Basti has ratings and 42 reviews. Zanna said: My first and last journey with her. We left Vyaspur before dawn, but when the lorry reached Bulandshahr. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Basti by Intizar Husain. : Basti (New York Review Books Classics) (): Intizar Husain, Frances W. Pritchett, Asif Farrukhi: Books.

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Mar 06, Seth Reeves rated it it was ok. It’s a story of place, from Lahore, Delhi, Dhaka, and others to Rupnagar and Vyaspur, imagined villages central to the sorrows of this story. What he remembers most about Rupnagar are the trees, birds and faces that are now lost to him. Zakir – the ‘he’ of this novel – keeps going to the garden.

Passerby stood bewildered, stared at the combatants with fright, then asked each other, “What’s happening? Reviewed by Raza Rumi. I read this as a pacifist, and an isolationist, though I suspect the latter is foolish. He was one of the leading literary figures of Pakistan. The a major plot revolves around Zakir – his desires, his visions and his present. Raza Rumi is a writer and the director of Jinnah Institute, Islamabad.

This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [i want summary of this book hide spoiler ]. And then he dies.

I’m not sure if it was the style or the translation but I struggled to get into this. A rewarding though unusual read. This madness has to stop, at some stage as cultures of the severed provinces are exactly intlzar same. Dec 04, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: Love is primary in Basti and everything flows from it, even when it is only a shadow of a memory of a touch For instance in answer to a question that haunts an entire weary generation of post Pakistanis: Husani this book wasn’t completely terrible by any means, it was a slog to get through and the writing style was jarring to say the least.

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Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

Basti is, in many ways, a sweeping novel, beginning in an India still under British rule before the Second World War and extending past the Bangladesh liberation war of Even when cities are left behind, they don’t bbasti behind. Mar 12, Nicholas During rated it really liked it.

A short story about the partition and the waiting for war. The other tells him no, the earth rests on the horn of a cow which stands on a fish. The discussion was first ideological, then personal, then insulting, then abusive, and then it came to blows.

No polemic about plurality is necessary. Zakir’s father gives Zakir some keys. Critics, often driven by ideological imperatives, considered it to be a lesser novel for its evident refusal to apportion blame or affix responsibility.

Their relationship is more forcefully interrupted later, and they remain separated — Sabirah the one member of her family to remain in India after the partition, while all the other Muslims including Zakir moved to Pakistan, with most of Sabirah’s closest relatives going to the eastern part, what would later become Bangladesh.

Feb 19, Tariq Mahmood rated it really liked it Shelves: While the sentences swim in Urdu like fish in a sea, in English I want them at least to swim like fish in a well-designed aquarium.

Husain doesn’t tell us either, at least not by teams, just individuals.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland – The National

So, also, it’s littered with abandoned houses, left behind by those who fled, new inhabitants other refugees often moving in in a world turned upside down. He seeks to fill their place with the trees, birds and faces of his new basti and succeeds only partly because those others keep jostling and pushing through the maze of his memory.


I suppose that was deliberate in terms of depicting how we experience thought and I’m not sure if it was the style or the translation but I struggled to get into this. The anarchy of the present times is linked with incidents from a past, both recent and ancient, that Intizar Husain shares with millions all across South Asia.

Finally some coherence returns when he hears from his friend Surendar in Delhi about Sabirah the one he loves. Farrell, skewers the British, but except for two characters kept in a cage, he doesn’t really personalize the native Indians.

This is why celebrating this important novel, once again, is an imperative feat.

While seemingly a rambling, personal narrative, the novel makes several strong political statements, the strongest being its questioning of the two-nation theory propounded by the Muslim League. Next Article Remembering Intizar Hussain: Zakir can never let go of thoughts about her, even when they are separated after As though nothing had happened, as though nothing would happen.

Mar 25, Daniel Polansky added it Shelves: ONE has to look harder and harder to discern the economic message and direction of the government. And what the badti forms love most of all is a story of benighted love.