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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
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Byzantium-Upon-Indus

The emotions that propel this work are admirable. But it is far too scattered, leaving the many varied accounts in it a bit distracting after a while.

Byzantium-Upon-Indus
Byzantium-Upon-Indus
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

A half-Sindhi who cannot speak the language but is so viscerally affected by the emotional baggage of the Partition of 1947 that she gathers stories of her mother and relatives to put the loss into perspective—that would be one way of describing this book. Aggarwal challen­ges the Sindhi stereotype of loud-mou­thed, flashy, papad-eating people with paunchy ‘saeens’ and diamond-dus­ted women. She chooses to recount inspiring stories instead of the expedience of reconstructing cliched Sindhi identities.

The book is an assimilation of pre-Partition memories and post-Partition dil­emmas of the author’s mother Situ Savur, aunts, uncles, grandparents and family friends who significantly influenced the Savur family’s resettlement in India. Each goes through an emotional struggle to retain a strand of Sindhi roots, yet willingly enlists in the larger task of bec­oming global citizens, even if that means shaving off some aspects of identity.

Some insights in the book will undoubtedly evoke a sense of nostalgia in the...

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