Literature and Cinema Unit 3 Ice Candy Man

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Literature and Cinema Unit 3 Ice Candy Man

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Ice Candy Man



Very Short Type Question & Answers

1. What is Ice Candy Man?

Ans: Ice Candy Man is a novel written by Bapsi Sidhwa.

2. In which year the novel was published?

Ans: The novel was published in the year 1980.

3. On what topic the novel is based upon?

Ans: The novel is based upon the civil war that occurred during the Partition of India in 1947.

4. What is the other name of the novel?

Ans: The other name of the novel is Cracking India.

5. Which of the religious group is mentioned in the novel?

Ans: Hindus, Muslims and Parsis are the religious group mentioned in the novel.

6. Which disease does Lenny have?

Ans: Lenny has polio disease.

7. In which city does the novel mostly take place?

Ans: Lahore is the city where the novel takes place.

8. Which of the following does Ice-candy-man not sell?

Ans: Knives.

9. Which poet is quoted throughout the novel?

Ans: Muhammad Iqbal.

10. What is the word that Lenny uses to describe the way people of different religious groups begin seeing each other?

Ans: Token is the word that Lennny uses to describe the way people of different religious groups begin seeing each other.

11. Rosy and Peter are______.

Ans: Half Indian and Half American.

12. At what point in the novel does Ice-candy-man start to become violent?

Ans: After he sees the train filled with murdered Muslims.

13. What is Mr. Rogers’ job?

Ans: He is chief Inspector of police.

14. Who are the Akalis?

Ans: An armed order of Sikhs.

15. Which suitor does Ayah like best?

Ans: Masseur.

16. Why does Lenny partly like being sick?

Ans: She likes feeling different.

17. What does the black box that Adi and Lenny discover contain?

Ans: It contains with a gun.

18. What does the black box that Adi and Lenny discover contain?

Ans: Simile.

19. When Lenny screams “Ayah! Ayah! Ayah! Ayah!” who screams back “Hai! Hai! Hai!”

Ans: The women at rescued women camp screams back.

20. In which province is Lahore located?

Ans: Punjab.

21. What is one of the visible differences between Sikhs and Muslims?

Ans: Sikhs keep their hair long and Muslims smoke tobacco.

22. Who were the rulers of India before the British?

Ans: The Mughals were the rulers of India before the British.

23. What does Ice-candy-man do at the end of the book?

Ans: Follow Ayah into India.

24. “It surprises me how easily ______ has accepted his loss; and adjusted to his new environment. So…one gets used to everything.” Who is Lenny talking about here?

Ans: Ranna.

25. Masseur is the most peaceful character in the story and is someone who uses his hands to heal and give pleasure. His gruesome death is an example of:

Ans: Situational Irony.

26. Why does Lenny curse her tongue?

Ans: It tells the truth.

27. Who do Lenny and Adi think are lighting the fires in Lahore?

Ans: The mother thought that Lenny and Adi are lighting the fires in Lahore.

28. What is the setting of the novel?

Ans: The setting of the novel is Lahore.

29. Which are the Parsi characters in the novel?

Ans: The Parsi characters in the novel are Lenny, Mother, Father, Godmother, Slave sister, Electric Aunt, Cousin, Old Husband and Dr. Manek Modi.

30. Which are the Muslim characters in the novel?

Ans: The Muslims character in the novel are Iman Din, Yousaf, Masseur, Ice – Candy – Man, Butcher, Dost Mohammad, Ranna and Hamida.

31. Which are the Hindus characters in the novel?

Ans: The Hindus characters in the novel are Ayah- Shanta, Hari, Moti, Muchacho, Papoo, Viceroy’s House (Gardener) and Shanker Family (Lenny’s Neighbors).

32. Which are the Sikh characters in the novel?

Ans: The Sikh characters in the novel are Mr. Singh and Family Sher Singh (zookeeper).

33. Who is the director of the movie 1947 Earth?

Ans: Deepa Mehta is the director of the movie 1947 Earth.

34. Name the producers of the movie 1947 Earth.

Ans: Anne Masson, Deepa Mehta, Jamu Sugandh.

35. Who are the actors of the movie 1947 Earth?

Ans: Aamir Khan, Maya Sethna, Nandita Das, Rahul Khanna, Kitu Gidwani, Arif Zakaria, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raghuveer Yadav, Gulshan Grower and Pankaj Malhotra.

36. Which awards are won by the movie 1947 Earth?

Ans: The film 1947 Earth received the Best film Award at National film Festival, Rahul Khanna received the FilmFare best male debut award and above all it was India’s official entry for the 72nd Academy Award for the Best Foreign Film, though not the winner.

Short Type Question & Answers

1. How does Deepa Mehta illustrate that there is religious tolerance in India before the partition takes place?

Ans: Lenny narrates how her nanny Shanta is a beautiful woman with two Muslim suitors namely Hassan and Navaz. Shanta is a Hindu but the religious difference does not prevent her relationship with the Muslim suitors to blossom. There is a high level of coexistence among different religious affiliations. Besides Shanta and her Muslim suitors, Hindus, and other people from different religions live as one community. However things start to take a drastic change starting the year 1947 during the Partition of India. Muslims turn against Hindus. The bond between people of different religions starts to deteriorate because of their different political interests.

2. Why is diving India becoming unhealthy according to Lenny’s narration?

Ans: Lenny tells her story from childhood till her adulthood and she recounts every event in her life. While she is a young girl, her family remains partisan and coexists well with people of various political and religious affiliations. The arrival of the British in India changes the normal way of life because they start dividing it into two states, India and Pakistan. The division includes religious and political animosity. Religions turn against each other and those who do not support a certain group. Therefore, the division is unhealthy because it destabilizes the peaceful coexistence that has been there for years.

3. What does Shanta’s beauty represent in the film?

Ans: Shanta is Lenny’s granny and she is described as gorgeous despite her age. Many men are chasing after her. She is a Hindu and the men after her are Muslims. Shanta’s beauty signifies that love has no boundaries. Under normal circumstances, men and women are expected to marry partners from their respective religions but what the viewer is witnessing in this film implies that love can navigate beyond the norms and set boundaries.

4. What is the irony in the film Earth (1998)?

Ans: The irony in the film Earth (1998) are:

(a) Scolding Awaits (dialogue versus scene irony): When we see Lenny break the plate a maid immediately arrives on the scene to pick up the broken pieces. A moment later the cook rushes in from the outside asking what the madame will say, setting an expectation of Lenny getting scolded to the audience. Ironically, the opposite happens even though Lenny admits of breaking the plate her mother hugs her affectionately saying I’m glad you told the truth.

(b) United: When Shanta’s group is discussing the division of India at the food place, we see the group conversation getting heated and almost violent. This leads Hassan to defuse the tension and ask that friends will support each other no matter what, to which Dil Navaz answers in affirmation. This is ironic because Dil Navaz, who was the first to agree in supporting each other, is the one who gets Hassan killed and even gets Shanta killed by an angry Muslim mob.

(c) Home: During the dinner table scene at the beginning of the film, we see Mr. Singh and Mr. Rogers get hostile against each other. So far so that they grab each other’s collars. After this skirmish, Mr rogers cools down and ironically remarks that Indian has been his home. This statement displays irony because Indians never truly welcomed the British, which is apparent with Mr. Singh’s displeasure with Mr. Rogers, yet Mr. Roger calls a foreign land taken over from the natives his home.

(d) Phone Connection: The issue of the division of India slowly creeps in and starts to affect the lives of our main characters. We see Shanta sitting with her group in the park discussing when Dil Navaz comes dressed as a Muslim scholar who pretends to have a direct line of communication with god. He, ironically, communicates through a regular telephone with god. This is doubly ironic as not only is that only the regular telephone but religions, in general, convey that the only way to communicate with God is done through spiritual ways, not through manmade inventions.

(e) Marriage: Lenny tells her father, who has just arrived in his car, that Papoo is getting married even though she is only ten years old. To this we see Lenny’s parents giving bad remarks. Ironically, they then tell her that she will only get married when she turns sixteen, which is still too young for marriage according to today’s standards.

5. What does the novel explores?

Ans: The novel Cracking India (first published as Ice-Candy-Man in 1980), by Bapsi Sidhwa, explores the civil war that occurred during the Partition of India in 1947. The political and social upheaval engendered by independence and Partition included religious intolerance that led to mass violence, killings, mutilations, rapes, dismemberments, and the wholesale slaughter of infants, children, men, and women, along with the displacement of millions of refugees-Hindus fleeing to India and Muslims fleeing to Pakistan.

6. What is the irony in the novel?

Ans: When describing how Ranna escaped violence in India, Lenny describes his “chance-if the random queries of five million refugees seeking their kin in the chaos of mammoth camps all over West Punjab can be called anything but chance-reunited him with his [family].” This is an example of verbal irony because the speaker actually means that his situation was quite unlucky.

Lenny says that if not for Godmother’s connections in the police department that pushed them to rescue Ayah, the situation “could have been consigned to the ingenious bureaucratic eternity.” From the context, it is clear that the Pakistani bureaucracy is not “ingenious” at all but slow and ineffective.

Masseur is the most peaceful character in the story and is someone who uses his hands to heal and give pleasure. His gruesome death is an example of situational irony, because his fate is completely different from what the reader would expect.

“What if I have to labour at learning spelling and reciting poems and strive with forty other driven children to stand first, second or third in class? So far I’ve been spared the idiocy-I am by nature uncompetitive but the sudden emergence from its cocoon of a beautifully balanced and shapely foot could put my sanguine personality and situation on the line.” Because Lenny has polio, she is sometimes exempt from going to school like other children her age. Here, she humorously discusses having a well – shaped and healthy foot as a bad thing, because it will force her to join the “idiocy” that other children have to deal with at school.

7. What was the gendered violence during partition?

Ans: Cracking India is focused on how women, in particular, were affected by the splitting up of the British colony of India into the two independent nations of India and Pakistan in 1947. The kidnapping, rape, and later conversion of Ayah resemble real things that happened to many women. In her book The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, writer Urvashi Butalia discusses the way that violence against women formed a crucial element of the violence that preceded and followed Partition: “Mass scale migration, death, destruction, loss-no matter how inevitable Partition seemed no one could have foreseen the scale and ferocity of bloodshed and enmity it unleashed […] still less could anyone have foreseen that women would become so significant, so central and indeed so problematic” (Butalia). Butalia and other feminist scholars have shed light on why women, like the fictional character Ayah, were so frequently the target of violence during Partition.

Before and after Partition, many women were kidnapped and raped by people of other religions. Yet this was not done only by organized violent groups but by ordinary individuals who had previously lived with their Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh neighbors in peace. Butalia argues that these crimes were used as symbol acts of founding of the new nations of India and Pakistan. Women were raped as a way to insult the other side. Similarly, if women were converted it was a way of humiliating and demeaning the other religious group. Kamla Bhasin and Ritu Menon suggest that women became “symbolic of crossing borders, of violating social, cultural, and political boundaries.” If women represent a nation’s purity, their “violation” represents a threat to that purity. In this way, rape was highly political in the midst of Partition.

One result of this humiliation was that women often killed themselves. Other times, they took their own lives out of fear that, even if they were recovered, their own male family members might kill them to “purify” their honour. In Cracking India, Ayah is kidnapped and raped. However, she refuses to believe that this makes her less “pure.” After being freed from Ice-candy-man, she decides to cross over to India even knowing that her family might not accept her. In this way, she refuses to believe the idea that women’s bodies represent the nation or religious community. She asserts that she is just an individual, not a symbol.

8. In Cracking India, Ayah is representative of Hindu India that is divided, raped, and destroyed by the different religious groups that inhabit her. Explain how what happens to Ayah becomes a metaphor for what happens to the country itself.

Ans: In Cracking India, Ayah is a Hindu living in a majority Muslim city within the territory that is post-Partition Pakistan. Her situation is the mirror image of what Muslims experienced in the larger territory of India. Her identity as a subjugated female trying to assert her rights is representative of the colonial Indian situation in which the oppressive rulers are metaphorically gendered male and the indigenous people are feminized.

9. Who is Deepa Mehta?

Ans: The worst man made tragedy of the 20th century, Partition, wherein millions migrated from the either sides (India-Pakistan) with mutilations, abductions, rapes, destructions, sighs and tears beyond the imagination of today’s generation has been brought as 1947 Earth by the known IndoCanadian film maker Deepa Mehta. This film is an intelligent and heart touching personal account of the partition of the Indian subcontinent.

An honest and bold director, Deepa Mehta was born to a family of film distributor and exhibitor in Amritsar, India in 1950. With a degree in Philosophy from the University of Delhi, Mehta migrated to Canada in 1973 with her marriage to Paul Satzman, a Canadian movie producer – director. She too entered the same field very soon. As a director she started with Sam & Me in (1991), Fire (1996), Earth (1947 Earth in India) Water (2005), Lets Talk About i’ (2006), Heaven on Earth (2008) (1998), Bollywood | Hollywood (2002), The Republic of Love (2003), and What’s Cooking about Stella (2008). A movie based on Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is already released in Canada.

Subject of Partition was always close to Mehta’s heart. Though born three years after the tragedy, she grew up listening to stories about the holocaust, as her father’s family had migrated from Lahore to Amritsar leaving behind their properties and cinema houses. According to Mehta, talking about Partition was a way of life for Punjabi families. In one of her interviews to Asseem Chhabra, Mehta states that “In Punjab, if you ask people what 1947 means to them, they will never say the independence of India, they say the Partition of India”. Two-and-a half years before 1998, Mehta came across Sidhwa’s Cracking India (Ice Candy Man in India) at a book store in Seattle. She was quite impressed by the novel written by a Pakistani female writer which dealt with the lives of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, but through the eyes of an eight years old Parsi girl.

10. Write a short note on Lenny Sethi.

Ans: Lenny is four years old when the novel begins. She is a smart little girl who is suffering from polio, which gives her a limp. She lives with her family in Lahore. She loves her parents but worries about their relationship. She wants attention from her father but does not always receive it. Lenny’s family are Parsi (spelled Parsee in the novel) and they practise the Zoroastrian religion. Lenny is very close with Ayah, her nanny. Ayah takes her all around the city and she meets all sorts of interesting characters belonging to various religions. Lenny is painfully honest and unable to tell a lie. She is also becoming aware of sexuality as a force around her. Lenny is anxious about what is going to happen to her country and her city. 

She hears all sorts of adult conversations about India being partitioned and violence between different religious groups. Finally, on Lenny’s birthday in 1948, the British leave India and it is split into two separate countries. An angry mob kidnaps Ayah after Lenny gives up her hiding place. She spends the rest of the novel trying to find her missing nanny, eventually finding her with the help of her godmother.

11. Write a short note on Ice Candy Man.

Ans: Ice – candy – man is a Muslim Popsicle seller. He also does other odd jobs and scams, such as freeing birds, selling herbal remedies, and pretending to be a Muslim saint. He is in love with Ayah and is one of her many suitors. However, over time he becomes jealous of the others, most particularly Masseur. When the population exchange between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims begin, he finds a train full of Muslim refugees from India who have been slaughtered. He begins to turn on his former non – Muslim friends. He also helps kidnap Ayah, makes her work as a prostitute, and then marries her. They live in the red-light-district that hosts the kind of high – class brothels in which he grew up. Ayah wants to leave him and when she is freed he begins following her, first the camp for rescued women and then across the border to India. He assumes the role of the mad lover, reciting poetry and pining for his love. When the novel was first published in England, the title was not Cracking India, but Ice Candy Man.

12. What is the plot of the movie Earth?

Ans: The story is set in Lahore (now the capital of Pakistani Punjab) in the time period directly before and during the partition of India in 1947 at the time of Indian independence.

A young girl with polio, Lenny (Maia Sethna), narrates the story through the voice of her adult self (Shabana Azmi). She is from a wealthy Parsi family who hope to remain neutral to the rising tensions between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims in the area. She is adored and protected by her parents, Bunty (Kitu Gidwani) and Rustom (Arif Zakaria), and cared for by her Ayah, named Shanta (Nandita Das). Both Dil Navaz, the Ice-Candy Man (Aamir Khan), and Hassan, the Masseur (Rahul Khanna) are in love with Shanta. Shanta, Dil, and Hassan are part of a small group of friends from different faiths (some of whom work for Lenny’s family) who spend their days together in the park. With partition, however, this once unified group of friends becomes divided and tragedy ensues.

13. Name the cast of the movie.

Ans: (a) Aamir Khan – Dil Nawaz

(b) Rahul Khanna – Hassan, the Masseur

(c) Nandita Das – Shanta, the maid

(d) Maia Sethna – Lenny Sethna

(e) Shabana Azmi – older Lenny, narrator

(f) Kitu Gidwani – Bunty Sethna

(g) Arif Zakaria – Rustom Sethna

(h) Kulbhushan Kharbanda – Imam Din

(i) Kumar Rajendra – Refugee Police

(j) Pavan Malhotra – Butcher

Long Type Question & Answers

1. Summarize the novel Ice Candy in your own words.

Ans: The novel Cracking India (first published as Ice-Candy-Man in 1980), by Bapsi Sidhwa, explores the civil war that occurred during the Partition of India in 1947. The political and social upheaval engendered by independence and Partition included religious intolerance that led to mass violence, killings, mutilations, rapes, dismemberments, and the wholesale slaughter of infants, children, men, and women, along with the displacement of millions of refugees-Hindus fleeing to India and Muslims fleeing to Pakistan.

Told from the first-person perspective of Lenny Sethi, a Parsee child who is about 4 years old when the novel begins and approximately 10 years old at the end, the novel portrays the complicated and shifting political and social ramifications of the Partition of India into two countries: a Hindu – majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan. Lenny and her family attempt to quietly endure the partition that transforms Lahore, India into Lahore, Pakistan in August 1947.

Simultaneously, the novel operates as a coming – of – age novel delineating the parallel growth and formation of identity within the protagonist, Lenny, and the country, Pakistan. Both suffer severe growing pains, as Lenny’s child-like vision becomes a quickly – maturing voice reporting upon the violence she witnesses, the many friends who are lost, the friends who are betrayed by their former friends and neighbours due to religious differences, and the terrible human cost of dividing one country into two along brutally enforced religious lines. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and Parsees all vie for survival.

As a minority group, the Parsee people first seek alliance with other ethnic groups to help protect them, but then quickly resolve to stay on the sidelines of the growing battle, hoping to hide in plain sight. In fact, Lenny’s idyllic childhood, during the first third of the novel, serves as an idealistic backdrop, displaying the ethnic and religious harmony that existed in Lahore prior to the independence and Partition of India. Lenny’s pampered, secure childhood mirrors the peace that precedes the slaughter of Partition. This peaceful coexistence highlights the later terrors of religious intolerance. In this way, Sidhwa unfolds the macrocosm of the civil war through the microcosm of Lenny’s life.

Other parallels also link private life with the larger world. Lenny’s nursemaid, Ayah, attracts a multi-ethnic crowd of admirers that mirrors the mplex ethnic compositions of both India and Pakistan. The breakdown of Pakistani and Indian society into violent ethnic and religious groups mirrors the breakdown of the previously harmonious relationships between ethnicities and religions in Lenny’s world.

The novel’s themes explore human understanding of being both a social insider and a social outsider depending upon a person’s caste, religion, ethnicity, and economic status. It also examines the experience of being handicapped; the effects of religious and racial conflicts; the subjugation of women through arranged child marriages and prostitution; obsessions with sexuality; and the dangers of politically – motivated violence. By using a child for the novel’s narrative voice and perceptions, Sidhwa confronts the histories of India and Pakistan and their social, historical, and political complexities with humour and compassion.

However, Lenny’s childhood contains many horrors once Partition occurs. These horrors culminate with the ultimate dreadfulness of her own betrayal of her beloved Ayah to the Ice – candy – man and his Muslim thugs. Even her family is confounded by her action; she can barely forgive herself.

The last third of the novel demonstrates the united efforts of Lahori women, across ethnic and religious lines, to repair some of the damage perpetrated during Partition and its aftermath. Since parents hide painful truths from their children, and Lenny has proven that she cannot be trusted, Lenny’s mother hides her own secret work, which involves dangerous, illegal trade on the black market to earn money used to rescue women from enforced prostitution and sex slavery. Lenny only learns about this work near the end of the novel, when her Godmother demonstrates her power and authority by locating and stealing Ayah back from the Ice. candy – man. Lenny’s mother’s work enables them to send Ayah back home to her family in Amritsar, India. Perhaps the novel’s most hopeful sign for the future of Pakistan is that these women come together to help one another, regardless of ethnicity or religion.

2. Discuss the themes of the novel, ‘Ice Candy’.

Ans: Ice Candy Man, Bapsi Sidhwa is among the important signatures in Pakistani literary world. Being a Parsi, she is aware of her roots, past and the Parsi community. Ice Candy-Man is her major novel which introduces a child narrator Lenny who narrates the events in the wake of Partition of India. Sidhwa’s concern for her Parsi community, place of women in Pakistani society, human struggle for survival and dignity of man are major themes in the novels. In Ice – Candy – Man, Sidhwa presents her Parsi community in a dilemma over the issue of support. Partition is imminent and the question of loyalty haunts the Parsi psyche.

They are loyal to the Raj but now Parsis have to side either with India or the newly formed Pakistan. Sidhwa depicts Hindu – Muslim riots without any social discrimination. As the narrative progresses, history moves to the background and struggle for survival becomes the focus of the narrative. There are a number of novels written about Partition of India like Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh, Tamas by Bhisham Sahni, Azadi by Chaman Nahal, A Bend in the Ganges by Manohar Malgaonkar. The Rape by Raj Gill, Ashes and Petals by H.S. Gill, Twice Born Twice Dead by K.S. Duggal, The Dark Dancer by B.Rajan, Sunlight on a Broken Column by Attia Hosain and IceCandy-Man by Bapsi Sidhwa. 

These novels realistically portray and depict the upheaval that the Indian subcontinent experienced. It was the most shocking and traumatic experience of division of hearts and communities. These literary works leave the reader with the feeling of disquiet and disturbance. These novels deal with the tumultuous and traumatic moments in the life of one generation. (A Critic) observes that these works not only deal with the tumultuous times but also strips away the veneer of civilization that man hides behind. Ice Candy Man Summary They also holds a mirror to the element of savagery latent in man. “It seems, a stressful situation reveals the animal streak just waiting to be unleashed. This is made all the more strong by the support of a mob feeding on hatred.”

Ice Candy Man deals with human emotions at play at different levels, heightened by turbulent times. In the process of shaping history, human emotions and relationships are relegated to the background. The tidal waves of violence, hatred and communal violence change the feelings of fraternity. Aradhika observes: “Like some ancient Satanic rites of witchcraft, the power to destroy, springs forth from an unsuspected fount within and the sheer pleasure of humiliating and massacring the victim is so great that one forgets one’s own mortality.” Bapsi Sidhwa in her novel Ice – Candy – Man delineates his characters and their antecedents with fidelity and with a feeling of contemporaneity. In the narrative of Ice – Candy – Man, the reader is introduced to the kind-hearted Khansama who is a veritable rebel, the loyal khalsa refusing to leave Lahore, Tota Ram the frightened Hindu and a Parsi family oscillating between – two view – points with neutrality hoping for their survival.

in Ice – Candy – man, the main characters are. Ice – Candy – Man and the ‘Ayah’, the maid-servant with the Parsi family. Ice Candy – Man is a handsome and immensely popular youngman He is a generous fellow who is miles away from religious fanaticism. But one incident shakes his entire existence and his belief in the goodness of man is shattered. He becomes a witness to the mutilated bodies of Muslims in the hands of Hindus and he takes a vow to avenge the death of his Muslim fellows. This bitter experience wrenches out the darker side of his personality. This shattering blow transforms a kind and loving individual into a violent and frenzied person. On a crucial moment in the narrative, he asks the Ayah: Ice Candy Man “there is an animal inside me straining to break free. Marry me and perhaps it will be contained.” Here Aradhika observes: “The ultimate betrayal is not by the innocent trusting little girl but by the devil of hatred that cannot be contained.” Now the ice – candy – man plays the pivotal role of a raffish type man. Like other novelists on Partition, Sidhwa also describes the ugly and terrifying face of Partition by recollecting the traumatic and agonising memories of those moments. 

Sidhwa also has tried to recreate history in emotion-laden and poignant scenes. The rumblings of Partition are felt in the beginning of the narrative the tension mounts, atmosphere becomes grim and awesome. Here one and the atmosphere proper to the kind of a tale is gradually created. As finds the worst kind of genocide in the history of mankind. Narratives like Ice – Candy – Man transport readers back into the corridors of time. This experience of being catapulted back into the dark and forgotten recesses of time leaves the readers shocked and unbelieving on the reaction of man. One witnesses the shocking and heart-rending scenes of the arrival of trains full of massacred Muslims chugging into the platform with crowds waiting for another gift from Amritsar. Man is transformed into a brute, a savage lusting for blood. He is ripped apart, dissected to reveal animal form. The colourful streets of Lahore look ominously dreadful and deserted. The Hindus are still reluctant to leave their ancestral property where their generations have lived and prospered. Now they visualise a future devoid of any hope. These painful experiences are like the agonising throes of a new birth. It is still painful to recollect those traumatic and dreadful moments that turned the noble ones into beasts. Indeed the Partition of India remains the most agonising experience in history. 

A number of writers who wrote on Partition touch the gut of the problem in order that such blunders should never be committed by ‘wise leaders’. Jagdev Singh observes, “The Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 is one of the great tragedies, the magnitude, ambit and savagery of which compels one to search for the larger meaning of events, and to come to terms with the lethal energies that set off such vast conflagrations.” These comments aptly throw light on the central theme of the novel Ice – Candy – Man.

The theme of inter – community marriage is at the core of Sidhwa’s novels like Ice – Candy – Man, An American Brat and the Crow Eaters. Her handling of the theme of intercommunity marriages is relevant and contemporary. This sensitive issue arouses acrimonious debates in Parsi Community. In Parsi faith, it is believed that a Parsi could be one only by birth. In mixed marriages, the children lose their right to be members of Parsi community.

The Parsis have a patriarchal society. While dealing with the theme of marriage, Sidhwa maintains a balance without revolting against rigid social codes. In her novel An American Brat, Sidhwa examines the theme of inter – faith marriage in detail. Its protagonist Feroza migrates to America where she intends to marry a Jew boy David Press. Her Parsi community opposes this marriage and Feroza has to withdraw her move but she expresses her conviction to marry to boy of her choice only, irrespective of religion. In Ice-Candy-Man, Sidhwa presents the theme of interfaith marriage through the love relationship between the Ice Candy-Man and the Hindu Ayah. 

On seeing his fellow Muslims massacred, the Ice-Candy man goes mad with rage and keeps his beloved Ayah in the brothels of Hira Mandi in Lahore. Then he realizes his mistake and marries the Hindu Ayah but now love has become powerless. The Ayah is rescued and is taken to a Recovered Women’s Camp in Amritsar. Thus, a number of themes have been well integrated in the narrative of Ice-Candy-man.

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