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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Scared, I went to bed rather early and pulled the quilt over me. All of them are halfwits. She recalls that the narrative is about the wife of Nawab Swale Khan of Aligarh who himself was a homosexual.

Rabbu’s visit to her son who is a good-for-nothing and had rejected the hospitality of the Nawab once never to come back again, gives a nasty turn to events. Paper-2 20th Century Indian Writing. The elephant started fluttering once again and it seemed as though it was trying to squat.

Thus the lihaf is cloaking as well as provoking. Nonetheless, there is deviancy in t I read both the translations of Ismat Chughtai’s Lihaaf, that translated by M. Rabbu is dependant on Begum Jan and is situated in a social stratum much lower to hers. She explored feminine sexuality, middle-class gentility, and other evolving conflicts in the modern Muslim world. Then why must one live?

The Short Stories: Ismat Chughtai: The Quilt

At times I could hardly bear it — the sight of Rabbu massaging or rubbing at all hours. Notice that in this description of Begum Jaan there is an emphasis on the physical details. Innumerable stories had been coined about the poor lady. Her body aches at every joint till our child narrator in all naivete offers to scratch her back. No wonder, it has been chosen as the title of the book. But it is a an audacious picture of the kind of society the women of her time lived in.


(Paper-2) 20th Century Indian Writing

Womanhood was smothered, and under the quilt was the cgughtai place they could get some relief, both actual and metaphorical, in a sense.

It is not hard to guess that reading the text just as a feminist narrative — one that glosses over the class divisions and the molestation faced by the child narrator— is what Mohan refers to as a selective reading. And Begum Jaan here was more terrifying than all the loafers of the world. Thus she finds no solace anywhere and begins to lose sleep and health.

Literary Radicalism in India: By morning I had totally forgotten the terrifying scene enacted at night. The cultural significance of Chughtais writing is evident on the quilg.

And even if it was warm and the fan was on, she would cover herself with a light shawl. The kind of loss that comes not from brushing against death but from the awareness that one is constantly vulnerable to it. Amma always disliked my playing with isnat.

Lying on the carpet she would munch dry fruits as Rabbu rubbed her back. And she was found innocent. Despite the strong autobiographical relevance of the story, however, the narrator could be any woman relating a childhood experience. Something, which conceals and cloaks things so that one does not know what strong undercurrents, may lie beneath the apparently calm exterior. While ‘The Quilt’ is certainly a landmark story when it comes to explore female sexuality and that too homosexuality, Isamt Chugthai also manages to weave other terrific stories in this collection.

On the one hand we see how. Contexts differ, and obviously it would have rang very differently for its intended contemporary audience, but I found the positioning of villains and innocents in the story enough to disengage from the rest of the material. The stories themselves are fantastic. How chughgai this sweater is! Ismat Chughtai has mastered the art of short stories.

In the coming decades it was widely anthologised, and became one of her most known works, besides Angarey which remained banned for several decades. However, stories are pure gold. Someone writing a story about homosexuality in the pre-independence years of India and Pakistan?


Girls committing chyghtai, crying their hearts out, or begging for love from their lovers are taboo in my books! The zenana then becomes a feminist utopia where women seem to be reliant only on each other and where desires can be voiced and satiated.

At the end of the story the Lihaf has been put to an ingenious and dexterous use to work both as an object as well as a metaphor.

It became a landmark for its early depiction of sex, still a taboo in modern Indian literaturelet alone Urdu literature. You hurt my ribs. Two pieces of advice: Last week, I watched”Dedh Ishqiya” again. The story brought immediate notoriety to Ismat because the theme around which the whole narrative revolved was not just taboo but something that was never even acknowledged an existence, never mentioned in polite society.

Chughtai blurs the lines between the powerful and the powerless untill each resembles the other in their morbidity. I gasped and plunged into my bed. He stayed with Nawab Saheb for some time, who got him new clothes and other gifts; but he ran away for no good reason and never came back, even to see Rabbu However, the most fascinating part of her face were her lips — usually dyed in lipstick and with a mere trace of down on her upper lip.

She was a believer in strict segregation for women. It was a sensitive rendering of a childhood experience whose correct import was understood by Ismat only after she matured into a woman herself.

She was short, stocky and had a small paunch. The elephant stopped shaking and the quilt came down. She recalls how as children, she and her brother often used to hear women gossiping about a certain woman and her affair with a maidservant.