31 October, 2020

Infinite Visions Of Faith

A Pakistani immigrant family returns to Karachi from Chicago. For the children, it’s a bewildering can of worms, as well as a sentimental education.

Infinite Visions Of Faith
outlookindia.com
2017-03-11T11:22:55+05:30

‘Baba, what are “kaafirs”?’
‘You and me, Chhoti.’

The diasporic South Asian novel being done to death, we seem to be witnessing the coming of age of the ‘return of the native’ genre, a sort of reversal from ‘leaving home’ to ‘coming back home’. Recent years have shown a clutch of novels from Pakistan about members of the non-resident Pakistani community returning home and finding an irrevocably changed world. Starting with Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days, there have been several autobiographical attempts at revisiting the past with the dual purpose of recording family histories, but also to search for meanings in what seems to be a flawed present. The underlying theme of several such novels has been a search for answers: what went wrong? What happened to the early days of idealism and hope? When did the dreams sully? And, more importantly, why?

In Shahbano Bilgrami’s Those Children, a widower with four children moves from a comfortable Chicago suburb with its...

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