Set in the plains of Punjab, amidst the breathtaking mountain snowmelts and monsoon rainstorms, these beauifully told and haunting stories explore the lives and the longings and memories of the Lohar people of Kotli.
For centuries the Lohars have worked as iron-, silver- and goldsmiths. We meet this place and this people a decade after the tumultuous Partition of India, when millions fled their homes to live elsewhere. Now, so much as changed in the Lohar village, and there is a story and a secret to evry person, every family. A man's wife turns out to be a stranger, and his house is not quite his own, when two strangers appear and dig out their past from its earth; a precocious nine-year-old contemplates the mystery behind an old picture; a child bride must abandon the rag dolls that accompanied her in her wedding palaquin; an itinerant fakir sings of reviving a legenday river ...
About the author
Tariq Malik was born and raised in Pakistan. He lived for twety hears in Kuwait, before emigrating to Canda in 1995. Rainsongs of Kotli is his first book. He lives in Vancouver.
From BC Bookworld:
To explore the lives and longings of the Lohar people of Kotli, Tariq Malik's first collection of stories, Rainsongs of Kotli (Toronto: TSAR Publications, 2004) is mainly set in the Himalayan valleys of Punjab approximately ten years after the tumultuous Partition of India during which tens of thousands died and millions fled their homes due to religious conflicts. This is a memorable, deeply felt and frequently amusing debut, full of lively conversation and sure-handed narratives. "Looking back, I realize it was the first arrival of electricity in Kotli that set in motion the events that had such profound and tragic consequences for our family," Malik writes. Another story deftly begins, "There are certain days when the river sits quietly in profound contemplation of itself with not a ripple to disturb its thoughts." Lovely stuff. In a brief afterword he writes, "This book is a tribute to the spirit of my parents' enterprising generation that triumphed over adversity by sheer resilience and sacrifice; to those wise men and women who were able to fluently quote verbatim passages in Arabic from the Quran and follow these with elaborate translations in moments of moral rectitude, and, when moved to do so, would tearfully quote the classical Urdu and Farsi poets, and yet were unable to read or write a single word of their own mother tongue." Born and raised in Pakistan, Malik lived for 20 years in Kuwait prior to immigrating to Canada in 1995. He lives in Vancouver.