A Haunting Train Journey


Finished reading Train to Pakistan, by Khuswant Singh. Can’t tell exactly how I feel. I mean, I have been thinking of reading this book forever. Had heard so much about it. I had created this image of some really long drawn book, with complicated stuff in it.

When it came to reading it, I realised that its so popular because it is actually a very simple book. A book that takes you deep into the muddy lanes of a sleepy nondescript village, Mano Majra. When this village suddenly transforms into a hub for so much turbulence, I did not even realise while reading it. Kushwant Singh sort of sneaked it past me…the arrival of that first train, the sequence of events that followed, all sort of took me by surprise. I was glued.

The story is set at the time of partition and is about a small village close to the border of India and Pakistan. The village is basically non-existent by sheer nature of inactivity. However, a sudden series of events makes it a hub of turmoil as it is caught in the whirlwind of the post partition politics. It tells the story of how people transform under circumstances, and with them so does the world they inhabit.

 

But the best part about it was the end. I could not have predicted the end ever. I didn’t even realise it was the end until I turned the last page and saw that that was it! I think I’m still somewhere there.

train to pakistan

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