Smoke Without Fire: Portrait of Pre-Partition Delhi

Rs.695.00
Region: 
World
SKU: 1
Author(s): 
ISBN: 
978-93-5002-072-2
Price: Rs.695.00
Binding: 
HB

 

 

The book could have been appropriately sub-titled as ‘Life in Pre-Partition Delhi (Dilli) Laid Bare’. It is, the first, and easily the last one of its kind by one of the vanishing breed of vintage Dilliwalas, born, bred and educated over there, before emigrating to Pakistan. Old Dilli of the author’s childhood, breathed the very air of the life and times of Ghadar – the (Revolt or the Mutiny) of 1857. Until the early 30s there was hardly any electricity, running water, pucca paved streets and public transport except for tongas and dolies for women traveling from one mohallah, one house, one street to another.

The book covers the intriguing canvas of life as seen by the author as a child and a Youngman. It also tells the story of an old family through its cycles of birth, marriage and death.

The author, pries deep into the back alleys of the ancient city and portrays the youthful and adult delinquencies seen in their nook and crannies.

The book is the third of the author’s Partition Qartet: The other two being, Tuqseme-i-Hind aur Bahadur Shah Zafar ki Wapsi (Partition and the Return of Bahadur Shah Zafar – Urdu) and Partition and the Making of Mohajir Mindset (Oxford). The fourth and the last of the quartet Partition: An Emperor’s Nightmare is under publication.

The book is refreshingly free from the kind of morbid nostalgia associated with such personal narratives.

Abdul Rahman (A.R.) Siddiqiis a vintage, authentic Dilliwalla.  He belongs to the generation of the City poised on the verge of extinction.  Born, raised and educated in the City he was 23 (b. 06 September, 1924) at the time of Partition.

Siddiqi had been through a richly-varied cycle of experiences as a journalist (Dawn, Delhi as a junior sub-editor in mid 1947) and in Pakistan as the Special Representative of the Civil-Military Gazette, Lahore, assigned to the NWFP and Rawalpindi (1947-1950).

In 1950 he joined the Pakistan army and retired in 1973 as the Chief of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Directorate in the rank of Brigadier.  He had been through the 1965 and 1971 wars acting as the principal military spokesman in 1971.

After his retirement, he launched the Monthly Defence Journal, first of its kind ever or since in Pakistan.  He owned, published and edited the Journal until 1997.  He had been and remains regular columnist and news commentator for the print and electronic media.

He lives in Karachi with his family, dedicated to reading, writing and movies.

 

 

 

The book could have been appropriately sub-titled as ‘Life in Pre-Partition Delhi (Dilli) Laid Bare’. It is, the first, and easily the last one of its kind by one of the vanishing breed of vintage Dilliwalas, born, bred and educated over there, before emigrating to Pakistan. Old Dilli of the author’s childhood, breathed the very air of the life and times of Ghadar – the (Revolt or the Mutiny) of 1857. Until the early 30s there was hardly any electricity, running water, pucca paved streets and public transport except for tongas and dolies for women traveling from one mohallah, one house, one street to another.

The book covers the intriguing canvas of life as seen by the author as a child and a Youngman. It also tells the story of an old family through its cycles of birth, marriage and death.

The author, pries deep into the back alleys of the ancient city and portrays the youthful and adult delinquencies seen in their nook and crannies.

The book is the third of the author’s Partition Qartet: The other two being, Tuqseme-i-Hind aur Bahadur Shah Zafar ki Wapsi (Partition and the Return of Bahadur Shah Zafar – Urdu) and Partition and the Making of Mohajir Mindset (Oxford). The fourth and the last of the quartet Partition: An Emperor’s Nightmare is under publication.

The book is refreshingly free from the kind of morbid nostalgia associated with such personal narratives.

Abdul Rahman (A.R.) Siddiqiis a vintage, authentic Dilliwalla.  He belongs to the generation of the City poised on the verge of extinction.  Born, raised and educated in the City he was 23 (b. 06 September, 1924) at the time of Partition.

Siddiqi had been through a richly-varied cycle of experiences as a journalist (Dawn, Delhi as a junior sub-editor in mid 1947) and in Pakistan as the Special Representative of the Civil-Military Gazette, Lahore, assigned to the NWFP and Rawalpindi (1947-1950).

In 1950 he joined the Pakistan army and retired in 1973 as the Chief of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Directorate in the rank of Brigadier.  He had been through the 1965 and 1971 wars acting as the principal military spokesman in 1971.

After his retirement, he launched the Monthly Defence Journal, first of its kind ever or since in Pakistan.  He owned, published and edited the Journal until 1997.  He had been and remains regular columnist and news commentator for the print and electronic media.

He lives in Karachi with his family, dedicated to reading, writing and movies.