Author: Priya Hajela
Book Reviewed By - Sameeksha Manerkar
Partition. Pre-Independence. Post-Independence.
Hindu. Muslim. Sikh.
War. Massacres. Refugee.
We read these words, acknowledge them, and move on. We never try to understand their real meaning and the horror memories attached to them.
‘Ladies’ Tailor’ by Priya Hajela helps us acknowledge the depth of these words through her story. The more I read this story, the more I realized how loosely we try to consider the reality of partition. The citizens know only the textual history, which is just a glance through the events.
The ‘Ladies’ tailor’ revolves around the protagonist Gurudev who is trying to shift safely from Pakistan to India. The journey of the chaos before the partition, prepping for it, to executing his plans to keep his family safe shows the tension and terror among every individual. The wars and fights between communities, people having no hopes left, the horrors of refugee, and people dying depicts the scenes of the partition.
Gurudev’s wife was sick but tried to manage amidst the partition stress. His two kids and wife embarked on this journey with him without second thoughts. Survival was the goal, and Gurudev was extremely calculative about his decisions and future.
But a series of events left him alone, and even after drastic decisions, he still couldn’t keep his family together. When one day, he got a proposal to partner in a ladies’ tailor business.
But the business was competitive, and he not only had to make serious decisions like visiting Pakistan after partition.
Why did he have to visit Pakistan? Will Gurudev be successful in his new business of making garments for the woman? Will he find true love after his wife and children leave his side?
The authors’ engaging narration evokes emotions in readers with ease. The writing style is lucid and captures the right amount of readers’ curiosity. The plot twists are unimaginable, and there are few questions unanswered, but the end gives justice to this beautiful read. How did men survive after the partition? What are their struggles?
To know more, read this beautifully written partition book to understand the reality and behind-the-scenes of partition.
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