Book Blurb – The year is 1950; the Liaquat-Nehru Pact has been signed between India and Pakistan; she doesn’t know it will change her life forever; it will also make her stronger. Bibi Amrit Kaur’s life is literally torn apart in the 1947 riots. She’s now in a different country with a different identity. She accepts this new life gracefully and begins a new chapter. She gets married and has two children. Life, however, has something else in store for her. It breaks her apart. Again, This time the pain is unbearable.
But the hope that she will reunite with her children and be whole again keeps her alive. And she doesn’t let the bitterness cloud her days, becoming a beacon of hope and courage for all.
About the Book – The book, Vichhoda, is about the character ‘Bibi’ and her life journey since her childhood till death. This book throws light on the massacre that had happened in India during the partition. A girl from the Sardar family who escaped and was guarded by an old Muslim whose sons were also killed during this bloodshed. She was a beautiful lady with her very identity, never occupied by the old man that she was carrying being a Sikh. She was married in Pakistan and had two kids.
Later she had to leave the country as she badly injured a Police officer who tried to assassinate her character. She then managed to reach India and was helped by the Indian Army to get home. Soon she earned respect and her velour story was widespread in the village. The same incident happened in her village in India as well where one moron tried to rape her, but she badly wounded him to death, which given her even more fame. Later an Army officer proposes her and her life changes entirely. During her happy marriage life, a war took place between India and Pakistan, where India defeated Pakistan. Many more incidents took place during her lifetime.
A time came in her life when she found herself alone again. In the end, she desired to visit Pakistan to meet her two sons and ex-husband. How the journey goes, whether she made it or not, with little information in hand that to forty years old, is all about the story. The story is short and crisp yet very strong. A very strong face of a woman is portrayed by the writer. How the character sacrificed in her life, faced religious challenges, and fought for her self-esteem is well scripted. The writer is Sikh and has a sound knowledge of Punjabi culture and the Indo-Pak border area, and he cashed it to the fullest while writing. The book is really good and binds you with its story from beginning to end. The story keeps making you inquisitive about its forthcoming events.
My Critique – The story of the Vichhoda is captivating and effective. The scenes are well described. The plot is not big yet effectively strong. The core of the Army and their attitude is worth reading. The way, the writer has shared the corruption issue is Pakistan is commendable. Writer himself is from a Sikh family hence the Punjabi culture and his faith is clearly visible in the book. The beauty of the story is its continuous flow and keeping the momentum throughout the reading. I would like to congratulate the writer ‘Harinder Sikka’ for accomplishing an admired work. His book ‘VICHHODA’ is not only worth reading just for the story but also, because it advocates women empowerment in society and their real strength in all aspects of life in a positive manner.
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