Book Review – Train to Pakistan

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Book Reviews
Tags: , ,

All I knew about Khushwant Singh before reading this book was that he’s a cult porn writer. Not the exact term but that’s the idea I got about him from the public. How bad people judge others. Train to Pakistan shows how good a writer he is. When you have two sides fighting against each other it’s really tough to write an about them from an unbiased view point but here Khuswanth Singh has done that. The whole story is about Hindus and Muslims. At the end of the story there we could call no one the better out of two. Both are as bad as each other.


For every one of us the year 1947 means happiness but that’s the only thing that went around at that time. There were divides too, especially Indian Pakistan divide. Train to Pakistan is about this part of story from a neutral standpoint. Far away in the village of Mano Majra people are happy to live their life and be content. They don’t understand even the meaning of freedom because they are not directly impacted by it. In fact according to them they are getting their salary even because of the English men so they aren’t the happier lots about the freedom.

Everyone with powers is corrupt in Mano majra, not by choice buy without any option because they don’t know what to do with their powers. They try to shove innocent people to ground and these people too obey it without any questions because as far as they’ve known that’s the only way to live life. When Iqbal comes to preach them about their misgivings the villagers couldn’t understand his view point so he goes down as a failure. His final mumblings after getting drunk are the best two pages in the book.

There are of course pages about sex and he has written it well. May be bold at that point of time but I couldn’t call him an extraordinary writer of intimate scenes. He was good though. But the whole point about the book is how people turn evil without knowing themselves. It’s in depth character analysis is something many couldn’t achieve even after writing pages and pages. May be that’s why he’s called a genius!


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