Set in the summer of 1947, Khushwant Singh could never have been so straight from his heart than he was in this book, Train to Pakistan. A love story set in the village of Mano Majra, situated on the border between India and Pakistan, the novel has successfully portrayed the days of partition - the strife, the grievances, the loss, the struggles, the emotional turmoil. As the story progresses, it becomes very hard to accept the fact that both Muslims and Hindus were to blame. Starkly Khushwant Singh explains the blood shedding and sufferings of children and women, it brings a shiver to your body. For the generations born much later after independence, all this will be next to unbelievable. From a peaceful and harmonious village to a violent land plunged into hatred, the author has described the transformation very well. With the arrival of the 'ghost train' carrying bodies of killed villagers, the aloof village now gets involved in the riots. It is also a story of love between a Sikh boy and a Muslim girl whose love is torn apart in the communal hatred. How does he reclaim peace in the village and restore life back to normal is a challenge he meets with. The book is not a pleasing read, yet a substantial one. It forces you to think about the freedom-struggle times and still it is relevant today because communal differences cause a great havoc in the society even now. First published in 1956, there have been reprints of the book. The book is available in paperback by Penguin India published on 10 February 2009.
This Article is Posted on 22 Apr 2015 in Entertainment Section and Books