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Showing posts from June, 2020

ONE DROP OF BLOOD : MOURNING AND MARTYRDOM

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  Namrata reviews  One Drop of Blood by Ismat Chugtai  based on the battle of Karbala. Published by Women Unlimited (An Associate of Kali for Women), 2020 Featured in  Hindustan Times  as one of the interesting books early this year,  One Drop of Blood  by Ismat Chugtai is a unique book in many ways. Firstly, it is the last work of Ismat Chugtai and secondly, it so different from her usual line of work. One drop of Blood  is based on the battle of Karbala fought in 680 A.D. in present-day Iraq between Yazid, the reigning Caliph and his mighty soldiers and Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad with his small army. According to the Islamic calendar Muharram is the first month of the year and the second holiest month, after the month of Ramzan. Muharram is also a period of  mourning the martyrdom  of Imam Husain and his family (including his infant grandchild) in the battle of Karbala. As she herself states in an interview, “ The tragedy behind the pageantry of Muharram commemorat

HOW MANJUL BAJAJ WEAVES A NOTE OF HOPE INTO THE TRAGIC EPIC OF HEER RANJHA

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  Title: In Search of Heer  Author: Manjul Bajaj Publisher: Tranquebar Press, 2019 Manjul Bajaj’s  In Search of Heer  is a retelling of the historical tale of Heer Syal and Deedho Ranjha, the star-crossed lovers from Punjab. In her poignant narration, Bajaj manages to highlight some unknown aspects of the centuries old epic love story and leaves a reader content after reading what is otherwise, a sad story. Before becoming a writer, Manjul Bajaj worked in the field of environment and rural development. Both her previous works,  Come, Before Evening Falls  and  Another Man’s Wife  were shortlisted for Hindu Literary Prize. She has also written two books for children. We are in the year 2020 and yet the sheer number of cases of honour killing, especially in South Asian countries is horrifying. While the debate of who is to be blamed for this remains, the end result barely has altered since centuries. Taking the case of Heer Syal from the epic love story of Heer-Ranjha — she was supposedl