the chef and gardener and guard, all of these have a life of their own and dot Lenny s life with what some might term as irrelevant rambling, but I thought were necessary for one to be able to breathe amongst all the other moments of sadness Still, the majority of our story, being that it is situated in such a volatile period of history, comes back again and again to its main, central plot point that of the partition itself I become aware of religious differences.It is sudden One day everybody is themselves and the next day they are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian People shrink, dwindling into symbols Ayah is no longer just my all encompassing Ayah she is also a token A Hindu.But even though this story tackles such a sensitive topic, about a period of history riddled with so much violence and destruction, it s still quite funny Weird, but true Blatant humour, subtle jesting, even moments of outright hilarity occur here and there, lending a lighter touch to the otherwise horrifying repetitions of rape, death and kidnapping that dot the narrativeIf we must pack off, let s go to London at least We are the English king s subjects aren t we So, we are English And of course, it was inevitable that familiar names names I ve seen regularly in textbooks and figures I ve seen famous pictures of would eventually crop up, because what is a discussion about the 1947 partition without Jinnah the Pakistani leader or Gandhi the Indian one But the fascinating thing this story does is that it plants these figures in that time very solidly, like figurines coming to life out of history books Suddenly the actions of Nehru and Gandhi and Jinnah and Lord Wavell and Mountbatten, people who existed too long away for me to really care about, suddenly seem muchsignificant, carrying so muchweightWhat s it to us if Jinnah, Nehru and Patel fight They are not fighting our fight, says Ayah, lightly That may be true, but they are stirring up trouble for us all But the book makes it clear that for most of the characters, the machinations and manipulations of the leaders feel like they re far away from their own lives Only a few raise their heads up and face the fact that the effects of dealings at a government level are spilling over into the streets, but the idea that politics happen at a distance from the civilians, who love all their neighbours equally irrespective of religion, is part of an overall theme that s repeated againOur villages come from the same racial stock Muslim or Sikh, we are basically Jats We are brothers How can we fight each other And againSo what if you re a Sikh I m first a friend to my friendsAnd an enemy to their enemiesAnd then a Mussulman God and the politicians have enough servers So, I serve my friends And againI m alert to what s happeningI have a radio But our relationships with the Hindus are bound by strong ties The city folk can afford to fightwe can t We are dependent on each other bound by our toil To us villagers, what does it matter if a peasant is a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Sikh However, all of that crumbles and falls apart once the actual rioting starts, because even though the Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus remain friends, their relatives are raped and kidnapped and butchered by other Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus, and it is only a matter of time before they fall upon each other And when they do, when friends turn against each other, it is where the story hurts the most Those were the moments when you need a break from reading this novel, because you ache both for the Muslim whose family has been slaughtered during a train ride, but you also pity the Hindu whose family is the one the remaining Muslims take their anger out on There s no end to the viciousness, the circle of vengeance and killing that erupted during the partition the largest mass migration in human history, with millions of deaths on both side, and unbelievably chilling statistics An example Some seventy five thousand women were raped, and many of them were then disfigured or dismembered A naked child, twitching on a spear struck between her shoulders, is waved like a flag her screamless mouth agape she is staring straight up at me A crimson fury blinds me I want to dive into the bestial creature clawing entrails, plucking eyes, tearing limbs, gouging hearts, smashing brains but the creature has too many stony hearts, too many sightless eyes, deaf ears, mindless brains and tons of entwined entrails.At its heart the story is about Lenny s passage into her teen years, as a child suffering from polio, discovering her sexuality, learning the difference between white lies and truth, but because it is set in such an important period of history, it becomes somethingAnd even though it s not the best thing I ve read by far, it was still chilling enough, still visceral enough for me to stop and feel and thinkdeeply about partition than the sort of second hand barely there sympathy you feel after reading about it in history books Recommendation I am Pakistani In a snap Just like that.The story is vicious in its honesty, and in how the characters react to the situations around them There really are no moments of hiding the brutality, and it s heartbreaking Definitely recommended, but only if you re in the mood I review Pakistani Fiction, and talk about Pakistani fiction, and want to talk to people who like to talk about fiction Pakistani and otherwise, take your pick To readreviews or just contact me so you can talk about books, check out my Blog or follow me on Twitter ORIGINAL UPDATE Whoa That was so muchemotional than I thought it would be


  6. Nashwa S Nashwa S says:

    I don t know why I ve been sleeping on Bapsi Sidhwa s writing but I think it may be because I ve always been intimidated by her As kids, we weren t allowed to read her books because of the mature content And usually, I really shy away from reading about the Pakistan India partition because I hated how it was taught in schools, and all I can remember from those classes were the Simla conference, the Jinnah Gandhi talks and the Radcliffe commission What this book did for me was that it humani I don t know why I ve been sleeping on Bapsi Sidhwa s writing but I think it may be because I ve always been intimidated by her As kids, we weren t allowed to read her books because of the mature content And usually, I really shy away from reading about the Pakistan India partition because I hated how it was taught in schools, and all I can remember from those classes were the Simla conference, the Jinnah Gandhi talks and the Radcliffe commission What this book did for me was that it humanised the partition we see the process from the perspective of a child of Parsee faith, who seemingly has no stake in the violence going on Sidhwa shows a sense of community in this, a harmony between faiths and then the slow disintegration of groups, their assumption of religious identities and the brutal violence that ensues In a way, the story comes full circle and as sad as it made me, the ending was very satisfying.One of the most striking aspects of this book was the fairness with which the story is told, the lack of bias, which really added to the experience The characters are nuanced, they do morally questionable things but nobody is saying that the Muslims are pure and free of violence and spite, a perspective that was shared by many of our Urdu and Pakistan Studies growing up


  7. Vaishali Vaishali says:

    Ice Candy Man reminds you of Ann Frank s Diary, only it s based on a tragedy closer home the horrors of communal atrocities during the India Pakistan partition It s a coming of age story of a little Parsee girl, Lenny, who lives in 1947 Lahore in a happy go lucky, protected environment of a child, until political social upheavals of the country change the dynamics of her world Like Ann Frank s Diary, it s an account of a brutal world through the eyes of an innocent, and in that respect, has Ice Candy Man reminds you of Ann Frank s Diary, only it s based on a tragedy closer home the horrors of communal atrocities during the India Pakistan partition It s a coming of age story of a little Parsee girl, Lenny, who lives in 1947 Lahore in a happy go lucky, protected environment of a child, until political social upheavals of the country change the dynamics of her world Like Ann Frank s Diary, it s an account of a brutal world through the eyes of an innocent, and in that respect, has the capability to connect with the reader incomparably The author, Bapsi Sidhwa, has cleverly comprised different economic strata in the story by elaborating on Lenny s relationships with her servants particularly her 18 years old, growing beautiful, care taker Ayah , her observation of her parents friend circle and her associations with her own relatives Sidhwa brings parity in the subject by weaving in Lenny s visit to her servant s Muslim village Pir Pindo, which comes under post partition India, while Lahore forms part of Pakistan The massacres evacuation tales of Muslims from Pir Pindo, and similar atrocities on Hindus Sikhs in Lahore, give a balanced perspective, which is interesting as the story is supposed to be limited by only what the 8 years old Lenny observes hears around her Sidhwa brings out the characters society of 1947 most vividly A culturally beautiful Lahore of communal harmony unfolds in front of your eyes as you read through the pages The language used is typically educated English of the British era interlaced with Punjabi Urdu slangs and phrases, which brings local flavour and authenticity.Being written from the curious view point of a child, Ice Candy Man is a narrative of discoveries As the snooping Lenny observes and writes about her everyday life, including things she is not supposed to know of, the story appears mysterious and humorous and even the mundane life of a family reads intriguing However, where Ice Candy Man lacks is in creating sufficient depth of emotions towards the climax The story is at its high point when the Ice Candy Man has had a change of heart in the light of recent massacres The transformation of one of her most trusted friends should have been the ultimate focal point of the story, as also suggested by the title of the book Incidentally, this is the point where Deepa Mehta s film 1947 Earth inspired by the book , ends too, and hence is muchhard hitting than the novel Unfortunately, in the book, Sidhwa continues the story post this major incident of betrayal immediately affecting Lenny, whereby this event seems to get hurried and unjustifiably short treatment Sidhwa s objective seems to be telling the readers about the partition in Lenny s words, rather than the turmoil of Lenny s personal world This is fine in itself if the author had aimed so, but then, the title of the story gives a misleading expectation to the reader The character of Godmother becomes quite powerful suddenly in the last pages, which seems disconnected from the rest of the story All in all, Ice Candy Man is an interesting read, a gripping tale that transports you to pre India partition era and makes you feel sorry for the loss of a beautiful world that could have been


  8. Jennie Jennie says:

    This book was unsuccessfully challenged in DeLand, Florida, so of course, I went out and read it right way Sidhwa tells the story of the partition of India through the eyes of young Lenny, who is a Parsee girl living in Lahore This book is violent There s talk of rape and sex And oh, the violence I can see why some people would want it banned, but it is noviolent than the actual events were This was a hard book It deals with this period of time with no background information I real This book was unsuccessfully challenged in DeLand, Florida, so of course, I went out and read it right way Sidhwa tells the story of the partition of India through the eyes of young Lenny, who is a Parsee girl living in Lahore This book is violent There s talk of rape and sex And oh, the violence I can see why some people would want it banned, but it is noviolent than the actual events were This was a hard book It deals with this period of time with no background information I really don t know much about this, so I had to look a lot of things up The writing style, while beautiful and fitting, isn t an easy read This would be a wonderful book to teach and read in school It s dense and layered and the history is tragic, but so much history is It also really puts current India Pakistani border clashes and politics in perspective.If you don t know a lot about partition, make sure you have access to an encyclopedia I had to look a lot of things up


  9. Shinde Shinde says:

    Brutal Honest Raw Visceral etching of human behavior.


  10. Suha Suha says:

    contains spoilers I was truly excited to read a book about the partition However, this book was a colossal disappointment Not only is the writing very vague and ambiguous leaving you with a lot of , but I also don t see how this is written from a child s perspective The kind of observations Lenny makes, the very writing and use of difficult words, the actions this innocent child does.I mean, everyone has sex on their mind in this book, even the kids,or less Is India s overpop contains spoilers I was truly excited to read a book about the partition However, this book was a colossal disappointment Not only is the writing very vague and ambiguous leaving you with a lot of , but I also don t see how this is written from a child s perspective The kind of observations Lenny makes, the very writing and use of difficult words, the actions this innocent child does.I mean, everyone has sex on their mind in this book, even the kids,or less Is India s overpopulation being justified here or what Most of those particular passages contributed nothing to the story overall.It might be wrong of me to compare but to put this book side by side with Persepolis which comprises of a similar theme , I found the protagonist to be charmless, for the lack of a better word It felt as though picking a child for a protagonist was a move to say anything and get away with it using her ignorance and innocence as a scapegoat by the writer.The book dribbles on to irrelevant details and unnecessary situations There is a mention of Ayah s voluminous globules and the like every 5th page We get it, she s attractive The fact now haunts me at night, thanks a lot The characters are unrelatable brick walls The actual details of the partition are lost between this bland narration However I will say that the horrors of what went on during that time were gripping whenever it was described I also found Lenny s encounter with Gandhi particularly interesting Iqbal s poetry interspersed within the writing was also nice.But all in all, I will hurriedly pass this book on to the next poor junior who will have to read this for a series of tasteless Literature classes in their final year Sayonara