Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Black BordersBlack Borders by Saadat Hasan Manto
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was first published in 1947 as Siyah Hashiye (Black Borders), the 32 cameos that comprise this slim volume present horrifying sketches from the holocaust of the Partition.

From the very first page where author has written his dedication, To that man who, while narrating his many misdeeds, said, “When I killed that old woman, I felt as though I had committed a murder.” the author holds the reader and even after you have turned the last page of the book you are still held in that same spell.

This book is a collection of 32 cameos which describe the horrors of the partition. Manto sketches the scenes with such simplicity and such a great mastery that only Manto was champion of.
If a reader dares to live through the realities of partition, Black Borders is the book that will take you to a child who lost his father, a father who lost his daughter, a sister who lost her brother, a girl who lost her pride, a citizen who lost his nation and a nation which lost everything. Black Borders are indeed full of red colour and only Manto’s writings ever did justice to the truth and horrors of partition and this book is a supreme example of his original portrayal of life.
The translator has done every possible justice to the text by matter-of-fact and simple translation. No heavy words and no beautification of text is done as was Manto’s style of writing.

It is slender booklet worth every one of its 50 pages.

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