Skip to main content

Book Review: Two by Gulzar

Two is a work of fiction by Gulzar. The novel was first written in Urdu and then he himself translated into English, due to which the essence of the story was never lost. The novel sheds light on India’s partition theme but it does not stop there, it covered the instances up till Kargil War.


At the start of the novel, a fictional village called Cambellpur is shown in the undivided India. Some people are boarded on a truck, as soon as the news of partition hits them; the truck takes them away to some unknown place. Evidently the people rendered homeless because of partition have to start life once again from a scratch: whether they are rich or poor – the life is not going to be same again for them. The way Gulzar has captivated and portrayed the feeling of being homeless is exceptional.

The book is segmented in two parts. In the first part all the characters are introduced. Too many of them and none getting importance more than three pages makes it a little clumsy. Well, one by one the characters are able to leave a mark on readers mind. The horror of the partition expressed subtly is the best part of the story as it advances from that era of bloodshed to the times of border conflicts.

It starts getting interesting in the second part when readers are meeting the same characters again under different contexts. It is a novel about the people of Cambellpur, some of whom were rich, some poor and some extremely poor. The exclusive evaluation of their fate after partition, their traumas and their fight with their fate. By the end of the book readers may feel attached to the characters and also feel like turning the pages again to understand them better. In a nutshell, Gulzar has expertly woven the fates of the characters. Highly recommended book on the lines of partition.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Sparrows by K. A. Abbas – A Story about Hidden Kindness

K. A. Abbas was a master at writing short stories, presumably influenced by O. Henry. His work presents a different picture of India and is mainly based on humanity. He was the contemporary writer of that colonial India when the cinema used to run in black and white. Reading K.A. Abbas means exploring the old culture of India.
‘Sparrows’ is a brilliant short story. Once, the story ‘Sparrows’ was conscripted in the world’s best stories along with ‘The Lost Child’, written by Mulk Raj Anand.
A bit about Sparrows
Rahim Khan, the protagonist, is a stolid figure, almost devoid of emotions. He lives alone and the whole village is fearful of him because he brutally beats children and men on slightest pretexts. With time, he has grown so obtrusive and rough that streaks of humanity have left him. Why is he like that?
During the magnificence of his youth there was no one who could compete with him in the wrestling and other sports. It's his deepest desire to join Circus folk. In addition …

Book Review: Godan by Munshi Premchand

Like many other poor peasants Hori too wants to own a cow in a hope to elevate his puny social status to some height of self-importance. Much opposite to his circumstances, he purchases a cow at a debt of 80 rupees. However, things spiraled out of his control when he tries to cheat his younger brother, Heera, by 10 rupees. This haggle causes a huge fight between Dhaniya (Hori’s wife) and Heera’s wife. Heera poisons the cow and runs away to avoid being caught by the Police.

To settle down the cow’s death matter, Hori takes some loan from a moneylender and bribes the police. On the other hand, Gobar (Hori’s son) has an affair with a widow Jhunia. When Jhunia is pregnant with his child, Gobar runs away to the city to escape the wrath of the villagers. But then Jhunia is taken into care by Hori and his family. Because of Jhunia’s issue, the village Panchayat orders Hori to pay a penalty amount for his son’s deeds. Thus, Hori again takes the loan from moneylenders. As the debt increases o…