3 November 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Hindu Refugee Camp, Lahore by Sachin Garg (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

1972nd BLOG POST 

34th Book of 2021


Well, today I am talking about the new book written by Sachin Garg named “Hindu Refugee Camp, Lahore” which is garnering great praises by everyone in the reading fraternity. I have known Sachin as an author since a decade and seeing him grow as a love story writer to slightly spiritual stuff and finally to this is quite inspiring and praiseworthy. Even as an individual, I have seen him grow from an author to publisher to stand-up comedian to a man who tries to be funny through his memes on social media yet write a book which is on such a serious topic. This book is themed around the partition of India that happened in 1947 and the after-effects of it which can be felt till today – and choosing such a deep topic in these times when millennials are least interested in going through past stuffs is quite a daring task.


Author has chosen to retell us the story of the real-life characters – Ghulam Ali and Zahira Raza who got separated due to partition and the only mode of their communication was the conventional system of writing letters to each other. I liked how author has also managed to make us understand about the tough times in that era when even letter didn’t get deliver immediately and one had to wait for weeks and months to get the response from the other side whereas few times, it didn’t get deliver at all due to some problem in the route through which the letter travelled to the other region. If you’ll concentrate upon the dates that are mentioned at the start of each letter/chapter in this book, it tells you its own story about patience and conviction of being connected with someone without getting judgmental or loving conditional.


Author had very little information on these real characters hence author has very wittingly and cleverly fictionalized most part of it and tried to be as relevant as possible. Like it happens in the Travel and Lifestyle vlogging in Youtube that a person who is recording himself and sharing the video with his audiences can’t have only himself in his digital communications hence they share their friends in the videos too, author, here, also doesn’t restrict this story to be about the two protagonists only and adds many other characters even in the letter format which I believe is a very smart attempt which keeps the book interesting and engaging.


The story speaks about love, hope, loyalty, pain, loneliness, separation, isolation, violence, depression, tough decisions, patriotism etc. hence as a reader, you will go through various emotions and the moment you’ll think that maybe the ending will give me smile, it does but it makes you cry a little more. I liked how author has tried to communicate with us about the kind of power people have to hold on to one person for so long even when they are unable to meet, hear, see, or connect with the other person whereas these days, we just move on from relationship if the person is unable to attend our calls when we want to talk with them. This book teaches a lot about patience and unconditional love and loving the differences of each other in a positive manner. Also, reading about how a person has been rejected by both the nations makes you just shriek inside thinking about his condition and mental state. How scary it must be for someone who knows that no country is accepting him!


Personally, I also found the depiction of the father-daughter relationship very beautiful. A man who has never seen his daughter is still in love with her. He still feels that his daughter is most beautiful. He wants to live in the worst conditions just for a hope that he wants to meet her someday. He ends up loving her more than the person he fell in love with without even seeing her. It was an emotional ride to read the emotion of a father for his daughter and I just felt every piece of it within me while going through it. Incredible stuff!


Lastly, talking about the drawbacks, I must say that because the book is on a very dark topic, author should have kept it shorter – I believe at least 40-50 pages as it might become boring for some to continue. It really became hard in between to continue reading it in long sitting due to the slowness in the pace of the movement of the stories in the letter format. To be frank, you would want to skip few paragraphs in between which is not a good thing from narration point of view. Other than this, I believe this book is one of the best attempts by Sachin even though I haven’t read all his works. I give this book 4.25*out of 5. I hope to read more distinct topics from him in future.






1 CoMMenTs !!! - U CaN aLSo CoMMenT !!!:

Tomichan Matheikal said...

The Partition was arguably the most painful thing that happened to India. But one good thing is that it generated some wonderful literature.

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