Train to Pakistan…By Khuswant Singh

Recently I have been into reading Indian authors and it has been quite a rewarding experience. I have read some famous authors like Khushwant Singh and some not so famous but good authors like Manju Kapoor.

And the last book I finished reading was also a Khuswant Singh Book which were Punjabi short stories by different authors translated by him and Every time I would mention I am reading  a Khuswanth Singh book someone would say…Ah Train to Pakistan..and I would be like nope not read that one yet…so  basically “ Train to Pakistan” was a book I have heard a lot about and I guess that is one of the reasons I was slightly disappointed with it!

The other reason why I have always wanted to read this book cause I have heard a lot of stories of the partition from my grandparents who actually came to India in a ‘Train from Pakistan’ as refugees leaving everything they owned back home with only a shirt on their backs…I             

In fact My grandad’s favorite story is about how he did not even have a shirt when he stepped into India…he had removed it in the train because it was too hot and then it got lost somewhere.

When they reached Delhi station he had strayed away from his group and a mob of Hindu’s charged at him ready to kill him thinking he was a Muslim because he was not wearing a ‘Kada’ (the steel bracelet) and how he managed to save his life and convince them         that he was an Hindu.

I was expecting Khuswant Singh’s train to Pakistan to be a story of people like my grandparents who came to India in a Train from Pakistan leaving everything behind…however the book is not about that..and so I was slightly disappointed…

Nevertheless….it was a great book..It is an interesting narrative of a fictitious small sleepy village Mano Majra on the India Pakistan Border at the time of partition. It did not follow the refuges who came into India from Pakistan…but it was about the people who were left behind in the Indian villages.

Overall a nice book….however it read like a book was originally written in Hindi/Punjabi and then latter translated into English for people like me to read…

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