The The Quilt Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, The Quilt study guide contains a biography of Ismat Chughtai, literature. ‘Lihaaf’ or the ‘Quilt’ was written in and published some time later in in Adab-e-Latif. The story brought immediate notoriety to Ismat because the. SHORT STORY Lihaaf [The Quilt] O Ismat Chughtai Translated from Urdu by M. Asaduddin In the last issue of manushi, while reviewing Deepa Mehta’s Fire, we.

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The introductory lines also link up the story with the title since the narrator not just mentions the lihaf but hints at the instrumental role it will play in the narrative both as an object as well as a metaphor and symbol.

Having thus laid the ground for the action to take place Chughtai now takes us to that time in the past chkghtai the events of the story actually happened. She has written about the same in an upcoming article.

Last week, I watched”Dedh Ishqiya” again. Begum Jan has had a very depressing life after marriage. In other words, Begum Jan remained cold and lonely and her frustration grew day by day. As observed is the course of our analysis, character delineation is done through minute observation and details, which makes these characters come alive for us. Jul 05, Parth chughtqi it really liked it. Tbe is why though we are never told iismat might be happening inside the quilt yet we have been given enough hints to imagine what might be happening and the reason why it was happening.

To put a cover on reality and thus it becomes operational on quilh levels in the story. And she was found innocent. Published in the Urdu literary journal Adab-i-Latifit led to much controversy, uproar and an obscenity trial, where Ismat had to defend herself in the Lahore Court as well for this work.


I wrote about a woman’s loneliness who had all worldly comforts but who was deprived of her husband’s company I wanted to portray her tension and desperation. I, too, liked to be at her house in that season.

Wish I knew urdu to read the stories in their essence which I felt as lacking in the English translation. She talks not just of women but of the socially oppressed, the weak, the poor and her work stands testimony of the fact that her explorations are wide ranging delving deep into issues which disturb and agitate us, at times forcing us out of our smugness. For her the sounds are simply due to some feast that the Begum and Rabbu are enjoying in hiding and according to her this was entirely possible since Begum Jan had not eaten anything the whole day.

She is observant, wryly amused, sharply critical, and slighty satirical as well remarked by her preface writer. Along with the child narrator we too enter the world of Begum Jaan.

There was sound of someone smacking her lips, as though savouring a tasty pickle.

Lihaaf – Wikipedia

One reason that Ismat herself located for this colloquial tone of her stories was in the fact that she never could write in solitude.

She was considered rather radical and was even taken to trial by the powers that were at the time for pornography, for THE QUILT, one of the short stories in this book. Nov 19, Girl from Mumbai rated it it was amazing. Notice that in this description of Begum Jaan there is an emphasis on the physical details. Not sure what I wanna say about this one! He was defending his story, Bu that faced similar charges. And who are the boys?

But don’t expect happy romances; these are arranged, often brutal unions.

Decoding the ‘feminist’ in Ismat Chughtai’s most (in)famous short story, Lihaaf

Here’s what I thought of it – for me, it is not so much about lesbianism though, of course, that’s a big and bold part of it th it is about a deviation. Please provide an email address. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Begum Jaan was oblivious to all this, cut off as she was from the world outside. Apr 20, Hesper marked it as it-s-not-me-it-s-you Shelves: Asaduddin’s translation far more than it is in the other, and I felt that M.


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Merely factual descriptions of observed reality are given along with hints and suggestions, which often leave things to the imagination of the reader. Loved the other stories too.

A small bed was placed alongside hers. She arranged for night long reading of the scripture but in vain.

And Rabbu, the witch, was a notorious glutton. Return to Book Page. This holding back at the right time is what makes Chughtai avoid exhibitionism and pornography while at the same time she places all the hints at our disposal to enable us to make our own inferences. Scared, I went to bed rather early and pulled the quilt over me.

At times I could hardly bear it — the sight of Rabbu massaging or rubbing at all hours. She rarely moved out. She has merely observed Begum Jan’s lihaf heaving and rocking and her child’s imagination is limited enough to think that a thief is lurking somewhere. The stories themselves are fantastic. I had an awful time being able to get the book and finally found it on Amazon, paperback.

Hcughtai, I snuggled into my quilt. My favorites among the fifteen stories? Once again the chughati started swinging. My favorite story was ‘Homemaker’ about Lajo, the former prostitute and simpleton Mirza.

Perched on the couch she was always massaging some part of her body or the other.