Bapsy Sidhwa: Mystique of Her Art


March 31, 2009

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Books | Individuals

The irremovable stains of blood marked on the dead body of an innocent girl compelled her to pen her thoughts and that’s when it all started.

Bapsi Sidhwa, noted writer and Pakistani-based American national, sharing her thoughts with a limited gathering of journalists at the residence of Constance Colding Jones, Cultural Attache, US Embassy, on Saturday, spoke her mind on her literary motivations.

“I pick my characters from rustic background of Pakistani society and put them in American society and see what happens to them in an alien culture,” she said.

When asked why stepped into the aberrant world of words, the veteran writer cited a moving narrative in response. “We (my husband and I) were out to Karakorum Highway on honeymoon.

There, I saw a young girl who was chained into a forced marriage and who revolted against the customs. She was brutally killed by her husband.

The marks of her blood knocked my subconscious and I began to write.”

Hailing from Parsi Community, Bapsi takes enormous pride in declaring that she belonged to Lahore.

“I come from a Parsi background but what makes me stiff necked about my identity is the thing that I’m a Lahorite. I just adore the typical Lahori culture. It’s the true reflection of Punjabi culture and resembles so much with Parsi traditions,” she added.

Unlike a handful of contemporary writers, who prefer getting glued to a particular theme, Bapsi, as she asserts, is gifted with a plethora of extravagantly diversified attributes.

Original article in The Nation.