The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, October 27, 2002

Write view
Reliving the pain of Partition
Randeep Wadehra

Oh God, It is too Much….
by Jasvir Dosanjh. Mukta Publication, Delhi. Pages 96. Rs 150

Oh God, It is too Much...THE story of Caravan, one of the stories in this book can be summerised thus: A train from Pakistan carrying Hindus and Sikhs has to stop at Raiwind for three days due to communications breakdown. Wadhawa Singh cannot bear to see the plight of his family in the heat and humidity of August. He decides to go to his friend Fazaldin’s house, which is nearby, to fetch water. The advice of securitymen and friends on the train is of no avail as Wadhawa has great faith in Fazaldin’s friendship. Therefore an armed Gurdit decides to accompany him. To Wadhawa’s shock not only does Fazaldin deny him water but he also tries to shoot him in the back. Gurdit, who kills Fazaldin in time, saves him.

The Partition of India triggered off the largest-ever exodus of human beings. There is a huge corpus of literature written by eyewitnesses as well as victims of Partition. The pain and misery of the people who were uprooted from their home and hearth has been extensively documented in books, television serials like Tamas, movies and documentaries. Yet the tale never seems to be complete. There is always something new to add to the saga of blood and gore.


Dr. Dosanjh’s is one such effort. The accounts in this volume tell us of mortal frailties, and of the exaltation of human spirit. Going down the memory lane the various characters in this volume poignantly depict different shades of love and separation, of trust and betrayal, of loyalty and infidelity, of hate and compassion. In fact the entire spectrum of human passions and situations is portrayed here, the narrative tinged with sadness.

Get Set Go

by Swati-Shailesh Lodha. Fusion Books, New Delhi. Pages 264. Rs 195

Get Set GoSuccess is subjective. For some, it is a series of achievements while others are happy with one small victory. Yet others set such high standards for themselves that no matter how successful they become by others’ norms, they fall short of their own expectations. Some prefer to keep a low profile and lead a contented life while others just can’t have enough of public adulation. Material success is the ultimate aim of many while others go for spiritual tranquility.

This book seeks to help you become the best possible, and claims to provide "astonishing results", provided you do a sequential reading of its chapters. The authors point out that it is easier to visualise others while it is much difficult to visualise oneself. Obviously introspection would help. The first chapter categorises people thus: raw failures, sophisticated failures, the pseudo successful and the real successful. It claims that people "fall in all the four categories at different points of time…while playing different roles". The authors aver that their work acts like a mirror, i.e., while going through its contents one might identify with some of the traits and situations described. It also provides the ingredients that would turn you into a successful person.

Beyond Life! Beyond Death!!

by J.S. Anand. Dawar Publishers, Malout. Pages 72. Rs 170

Beyond Life! Beyond Death!!According to the Indian tradition, a poet is Trikaaldarshi – the seer of the three time frames, viz., the past, the present and the future. Unlike a rhymester, the poet seeks to convey deep philosophical and spiritual messages in a lucid manner to the common man. A troubadour, on the other hand, is more or less a court jester who writes to please his master.

On the more mundane level, poetry is a succinct expression of one’s innermost thoughts. It is perhaps the most honest form of writing where the poet confronts his own self and, sans artifice, bares his soul for all to see. Such verse is formed with one’s heart and soul together. One could call it a condensed story, but then we would have prose instead of poetry. Poetry has rhythm, like lyrics put into a song and feelings resounding in each musical note.

Some say that with poetry the words of old that we use everyday are born again. I would like to compare it with an artist working on a masterpiece with a paintbrush.

Anand has written with certain honesty. The spiritual content predominates. Poems like Family Divine are insightful. Yet there is a yearning, viz., "Ask me not my name, /let me one of nature remain, /winds and oceans relatives mine/stars and moons cousins shine". The poet is apparently searching for that elusive freedom from the temporal to merge into the sublime.

It is often said if one thinks in one’s mother tongue while writing in English, it results in a hybrid literary creation. But the only way one can introduce the Indian metaphor to the world readership is through such grassroots-level attempts.