BAPSI SIDHWA ICE CANDY MAN PDF

When you are taking in the enormity of a major moment in history, it is easy to forget that behind the epic events lie a multiplicity of individual stories. We may see a monolithic whole but it only exists because a host of people all major contributing personal systems that together came together in the epic events that get recorded in the history books. Against the backdrop of such a terrible wholesale movement of people, which upended countless centuries of ownership and connection to the land, it is all too easy to find yourself swamped by the sheer enormity and horror of the events at hand. It seems near-idyllic in many ways, an important element of scene setting that not only gives us an entrancing window into pre-partition Lahore but which helps to make the gradual slide into bloodthirsty chaos all the more confronting. But when violence begins erupting in the streets of major cities and towns, many of the people in the outlying villages reason that they would surely be immune to the vengeful fury of the mobs since everyone knows each other intimately and depends each on the other for all kinds of basics of life. How can such a fundamental, relationship-driven system be rent asunder?

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When you are taking in the enormity of a major moment in history, it is easy to forget that behind the epic events lie a multiplicity of individual stories. We may see a monolithic whole but it only exists because a host of people all major contributing personal systems that together came together in the epic events that get recorded in the history books.

Against the backdrop of such a terrible wholesale movement of people, which upended countless centuries of ownership and connection to the land, it is all too easy to find yourself swamped by the sheer enormity and horror of the events at hand. It seems near-idyllic in many ways, an important element of scene setting that not only gives us an entrancing window into pre-partition Lahore but which helps to make the gradual slide into bloodthirsty chaos all the more confronting.

But when violence begins erupting in the streets of major cities and towns, many of the people in the outlying villages reason that they would surely be immune to the vengeful fury of the mobs since everyone knows each other intimately and depends each on the other for all kinds of basics of life. How can such a fundamental, relationship-driven system be rent asunder? As a minority whose existence imperil neither the Muslims, Sikhs or Hindus perceived interests — the reality, of course, is that no one is threatened but the reckless, irrational mood of the horde seldom listens to or heeds calmly logical reason — the Sethis become an oasis in the tumult, a place where most find solace and protection, save for Hindu Ayah who is abducted by a Muslim mob at the height of the blood-filled furor.

Lahore is dealt to Pakistan, Amritsar to India. Sialkot to Pakistan. Pathankot to India. A new nation is born. India has been divided after all.

Did they dig the long, long canal Ayah mentioned? Although it is my birthday no one has time for me. My questions remain unanswered even by Ayah. This relative safety gives them a vantage denied to many others, one which affords them a terrifying view of the back-and-forth tit-for-tat actions of the mobs but also a perspective from which they can take in the changes, the massive, wholesale changes.

The only other person who is similarly untouchable is Godmother, a loving but fearsome presence who is able to take the kinds of actions denied to most others and who acts as a guardian angel of sorts, especially in the final act where events build on a national scale to boiling point and beyond but remain small-scale and intimate in Lahore.

Ice Candy Man is unstinting in its withering summation of the colonial sins of the British but assigns no real blame for the action of the various faiths, damning them all with an insightful sense that humanity can be both laudatory and flawed to violently-nightmarish degrees. As people in contact with the entire spectrum of faiths caught in the unthinking brutality, or perhaps wrongly-thinking brutality of partition, the Sethis, and particularly Lenny who is untainted by adult ideas, beliefs or perspectives and thus sees things with a clarity often lost to others, provide us with a ringside seat to the events of the time but more importantly take us deep into the humanity at the root of it all.

They help us to see an overwhelming event like the partition of India from a very human scale, and provide an understanding of how a series of momentous events affected people at a very individual level, taking what might seem like an imposingly important moment in history and giving it a dimension so intimate and authentically human that you cannot helped but be even more moved by events that are already chilling to the soul.

Ice Candy Man is a beautiful book, which uses gorgeously-measured language, finely-hewn charaterisation and loving depictions of every day life before and after partition to give us an invaluable insight into not only a major moment in human history but also the way in which people handle these moments, both good and bad, and how this shapes the society left behind once the tides of history have receded. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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Book review: Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa

An Indian To Kill a Mockingbird. A novel about Partition, laced with hilarity and heartbreak. Bapsi Sidhwa was born in Karachi in to Parsi parents, and raised in Lahore. In she received the Sitara-i- Imtiaz, Pakistan's highest honour in the arts. Ice-Candy Man Bapsi Sidhwa.

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Ice-Candy Man

Cracking India , , U. The plot involves Lenny, a 4-year-old Parsee girl who recounts her childhood memories after she is struck by polio in her infancy. She spends most of her time with her ayah Shanta, an year-old Hindu girl from Amritsar. Their relationship is the main narrative because Lenny spends a lot of time with her Ayah and she learns a lot about adult relationships from being with the voluptuous nanny and her very diverse group of admirers.

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