Does the resisting body always have to be the one that speaks of its trauma through language? Can it not be the one that haunts the text, ungraspable and unspoken of? Manto by not allowing the body a prehistory or a coding into language infact creates a presence that eludes the process of cognitive transactions. It will engage with the narrative strategy deployed by the writers in narratively rendering acts of the body and understand the political bearings of the strategies. I shall begin by analyzing the poem Hunger and lay the theoretical foundation of my analysis.
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Translated from Urdu ………………………… Soon as Eesher Singh entered the room, Kalwant Kaur got up from the bed, stared at him with her sharp eyes and locked the door. It was past midnight and a strange and mysterious quietness seemed to have gripped the entire city. Kalwant Kaur sat on the bed yoga-style and Eesher Singh, who was probably unraveling his thoughts, stood there with a dagger in his hand. A few moments passed in complete silence. Annoyed with the silence, Kalwant Kaur moved to the edge of the bed and started dangling her legs.
Kalwant Kaur was a well-built woman with wide hips, large and juggling upright breasts, sharp eyes and voluptuous grayish lips. The structure of her chin signified a strong woman. His tight headgear loosened, Eesher Singh stood quietly in the corner. His hand that held the dagger was trembling. From his built one could tell that he was a perfect man for a woman like Kalwant Kaur. Eesher Singh dropped his dagger on the floor and lied in bed.
It seemed as if he had been ill for many days. Kalwant Kaur looked at the bed that was now filled with Eesher Singh and felt sorry for him. Eesher Singh, who was staring at the ceiling, looked at Kalwant Kaur and gently stroked her familiar face. Went to town? You were fine lying with me and had me wear all that jewelry you had looted the other day. Kalwant Kaur immediately noticed it. Eesher darling, I swear to Waheguru, I smell a rat. Kalwant Kaur was now even more suspicious. You are not the same person you were eight days ago.
He held Kalwant Kaur in his strong arms and ran his hands all over her body. His mustache hair got into her nostrils, she sneezed, and both started laughing. Kalwant Kaur melted like hot wax. He threw his shirt off.
Eesher Singh peeled her clothes off as skin off a goat. He squeezed her breasts, spanked her buttocks red, kissed her cheeks, and sucked her nipples wet.
Kalwant Kaur started to boil like a hot pot on a blazing stove. But in spite of all that foreplay Eesher Singh could not get it up. Like a skilled wrestler, he used all the tricks in the book but none worked.
Kalwant Kaur, who was brimming with sexual intensity, was getting irritated with his unnecessary moves. Just throw the trump card. He loosened his grip and fell next to Kalwant Kaur panting. His forehead was sweating bullets.
Kalwant Kaur tried very hard to get it up for him but to no avail. Disappointed and infuriated, Kalwant Kaur got off the bed, picked the chador hanging on the nail on the wall and wrapped herself. Kalwant Kaur was steaming. Is there another woman? Now, swear to Waheguru. Kalwant Kaur went berserk. She picked up the dagger from the floor, removed its cover like a banana-peel, and stabbed Eesher Singh in the neck.
In a frenzy, Kalwant Kaur kept stabbing him and cursing the other woman. He had deep sadness in his voice. Kalwant Kaur pulled back. He looked at Kalwant Kaur with the mixed feeling of gratitude and protest.
Your mother? He tasted it and his whole body shivered. He touched his neck, felt the blood and smiled. Eesher Singh smiled again underneath his blood-filled mustache. When the riot broke out in the city, like everyone else I also participated. I gave you the loot but did not tell you one thing.
Kalwant Kaur had no feelings for him and paid no attention to his suffering. I killed six of them, with the same dagger you stabbed me with. There was a beautiful girl in the house. I took her with me. Eesher Singh once more tried to blow the blood off his mustache. Taste a different fruit. On the way…what was I saying…oh, yes…on the way, near the river, I lay her down by the bushes.
First I thought deal the cards. Eesher Singh opened his tired and sleepy eyes and looked at Kalwant Kaur whose whole body was trembling. His hand was colder than ice. Many of the passengers were killed on the way, many were injured and a few were missing. When Sirajuddin opened his eyes the next morning, he found himself lying on the cold ground of a refugee camp. There was a seething crowd of men, women and children all around him. Bewildered by it all, he lay staring at the dusty sky for a long time.
There was a lot of noise in the camp, but old Sirajuddin was deaf to it. Anyone who saw him, would have assumed that he was in deep and agonised thought about something.
His mind, however, was blank. Sirajuddin lay gazing absent-mindedly at the dusty sky, till he suddenly caught sight of the sun. He woke up with a start. A nightmarish vision rose before his eyes — flames, loot… people running… a station… firing… darkness and Sakina.
Overcome by fear and anxiety, he began searching for Sakina in the crowd like a demented person. There was an uproar all around — some of the refugees were searching for their children, others for their mothers; some for their wives and others for their daughters. Dejected and tired, Sirajuddin sat down, and tried to recall exactly where and how he had lost Sakina.
After that his mind went blank. She had been killed before his very eyes — but where was Sakina? As soon as he remembered that, he put his hand in his coat pocket and pulled it out.
Had Sakina managed to reach the station with him? Had she boarded the train with him? Had he fainted when the rioters had attacked the train?
Had they abducted her? He could find no answers to any of his questions. Sirajuddin needed help and sympathy, but then everyone around him needed help and sympathy. He wanted to cry, but he could shed no tears. He had lost the capacity to moan. A few days later, Sirajuddin pulled himself together and talked to some people who were willing to help him.
They were eight young men who owned a truck and were armed with guns. He showered them with his blessings, and described what Sakina looked like.
She is my only daughter. If you bring her back, God will bless you. The young men tried their best to find her. At the risk of their lives, they went to Amritsar. They managed to rescue many men, women and children and helped them locate their families.
One day, as they were returning to Amritsar to help a few more refugees, they saw a girl standing by the roadside. The moment she heard the truck, she began to run. The social workers stopped the truck and ran after her. They caught her in a field — she was beautiful and had a large mole on her right cheek. Is your name Sakina?
She tried to cover her breasts again and again with her hands. Many days passed — Sirajuddin received no news about Sakina.
THANDA GOSHT and KHOL DO by Saadat Hasan Manto
It is one of the masterpiece depicting the effects of violence during the partition of India on the people of the land. But unlike many others, Manto does not see the perpetrators as Hindu or Muslim, Hindustanis or Pakistanis, he just sees and depicts them as human beings with all their wilderness and barbarity. Given below is the entire story in English. The original story in Urdu is more poignant and heart wrenching. Many had been killed on the way, a lot more injured and countless lost.
کھول دو [Khol Do]
Urdu Short Story Khol Do By Sadat Hasan Manto
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