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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Basti by Intizar Hussain

Of course, the parallels are strong. It is also a very clear, very real invocation of living in a war-torn city, Lahore in to be bastu, to be in a place that alternates between the shouts and shots on the streets to the quiet nights of curfew and black-out. Feb 11, Umar Paswal rated it it was amazing.

I want a careful balance: I didn’t connect with the novel even though I find the subject matter very interesting Partition and its aftermath. A new reality called for a new form of storytelling, which also pays homage to the old forms—oral and written.

In spite of all the challenges that the reader will face, I would encourage people to get their hands on it and enjoy this profoundly humanistic reflection upon conflict, people, and love. There is no Hardyesque feeling of an individual pitted against the larger forces at work. Husain offers detailed and often dialogue-heavy scenes, but skips over great periods of time, in a novel that is more photograph album than a narrative focused on continuity.

The other tells him no, the earth rests on the horn of a cow which stands on a fish. Come and join them, before silver fills the part in her hair, and your head becomes a drift of snow, and our lives are merely a story.

That year turns everything topsy-turvy, and more so, it transforms the fate of the basti settlement. Though actually this is beautiful book, filled with lyrical memories of exploration in time, place, and faith. View all 5 comments. This story has raised an important question about the effects of Partition in a Punjab and Bengal, as really these were the only two very large provinces to be divided in Nov 24, Stella rated it really liked it.

Basti is the great Pakistani novel, a beautifully written, brilliantly inventive reckoning with the violent history of a country whose turbulence, ambitions, and uncertainties increasingly concern the whole world. Passerby stood bewildered, stared at the combatants with fright, then asked each other, “What’s happening?


The central figure is Zakir, and the novel begins in his childhood, in the village of Rupagnar, where electricity is just being introduced. It seems to me that Hussein is refusing to partition his own self by drawing on Hindu and Buddhist sources as well as the Quran and Iranian poets.

There were, however, some be A short story about the partition and the waiting for war. Intizsr flows from him being in a state gusain mental turmoil to a stoned man pondering over mythical tales with a lot of metaphor and multiple layers of text to intense history and You will either love it or would want to get rid of it.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

Then they went their several ways, and forgot that anything had happened at all. From that new story still another story emerges, and from that one stories continue to emerge. We left Vyaspur before dawn, but when the lorry reached Husani it was already afternoon They seize on you even more.

And three things deprive the earth of peace: In any conventional story, the ending would be precisely that moment of turning—a moment lntizar which the novelist chooses if the story is romance or tragedy. One tells him the earth rests on the head of an elephant which stands on a tortoise. What basri remembers most about Rupnagar are the trees, birds and faces that are now lost to him. The author, Intizar Husain, is perhaps the greatest living Urdu writer and his genius rightly deserves a wider audience than just readers of Urdu or Hindi fiction.

The ocean, of water from the rivers; the raja, of dominion; the rich man, of wealth; the learned man, of knowledge; the itizar mam, of folly; the tyrant, of oppression. But it was that too. Read Bastiand find out. By my own history?

The characters wait for a sign that minds and hearts may still meet. Basit traverses back and forth like the dastan of yore, round and round like a kite with a cut string, it drifts and soars, inttizar and forwards. I would also advise getting a clearer idea of the geographical loc Beautifully translated into Spanish by Pariente de Carranza. It is a story of migrants, and every kind of migrant will be able to relate to it.


The war threw the life of the city into confusion.

What “whens” and “whens” Bhagat-ji recalled, what “whens” and “whens” were illumined in Abba Jan’s imagination! Where each morning the city you’ve live is unrecognizable.

Zakir – the ‘he’ of this novel – keeps going to the garden. Where you radical communist friends became Islamists seemingly overnight or huain a visit to the US and the only escape is in memory and in the past.

Change is a force that can not be stopped: Not a beach read, more like a book I’d recommend reading as part of a modern Asian history class with a teacher that can give more context While 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. May 30, Farheen rated it really liked it.

Such a writer is Intizar Hussain; such a novel is Basti. It flows from him being in a state of mental turmoil to a stoned man pondering over mythical tales with a lot of metaphor and multiple layers of text to intense history and the state of decadence the period goes through during conflict. Like other borderland literature, Basti renders lines drawn on a map as an emotional geography that blurs them. What’s going to happen? In Urdu, basti means any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, in which groups of people come together to try to live together, and the universal question at the heart of the book is how to constitute a common world.

Somehow, at some point, her hand came into mine. The discussion was first ideological, then personal, then insulting, then abusive, and then it came to blows. The Urdu short story has had a better deal in terms of translations, but the Urdu novel has largely been ignored.