Book: Train to Pakistan
Author: Khushwant Singh
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh— Book Review
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh is one of the most popular books in the history of Indian literature. The story is based on real-time incidents when the partition of India was going on. In 1947, India was divided into two separate nations, and Hindus and Muslims had to migrate in large numbers.
There were riots where thousands of people were killed, women raped, and properties looted.
Partition of India
Train to Pakistan shows what happened in Mano Majra, a small village on the Indo-Pak border, at the time of partition. Both Sikhs and Muslims used to live in the village. The village had a local railway station, an officer’s bungalow, a temple, and a mosque.
The villages live in unison and without being divided by religion. Jugga, an infamous thug there loves a Muslim girl and often meets her in late nights. One such night, some goons kill the local moneylender and Jugga gets blamed for it. Iqbal is another character in the story who is new to the village.
On one usual day, a train from Pakistan halts at the Mano Majra railway station. The train is full of dead bodies of Hindus. Everybody gets tensed. Police and other official unload the train and arrange a funeral where hundreds of bodies are put to flames.
The Muslims of Mano Majra are asked to leave the village by the next train, and they are left helpless. Years of friendships and relationships between villagers make the people emotional.
I really loved reading this book. Although the start was a little slow, but it had the power to make my eyes wet. The plot of the book is simple so that anybody can read and go with the flow without any confusion.
If you really want to read quality books by Indian authors, then don’t miss out on this one. It is a must-read.
Best quotes from Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
There are many lines in the book that I love and could relate to. Sharing my favourite ones here:
1. “Not forever does the bulbul sing
In balmy shades of bowers,
Not forever lasts the spring
Nor ever blossom the flowers.
Not forever reigneth joy,
Sets the sun on days of bliss,
Friendships not forever last,
They know not life, who know not this.”— Khuswant Sing, Train to Pakistan
2. “Freedom is for the educated people who fought for it. We were slaves of the English, now we will be slaves of the educated Indians—or the Pakistanis.”
3. “Poor people cannot afford to have morals. So they have religion.”
4. “The doer must do only when the receiver is ready to receive. Otherwise, the act is wasted.”
5. “We also knew that it was in the nature of an empty stomach to produce illusions of grandeur.”
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