The Pakistani Bride Paperback – 28 Jan 2008
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More About the Author
As a youth, Qasim leaves his tribal village in the remote Himalayas for the plains. Caught up in the strife surrounding the creation of Pakistan, he takes an orphaned girl for his daughter and brings her to the bustling, decadent city of Lahore. Amid the pungent bazaars and crowded streets, Qasim makes his fortune and a home for the two of them. As the years pass, Qasim grows nostalgic about his life in the mountains while his hopelessly romantic teenage daughter, Zaitoon, imagines Qasim's homeland as a region of tall, kindly men who roam the Himalayas like gods. Impulsively, Qasim promises his daughter in marriage to a tribesman, but Zaitoon's fantasy soon becomes a grim reality of unquestioning obedience and unending labor. Bapsi Sidhwa's acclaimed first novel is a robust, richly plotted story of colliding worlds straddled by a spirited girl for whom escape may not be an option.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The characters are well formed and the author follows this journey quite well with a mesh of "why" for the unanswered cultural questions.
This is a part of the world that evokes great ambivalence for me the reader, because I want to criticize the abuse of women and can't seem to understand why they don't run away. Sidhwa anticipates this feeling and tries to resolve it in her novel.
here is a quote from the book: a beautifully written passage
"A knot of dancing, laughing children had circled an almost limbless beggar. Every time he succeeded in sitting upright the children playfully knocked him over. The men in the bazaar picked their teeth laughed indulgently. She had noticed this cruel habit of jeering at deformities before, and sick to her stomach wanted to scream at the men to stop the children. ‘They’ll wonder why you are fussing,’ Farukh had said, laughing himself, ‘They won’t see your point of view at all, dear – every nation has its own outlet for cruelty.’ Perhaps he was right. In preventing natural outlets for cruelty the developed countries had turned hypocritical and the repressed heat had exploded in nuclear mushrooms. They did not laugh at deformities: they manufactured them."
words like "angrez", "put puttering", "zennanah" only add to a whiff of eastern scent to the story.
it also well describes the state of women all over the world which will call for your empathy towards women.
Carol meanwhile lay in her room, staring into the dark. ‘. . . asked for it,’ isn’t that what Farukh had said?
Women the world over, through the ages, asked to be murdered, raped, exploited, enslaved, to get importunately impregnated, beaten-up, bullied and disinherited. It was an immutable law of nature.
even thought the story is a little slow paced and involves too many characters, they are well designed to fit the bill. i absolutely loved the book. shall definitely read more books by the author.
leaving you with a beautiful stanza by iqbal, which again is mentioned in the book.
" Khudi ko kar buland itna, Heighten your ‘khudi’ to such majesty, ke har takdeer say pahaylay that before every turn of fate Khuda banday say khud poochay, God himself asks man – ‘Buta teri raza kya hai?’ ‘Tell me, what do you wish?’"