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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Pritchett for the translation.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland – The National

The ocean, of water from the rivers; the raja, of dominion; the rich man, of wealth; the learned man, of knowledge; the foolish mam, of folly; the tyrant, of oppression. However, the novel has proved to be a formidable work of art. Their life, actions, thought revolve around that town where they were originally from and they can’t escape that.

No trivia or quizzes yet. In her introduction, she mentions the issues with the text, but she intizra falters on this account.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

When the world was still all new, when the sky was fresh and the earth not yet soiled, when trees breathed through the centuries and ages spoke in the voices of birds, how astonished he was, looking all around, that everything was so new, and yet looked so old. 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 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.


He was one of the leading literary figures of Pakistan. Rupagnar is abandoned, but remains the Zakir’s lost home; moving to a new ly created state demands new allegiances, yet Zakir always remains torn. There is a very helpful glossary, though, which I wish I’d discovered earlier in the book. A first-person account by Zakir, dated diary entries “a means for keeping my mind occupied during the wartime nights” of the war between India and Pakistan, offer greater immediacy, yet also take on a surreal, alienated feel, Zakir exposed to war yet largely only indirectly.

Husain doesn’t tell us either, at least not by teams, just individuals. There are, though, moments when certain sentences are a wee bit dull, shorn as they are of their cultural mooring. The mind keeps talking.

And speaking through them, in the course of everyday inconsequential conversations Intizar Husain slips in statements of great import and consequence, and says many things that his own oblique style of story telling does not allow.

BOTH decision and timing are scarcely believable and will surely give more ammunition to those quarters denouncing Accoding to Aamir Mufti, who writes on the back cover, “Urdu is “the strangely homeless language produced out of interactions between the vernacular of north India and those of the Islamic Near East, Persian and Arabic in particular.

As we crossed over the Ganges on the bridge, darkness fell. And three things deprive the earth of peace: I sincerely hope to learn Urdu and come back to this to get ba Though I appreciate the fact that author went on dealing with the and without soley depending on the “violence” weapon which is so rare to tell about the emotional distress, still somehow I couldn’t connect with the book. Sep 30, Zanna rated it really liked it.

But this isn’t standard historical fare: There is, then, an intense feeling of alienation and emptiness that Zakir, as a migrant in a new country, feels. Confusing – I didn’t get on with the style, and think I would have got more out of this if I’d been more familiar with the India-Pakistan war of I don’t mean that politics or history are sidestepped – rather the opposite, we are inside them in a way that makes it impossible to look down on the situation from above.


MarioLittle 29 July at Raza Rumi is a writer and the director of Jinnah Institute, Islamabad. Sep 02, Tony rated it liked it Shelves: A short story about the partition and the waiting for war.

The dimensions of human misery I’m on the run from my own history, and catching my breath in the present.

My favourites were mostly in chapter 7: I can do nothing else for this city, but I can pray, and I do pray. Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

I suppose that was deliberate in terms of depicting how we experience thought and I’m not sure if it was the style or the translation but I struggled to get into this.

Jan 29, Harry Rutherford rated it really liked it. My first and last journey with her.

Dec 17, Susan rated it liked it.