Read this article to know about the art of narration or narrative technique of Bapsi Shidhwa with special reference to Ice Candy Man.
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Bapsi Sidhwa, the Pakistani Parsi essayist, has made a powerful position in this day and age. Through her ability of innovative and pertinent written work she has tossed light on different consuming issues of her time and spoke to the minority Parsi people group at global level.
She feels that it has given her a remarkable feeling of ‘isolates connection’ for her nation and its kin. Her inventive odyssey, which began with The Crow-Eaters (1978), has developed from quality to quality in her progressive works like Pakistani Bride (1983), Ice-Candy-Man (1988) and An American Brat (1994).
Bapsi Sidhwa’s third and till date the most famous novel Ice-Candy-Man 1988) is a standout amongst the most talked about books of late circumstances. The novel tosses light on the biting substances of segment through the eyes of an eight-year old debilitated young lady, Lenny.
Narrative Technique in Ice Candy Man
Lenny’s improvement from youth to puberty, India’s battle for autonomy from Britain and the apportioning of the nation into India and Pakistan all grow all the while.
The skilfully joined plots give each other considerable importance as Lenny originates from a minority group that remained moderately impartial in post-Partition religious clashes; she has entry to individuals of all religions, both inside Lahore and in different regions.
She additionally has entry to a wide assortment of perspectives, both pre-and post-Partition, through her Ayah, a lovely lady whose suitors are ethnically and religiously various. It is 1947. Lenny lives in Lahore, in the chest of her amplified Parsi family: Mother, Father, Brother Adi, Cousin, Electric-Aunt, Godmother and Slave sister.
Working for them, or gasping after Ayah, are Butcher, the tiny Sikh zoo attendant, the Government House nursery worker, the favoured Masseur, the eatery owning wrestler and the shady Ice-Candy-Man—Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, companions and neighbours—until their foul, regular world crumbles before the savagery of religious scorn.
Lenny’s enthusiastic love for Ayah, and the loss of honesty that goes with their changing relationship through the Partition, is a lively focus to the plot. Lenny’s associations with her mom, her effective Godmother, and her sexually obtrusive cousin are likewise vital to the novel.
Lenny’s polio assumes a noteworthy part. Other minor yet convincing subplots incorporate Lenny’s folks’ evolving relationship, the murder of a British’ official, Raima’s terrible story, and the youngster marriage of Pappu, the greatly mishandled little girl of one of Lenny’s family’s hirelings.
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Sidhwa’s concentration in this typical novel is more on account strategies and less on the story, for they add to the work’s aggregate impact. Right off the bat it is the principal individual current state portrayal. Lenny is a kid when the occasions described happen, and the occasions are seen through her awareness.
Lenny learns of the perverse way of affectionate human interests from her encounters with her cousin, who courts her with an assurance similar just to the Ice-Candy-Man’s quest for Ayah.
How religious fanaticism can breed contempt and brutality is obvious in the executing of the Hindus in Lahore and the Muslims in the Punjab of the Sikhs.
The dehumanising effect of shared mobs is reflected in the tale of Lenny’s companion Ranna, a frightening record of the human abominations that can be executed when all humanised restraints are evacuated through outside occasions or political propaganda.
Sidhwa picks Lenny, a polio-ridden, kid as the storyteller of the novel since she furnishes her with a degree for recording the occasions prompting wicked Partition riots, without purposeful publicity. In addition, she originates from a Parsi family as is free from any religious or ethnic inclination.
In Ice-Candy Man, Lenny is the story persona. Her narration begins in her fifth year and finishes after her eighth birthday. She reviews her first cognizant memory of her Ayah accordingly: “She passes pushing my pram with the unconcern of the Hindu goddess she venerates.”
She additionally recalls her home on Warris Road in Lahore and how she used to discover shelter in her Godmother’s “one-and-a-half room residence” prevailing with regards to making tracks in an opposite direction from the “unhappiness” and the “bewildering unrealities” of home.
These perplexities incorporate her own polio tribulation, which she utilises as defensive layer against a “self important world,” her mom’s indulgence, her dad’s aversion of it, her strain to top off the “diabolical hush” amid her dad’s “quiet suppers” by “offering chuckling and lengthier prattle”.
These perplexities likewise include the family unit staff. It incorporates her dear Ayah, Shanta, Imam Din, Hari, Moti, Mucho, Pappu and the Ice-Candy-Man, and masseur, a touchy man who cherishes Ayah and is adored by her, much to the shame of Ice-Candy-Man and Ranna.
In Sidhwa’s novel, one finds diverse shades of human thought, sentiments and conduct honestly voiced. Each character in the novel gives us a chance to witness into his inward saves and we are constantly astonished at the truth of it.
Entries portraying slaughter and murder highlight the animal in individuals. After Master Tara Singh’s awakening address against the division of Punjab, the swarm turns “neurotic.” Even the police were focused on. And after that there is towering inferno in Lahore. Lenny watches:
The entire world is consuming. The air all over is so hot. I think my fragile living creature and garments will burst into flames. I begin shouting: madly crying—to what extent does Lahore consume? Weeks? Months?
Prior to the contention, Muslims and Sikhs lived in serene harmony. They celebrated and took part in each other’s celebrations, for example, Baisakhi and Id. Be that as it may, once the enormous inconvenience began “Small time’s religion is another man’s toxin.”
Other than expressions which summon a frightful national catastrophe, Bapsi Sidhwa likewise makes utilization of gadgets, for example, bad dreams, jokes including lavatory funniness, verse by the well known Urdu artist Iqbal, Parsi entrance into India, their traditions, supplications, fire sanctuaries, and funerals in Towers of Silence, expound exchanges and civil arguments on national governmental issues by the wealthy and the poor, itemized records of towns, for example, Pir Pindo occupied by individuals of various religions, and the astringent change of later circumstances, constrained conversions, constrained kid relational unions and numerous other minute yet grave subtle elements, which prevail with regards to conveying to the peruser an entire range of tragi-comic and grievous occurrences.
As the story advances, everything is sifted through the cognisance of Lenny. Her enthusiasm for things around her is to some degree unnatural as we discover her recording each and everything like a camcorder.
There are no limitations on her developments and she is by all accounts getting a charge out of the considerable number of happenings around.
She can go to the Parsi meeting to examine the future game-plan in the wake of Partition clashes and can likewise saunter around parks, shabby lodgings, and such different places alongside her ayah and can have admittance to the well known assessment.
Because of her physical incapacity and intelligent nature, she is adored and minded by all, and even her folks don’t keep restrictions on her. She is even permitted to go with Imam Din in his visits to Pir Pindo, a town in Punjab.
This visit furnishes her with a chance to meet Raina, the kid who later turns into an apparatus in the hands of the writer to detail the occasions of cruel severity stacked on the Muslims over the outskirt by the Sikhs, therefore supplementing the record of Partition described by Lenny.
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The account outline that Bapsi Sidhwa follows in the novel evidently looks exceptionally basic and direct, yet on a more intensive look one understands that its effortlessness is simply misleading. Although the principle storyteller is Lenny, the voice that rises up out of the novel is a long way from being a monolog. There are minutes when it is hard for the perusers to trust that a young lady like Lenny can express the words that have been put into her mouth. Like the one that is cited here:
“I am held hostage by the ruthless odour. It has vaporised into a smooth cloud. I skim all around and here and there and fall horrendous separations without landing anyplace, battling for my life’s relax.
I am relinquished in that stifling cloud. I groan and my ghoulish voice transforms me into something disgusting and scary and meriting the shocking discipline. Be that as it may, where am I? To what extent will the loathsomeness last? Days and years with not a single end to be seen.”
“My nose breathes in the aroma of earth and grass—and the other scent that distils bits of knowledge. I intuit the importance and reason for things. The mystery rhythms of creation and mortality. The quintessence of truth and magnificence. I review the stifling damnation of smooth vapours and find that paradise has a dim aroma.”
Entries like this make the peruser mindful of the nearness of the creator in the kid, Lenny voicing her grown-up responses to her adolescence circumstance.
Obviously Sidhwa portrays the novel in the main individual placing everything in the mouth of the youngster protagonist, yet one thing is for certain that she does it with a genuine purpose.
She wouldn’t like to sound political and dubious, yet can’t turn herself again from the current reason, i.e., to introduce the opposite side of reality with respect to the Partition revolts—the Pakistani or in her own privilege the impartial perspective.
It is something else that now and again she yields even the goodness and etiquette of an abstract craftsman, simply displaying the feelings of a great many people like we find in her perceptions and remarks about Gandhi and Nehru. Lenny thinks about Gandhi:
He is little, dull, wilted, and old. He looks simply like Hari, our gardener, with the exception of he has a displeased, nauseated and crabby look, and nobody set out draw off his dhoti! He wears just the loin-fabric and his dark and thin middle is bare.
Gandhi is positively in front of his circumstances. He definitely knows the upsides of abstaining from food. He has starved his way into the news and stood out as truly newsworthy everywhere throughout the world.
Notwithstanding the incidental constraints like the one we have seen over, this abandons saying that “no other novel gets as this one does India’s hundreds of years old methods for living with religious distinction before Partition.”
Lenny is curious and sees everything: garments, scents, shading, and the patina of skin, sex everywhere, and eyes—olive-oil-hued, shrewd eyes, dreadful eyes.
In composing which is regularly melodious, constantly delicate and cunning, with a subtlety here, a touch there, Sidhwa demonstrates to us the seedbed of the Partition slaughters—a manhandled Untouchable, the custom eviscerating of a goat, a minister shivering over the hand of a menstruating lady.
This chuckling, tender story, told through the eyes of blamelessness, is a demonstration of savage misfortune, and a splendid summoning of the lurking foundations of religious prejudice.
Along these lines however Bapsi has been blamed by some diehard Indian patriots for showing a Pakistani perspective of history, we should not overlook this is a novel and not a work of social documentation; it limits itself to one tyke’s point of view through which the contradicting, differing voices she hears are refracted.
Truth be told the perspective Bapsi embraces, is one of the novel’s best ploys. We trust we are witnessing the occasions of Partition through the eyes of a pure kid, however deliberately set glimmer forward flag, in an inconspicuous way, that the grown-up Lenny is really remembering the past keeping in mind the end goal to understand the occasions that perplexed her when she was too little to fathom; at the same time, she confines herself to the encounters and tangible view of the youngster she was.
In this manner we are given a two-fold—even dialogic—point of view that layers blamelessness on experience, thoughtfulness on knowledge of the past.
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