Tuesday, June 5, 2007
So..who is Bapsi Sidhwa? never heard the name before and then she came to speak at the local library here in Atlanta.. That was when i knew that she had all that association with deepa mehta and all those movies enjoyed - earth, water,etc.
the only book my local library had of hers was "the bride" and so i picked that up.. the book started with the india-pakistan separation and i was apprehensive.. i wasnt in a mood for some muslim-hindu banter.. but it turned out that after the first few pages, it was a completely different story.. the story of a man and his little adopted daughter and the strict customs regarding women in the male chauvinistic society.. "the bride" is based on a true, tragic story and through the novel it is quite surprising that the story is actually true.. were women really expected to be like that?? are they expected to be like that even in these days??
zaitoon is all that you expect from a young girl from the indian subcontinent in the 1950s.. uneducated, coy, shy, full of dreams and hopes, filled with a zest for life... as all her friends got married in lahore, zaitoon couldnt help but think of her own future.. and then one day her father announced that he had decided to get her married.. not to one of the men from the plains that she was used to..but to someon from the hills..from the hills of konistan.. from where he originally was..
their friends in lahore are against this idea.. they are not sure that zaitoon would be able to get adjusted to the rough and crude tribal ways after leading a mellow life in lahore..but blinded by his love for the tribal life and his homeland, qasim, the father, decides to keep up his promise and marry zaitoon off to a crude mountain lad..
after the wedding, zaitoon finds herself in a black hole. married life turned out to be nothing like what she expected.. she had definitely not expected it to be filled with suspicion, beatings, lack of trust,etc..
her only choices are to respect her father's decision and endure the cruelty or to go against his wishes, against society and run away.. and running away from the tribal folk was not a good thing...they'd hunt you down and kill u for humiliating the boy.
so what does she do??? thats for us to find out after reading the book..
bapsi sidhwa has a very simplistic style and makes you concentrate totally on the story.
if you've enjoyed watching 'water' and 'earth', you would definitely enjoy this book..