Bhumika Desai Shah

दो लोग – गुलज़ार at his Best!

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Reading poems of Gulzar sir is divine feeling. Reading short stories of Gulzar sir is heavenly travel through touching humanly emotions. Reading Novel written by Gulzar Sir was an experience never before. Like dwelling in thousands of emotions and carrying countless feelings- emotions and feelings of characters and stories.

Before reading DO Log, I had read – half a rupee stories and Ravi par ki kahaniya – both collection of short stories by Gulzarsir. Even I have loved reading poem collections by Gulzarsir and hence had been eagerly waiting to read Do Log novel.

Before starting this novel I had not gone through any review and had no presumption about story line. As reading Gulzarsir in Hindi is more appealing considering Urdu words majorly used- I had preferred reading this novel also in Hindi. When first I took this book in my hands the tag line provoked thousands of thoughts within me.

Do Log- Hum ek the. Ek alag ho gaya. Ab hum do Log hain.

Such simple words yet such a deep meaning.

The novel is based on India-Pakistan partition era. I have read many books on partition theme and found most of them biased towards one community or the other. And hence starting reading this one generated same feelings into me. I was curious to know how Gulzarsir would talk about partition as he has been through that era-pain-suffering. We all have just read about partition and loss during partition time but only those who have loved that can justify the true emotions well.

The book started narrating stories of many characters during 1946. Stories of different characters- simple-alike us. The characters whose names could make us associate certain religion with them but their conduct-nature-humanity put them all same-equal. The characters who lived different life before partition yet loved their motherland.

The story grew up in the background of a small town called Kembalpur (Atak originally, in Pakistan after partition). In this small town many families of different religions-Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian- lived together their own lives. The story grew slowly talking about many emotions such as- religion, friendship, hate, jealousy, satisfaction, sacrifice etc. the strong narration of characters and bond between them makes those character live inside reader forever. Every character is glorified with own circumstances-emotions-misery without any bias.

The simplicity of story is its boost. Slowly story reached to 1947 and consequences of Britishers leaving India- breaking India into two parts. The pain and confusion of people is perfectly narrated in small and effective incidents. People, regardless their religion, show strong love-bond for their mother-land and despite of partition based on religion- feel reluctant to relocate. Such a pure love!

From reach to poor, from lonely ones to families- how lives got shattered is described in depth. Many characters of Kempbalpur have to relocate to India as now their mother land is going to be called Pakistan. The misery and pain is beyond description yet the simple characters and simple incidents convey it strongly.

The migration of Refugees starts and lacs of shattered poor souls live their origin- not knowing where they are heading. Many get killed-raped-robbed in their travel and many die of the pain. Many reach to the new land, which is not their own. The misery and pain to settle at new place being refugee, re rooting self – becomes life long process.

The story keeps all characters and their tangled threads alive till end. It shows their resettlement in India and their struggle as well.

What is strongly showcased is the fact that- those souls who had left their roots could never re root to new place even after decades. The pain and memories haunted them forever.

Slowly story progresses to 80s talking about Indira Gandhi murder and the post anti-Sikh riots. The suffering of the same characters who were still struggling in making their shelters -their nests – is painful.

The entire story unbiasedly narrates how humanity is killed in era of partition. How one nation was divided in two like two brothers got separated. How those two brothers who got separated could never unite- or live peaceful life ever. How both nations kept burning on name of religion years after years!

A must read for all.

A treat for eyes and brain. A thought provoking one- an eye opener as well.

🙂

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