Hindu Refugee Camp Lahore by Sachin Garg – Book Review
Hindu Refugee Camp Lahore by Sachin Garg is a story from the partition times. As mentioned in the author’s note, the premise of the story is true though due to the lack of sufficient facts, the author built up more characters around the basic premise.
The story is narrated in the form of letters exchanged between Ghulam Ali and Zahira. Each letter is beautifully crafted. Reading one, you automatically look forward to reading the next, the reply. It is such a beautiful and unique style of writing a book.
Ghulam Ali was a limb fitter who met Zahira for his passport needs. He saw that she was handicapped and being a limb fitter asked to help her. In the process they fell in love. Just when they confessed their love for each other and decided to get married the very next day, the police came, arrested Ghulam Ali and sent him to Pakistan.
Now post partition he is stuck in Pakistan. He belongs to Lucknow and has served in the army. But suddenly for lack of documents, Indian soil is not ready to accommodate him.
In the one intimate moment Zahira gets pregnant and has to face the wrath of being a single mother. Meanwhile Ghulam Ali is fighting his destiny hard to return to his lover. He is disheartened multiple times, gives up hope and then picks himself up and makes a fresh attempt.
The end is wonderful but I will not talk about it and leave for you to discover. The other characters in the story are interesting too.
I read this book at an extremely slow pace. And generally it happens that when you read a book at a slow pace you lose context and interest. But somehow here I was savouring each letter shared between Zahira and Ghulam Ali.
Loved this book so much that I literally read it cover to cover.
Hindu Refugee Camp Lahore was thought provoking and touching. The impact of partition has been tremendous on the lives of people on both sides of the border. I have heard of stories in my own family. But somebody could have gone through this much elongated pain.
I understand that a large part of the story is fiction. But I loved how the author had woven his imagination into this beautiful masterpiece.
It is a wonderful read. You can carry it to a vacation and enjoy it slowly…. No matter when you read it do not be in a hurry to finish it. Because behind each letter exchanged are so many emotions. Allow yourself to feel the emotions.
Do read this one and share how you liked it. I would love to hear from you.
You may purchase this book here on amazon.
This post is a part of the Blogchatter Review program.
This seems a fascinating novel with a protagonist struggling to return home to his own people. Two enemy countries and loving relations in between.