258 Pages, Paperback
ISBN: 969-516-082-4.

Price: Rs.295
Price: $ 10.00




Circle and Other Stories


Intizar Husain


"Early morning when the quilt still covered my face, and I was still sleep-induced. I would hear Buddhan's heartsoothing call, 'Milk! Come get your milk!' as though the voice, wrapped inside a dream, wafted from some other world. The moment his voice reached our window, my sister would come and shake me, 'Aye, haye, are you getting up or not!? Go, get the milk!' and before I could barely manage to turn on my side, she would pounce again, 'Arrey, have you gotten up yet or not? I have never seen you reading or writing but going to bed early in the evening. And there are those other children too who remain glued to their books until midnight and still manage to get up early in the dark to study like bookworms. But this ill-fated wastrel has ruined every hope....'"

Intizar Husain is one of the foremost writers of the Indian subcontinent. The stories included in this collection chart Intizar's __ as well as Pakistan's __ literary journey since 1947. His is a perception of the rare artist, who can see and sense not only the obvious turmoils of his time but the hidden aches of ordinary people as well. His stories recall memories, which are both personal and collective, traveling
back sometimes to the origin of a myth. He is always compassionate towards his characters, taking a swipe at the hypocrisy of power and status quo.
Intizar Husain is preoccupied with the moral decline of human beings in the face of a changing urban landscape. A truly international writer, he remains unvanquished by the tyranny of borders.



It took him a full moment to realise that he was actually on the wrong bus. A skinny boy also had gotten on at the same stop, holding a small suitcase; the boy sat in front of him now, acting nervous repeatedly turning to the passengers around him with worried eyes. “Does this bus go to Model Town?”
‘Yes, but where exactly do you have to go?’
‘Model Town, G Block, does it go there?’
‘It does,’ an aged, respectable-looking man with disheveled hair answered distractedly; the aged man was seated beside him, and adjusting his glasses he busied himself reading the newspaper.
This is the Model Town bus? Really? Why had he gotten on it then? It was due partially to haste and partially to the darkness; he hadn’t bothered to read the number on the bus. He’d simply assumed from distance that the bus that was waiting was his bus, and he’d run; and when he’d approached closer, the conductor, after shutting the door, had whistled already. But the door had opened just as the bus had lurched into motion like a wild horse, and he had managed, with a leap, to perch on the footboard. Later he had made his way inside after immense struggle, and when a passenger got off at the next stop, he had quickly pounced on his seat only to find out that he was on the wrong bus. O hell, it’s only seven paisas! I’ll get off at the next stop. He felt annoyed, however, at the thought of getting off at the following stop and waiting again, although he’d amassed a great deal of experience waiting for buses for long hours. What followed every time was that the buses running on all possible routes would come and leave. The strange thing was that the buses going in the opposite direction-uptown-would stop and pull away time and again as he waited for the bus going downtown, which would never arrive. And when he was waiting to return from downtown, then the buses coming from the direction of his home would stop across the street in a never-ending procession of buses. Yet on his side the street would be deserted, with not a single bus in sight. Oh, yes, there was another frequent occurrence: he would be a short distance from the bus stop and the bus would speed by him. Or the bus would be dozing at the stop, and yet before he could get there it would drive off; and then the same eternal wait would recommence. Eventually, he would lose heart and begin to walk. But today he’d caught the bus right away, so he was really happy. And now he’d realised that he was on the wrong bus....


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