Memory of Pain, Scars of Separation: Mapping the Personal History of Partition in Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice-Candy-Man

"Abstract:Partition Novels based on the social and political upheaval, which occurred at the fag end of the two hundred years of British Raj, became a distinct type in the context of Indian English Novels. Various writers, starting from Attia Hossain to Manohar Malgonkar and Khuswant Singh to Shauna Singh Baldwin have dealt with the Partition between India and Pakistan Their perspectives were coloured by their historical, social and obviously political affiliations.Actually, History, which claims to unearth the ‘Truth,’ cannot give the impartial or impersonal analysis of the events as all interpretations comes sieved through the writer’s language, ideology and self.But Partition novels never claim of giving the true analytical discourse of the Partition,but most of the time they foreground the personal experience of a character, which is affected by the event or sometimes openly project the author’s personal view. This unhistorical or sometimes anti-historical way of seeing any social or political event gives space to establish the personal history, which allows the author as well as the reader to find new entry points for historical interpretations. So Partition Novels are not merely history but personal versions of historical events. Bapsi Sidhwa’s The Ice Candy Man (1988) is a Partition novel. But unlike other such works, it deals with the Partition from an uncommon perspective. Personal history is also governed by the empowered discourses, which consequently silence the opponent. Most of the Partition histories are written from the Indian perspectives as the major authors, who came to limelight, were mostly Indians. Sidhwa’s Parsi-Pakistani-Punjabi identity becomes instrumental in her giving the Pakistani version of the Partition and that to through a little girl, hitherto unaffected by the ills of politics. The novel also gives a feminist perspective of the event, which adds a new angle to Sidhwa’s construction of her personal history.My present paper will try to analyse Sidhwa’s The Ice Candy Man in the light of personal version of the Partition seen through a little girl to explore the female perspective and their reaction to the Indian holocaust."

Pradipta Shyam Chowdhury
Raja Rammohun Roy Mahavidyalaya