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10 thoughts on “Their Language of Love

  1. W W says:

    This is a collection of eight short stories by Bapsi SidhwaOne is lifted straight from her novelAn American BratIn thisayoung Parsi girl wants to marry an American Jewto the consternation of her motherAnother one is about the 1965 Indo Pak warwhich Sidhwa curiously describes as a gentlemanly warStill another deals with an American woman coming to Pakistanand having an affairwhich nearly ends in disasterYet another one deals with the rioting that took place during partitionand the scars it left on the survivorsMost of the stories are pretty interestingwith only a couple of ordinary onesThe trademark Sidhwa humour is an added bonus35 starsrounded up

  2. Paras Abbasi Paras Abbasi says:

    The stories in Their Language of Love are rich and languid told in a fashion that is engulfed in an affluent and graceful historic aura Bapsi Sidhwa’s work is not new to me but I fall in love with her writing even every time I read her Her short stories are as much witty and sarcastic vivid yet baffling as her novels She portrays her characters as people you would meet in your everyday life and yet they are powerful and inspiring offering an unpretentious exuberanceThe most attractive part of her work which keeps bringing me back to her is the realistic portrayal of the sub continental history before partition and the 60s 70s 80s and early 90s and the depiction of ease with which the local diverse communities would mix Similarly Sidhwa’s reminiscence of the roads and streets of Lahore its nooks and corners old gates and shrines with a colorful paint of historical pallor makes one want to go back to the old city and see it with the author’s keen eyes time and again—it never tires you outBapsi Sidhwa’s short stories are based on the theme of reconnection to roots—of culture background language and the commonality that brings the sub continent together—whether it’s Feroza the spoilt American turned kid Roshni the dark Parsi bride on the American soil or Sikander and his family who are trying to adopt the American ways

  3. Nashwa S Nashwa S says:

    This was a strange reading experience for me The first half of the book didn’t really grab my attention I was thinking that “eh these stories are ok not her best work” and so on In the first half I enjoyed the backdrop and political set up of the stories than the actual plot but the last two stories Sehra Bai and Defend Yourself Against Me invoked a lot of emotion in me Those are ones that I will remember because Sidhwa is undoubtedly at her best I think I’ll carry her writing with me for the rest of my life because never in my life have I felt represented and I genuinely feel like she can tell our stories like no one else

  4. Momina Masood Momina Masood says:

    My first of Sidhwa and not bad at all The stories fit perfectly together like puzzle pieces as shown in the cover even though I felt that The Trouble Easers hardly belonged in a collection like this It has to be my favorite of all stories in this collection beautiful poignant meaningful Where others were slightly bold and daring this one story exemplifies simplicity of both language and thought Anyway this book must not be mistaken for a cultural depiction of Pakistan for Sidhwa deals mostly with non Muslim or Parsee characters people who are only a small fragment compared to the Muslim community here But in one way this is good for there is an element of unfamiliarity even for the Pakistani reader who gets the opportunity to see life lived by people though in the same country but with different values and beliefs We have stories about the proverbial “generation gap” stories concerning the dynamics involved in a mother daughter relationship stories reminiscing the ravages of the 1947 Partition and even post Partition stories A good read though slightly bold and explicit at times and it is so felt because one expects that being a Pakistani writer albeit a non Muslim the conservatism of our culture would seep through in her writing and which invariably doesn’t Anyway I liked this book and am looking forward to reading of her

  5. Krubha Krubha says:

    I did not know it was a collection of short stories I am prejudiced in that a very few great authors make really great short stories And Bapsi Sidhwa I had heard about her controversial Ice Candy Man that went on to become a movie by Deepa Mehta controversial too or too controversial??? DThe first story The Gentlemanly war was a bit dragging too and I was almost going to shelf it under my incomplete reads But then towards the trail end it turned out to be nice Breaking it up made it a lot interesting and I just couldn't put the book downSimple plots simple style simply loved reading it I especially loved Sehra bai about the mother daughter bind

  6. Seemal Zaman Seemal Zaman says:

    I read this in just a couple of days while commutingI am used to the way Bapsi writes but these short stories definitely kept me entertained Fiction work but based on a real timeline it takes you through the historic journey of pre partition and after partition of India and Pakistan Pick it up its an easy read and you will enjoy it if you are interested in history

  7. Naved Naved says:

    I wish I could say something about this Its a collection of short stories which unfortunately couldn't get me in for those who are avid fiction and story readers might love this but i am a bit disappointed except for few stories Still i will give it a 3

  8. Swetha Mary ann Swetha Mary ann says:

    For starters i have no idea what the hell the whole book was aboutIt had eight short storiesThe first two centred around Zareen and her familyThe first one being set in an Indo Pak war with the dilemmas of the family that was always in the brink of a bomb threat Zareen’s husband called this a gentlemanly war a couple of times and viola its the title i mean what??? The second one struck a cord in me because I could literally visualise it and the title bore it well But even so the story being from the perspective of a woman soo narrow minded and “ethically moral” was a tad too much to digest It wasn’t exactly an impartial third person narrative The third and four involve RuthRuth and the hijackers she had nothing to do with them And for what reason that story was named so i am at a loss of words The story starts with the hijacking if an Indian aircraft and then it is nowhere mentioned until maybe the last couple of pagesRuth and the Afghan was better written with the story actually sticking to the title and the diversity if the Pakistan and Afghanistan brought about in light of their culture than their gunsTheir language of love A newly wed couple A control freak husband who resorts to unnecessary bravado which irks the wife but she still coddles him if it was satire that was intended it was lost on meSehra bhai the life of a grandmother played in parts from when she was Sehra to when she became Sehra bhai it was not that bad too much description on women’s appearance though The trouble easers a fable of a saint told by a mother which in the end the child uestions in absurd religious coloursDefend yourself against me childhood friends meet in foreign soil Old wounds opened in religious conflicts by two cousins description of the horrors during partition of India and Pakistan inflicted on womenAs such the book has short stories wich look like chapters from a book haphazardly thrown into a book for the sake of it The explicit portrayal of women as either a loot or as a showcase item both depicting them as display items felt really bad Either the rich society ladies were seducing each others husbands or they were being carried away as loots and plunder of war to be sold off or raped or they were mute spectators to a debacle I get that all books needn’t be about women empowerment but this was degrading not stating a fact The only thing i liked about in this book is the way Pakistan and Afghanistan is pictured not as the gruesome war torn bullet wielding country but for its beautiful countryside and customs and the simplicity of some of its people and the staunch loyalties some display

  9. Bill Berger Bill Berger says:

    I usually do not read short stories but I am such a fan of Bapsi Sidhwa that I did read her short story collection Very well done and centering on her usual Punjabi characters

  10. Su_ghosh Su_ghosh says:

    Recently I read the book THEIR LANGUAGE OF LOVE Penguin Viking by Bapsi Sidhwa BS BS is one of the finest Pakisthani writer settled in the US Stories by BS usually details THE TRAUMA AND EXPERIENCES of people particularly Parsees affected by the Partition in the sub continent One of her novels have been made into a film EARTH directed by Deepa Mehta and features Nandita Das and Amir KhanA melange of short stories comprises ‘Their Love of Love’ While reading the book I was being reminded of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer prize winning anthology of short stories INTERPRETER OF MALADIES This one by BS matches Jhumpa’s ‘Interpreter ’ in terms of tenor and depth and that of the immigrant’s experiences BS has a way with words A sample “The vulnerability of mothers daughters grand daughters and their metamorphosis into possessions; living objects on whose soft bodies victors and losers alike vent their wrath enact fantastic vendettas celebrate victory All history all these fears all probabilities and injustices coalesce in Amma ji’s terrible face and impart a dimension of tragedy that alchemizes the melodrama”There are eight stories in this collection The experiences of a family against the backdrop of an ensuing Indo Pak war; a Pakisthani Parsee mother’s encounter with culture shock when she visits US to meet her daughter’s prospective American bridegroom; the intermingling of Parsee and Islamic belief in the invocation of certain divinely icons; the commonalities in the extremism of the Sikhs Muslims and Hindus; a newly married Gujrati bride has a taste of Americana when she visits the ‘promised land’ to live with her techie husband; a daughter comes to terms with her once beautiful mother Sehra Bai who became cantankerous in her illness ridden old age and discovers secrets about her father and the relationship between her parents The subject of the stories span a wide gamut and provides uite a treat to the readers A nice read

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Their Language of Love A wife worries for her familys survival during the 1965 IndoPak war A mother is horrified when she learns that her daughter wants to marry her American boyfriend An American housewife living in Lahore has a tempestuous affair with a Pakistani minister An aged matriarch travels to the USA to discover she must confront a traumatic memory from her pastFinely nuanced and laced with Sidhwas sharply comic observations this is a stellar collection of tales from one of the subcontinents most important and beloved writers