Manoa, vol. 27, no. 1 (2015): Story Is A Vagabond

Presented by Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing

Story Is A Vagabond: Fiction, Essays, and Drama by Intizar Husain
Guest Editors: Alok Bhalla, Asif Farrukhi, and Nishat Zaidi

Intizar Husain has been called the greatest living writer in the Urdu language, a living legend, and Pakistan’s preeminent chronicler of change. His voice of compassion and insight is much needed, not only in his troubled homeland but wherever English-speaking readers know about Pakistan only through the mass media.

Born in 1925 in Dibai, India, Husain migrated to Pakistan in 1947. His epic novel of the Partition, Basti, was short-listed for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize and was recently republished as a New York Review of Books Classics Original. His honors include the 2014 French Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the 2012 Lahore Literary Festival.

This issue features paintings by contemporary Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi.

Manoa 27:1 Story is A Vagabond, Intizar Husain

Introduction
Alok Bhalla, vii

(excerpt from Introduction)

Before I met Intizar Husain in Lahore, I was told that he was a simple man of gentle wit and great learning who was always willing to travel miles to pay homage to an old banyan tree or an ancient village well. Since I was familiar with his stories, I recognised that his search for a many-rooted banyan tree or a well resonating with the uncanny was not a strange eccentricity. In his stories, a well with a parapet or a banyan tree with its spreading shade were sites of a soul-saving pilgrimage his wanderers felt compelled to make to places of continuous replenishment and generous shelter. The well, in his fictional mythos, was connate with the sacred foundations of a human settlement, and the banyan was a privileged village-centre under whose shade all claims about the innate differences between the sage, the beast, the parrot, and the jinn were inadmissible and unsustainable. The well and the banyan were, for him, the abiding and organising symbols of an older cultural faith of the subcontinent, which assumed that it was always possible for different communities to create a life of “complex and pluralistic wholeness” (the phrase is Charles Taylor’s)—a faith lost in the melodramas of grievance and revenge enacted during the Partition and the religious enthusiasm of mobs for gods, paradise, and martyrs.

Fiction

An Unwritten Epic
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 1

Qayyuma’s Shop
Intizar Husain and Moazzam Sheikh, 17

A Stranded Railroad Car
Intizar Husain and Muhammad Umar Memon, 31

Complete Knowledge
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 41

The City of Sorrow
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 49

The Lost Ones
Intizar Husain and Muhammad Umar Memon, 61

The Prisoner(s)
Intizar Husain and C. M. Naim, 73

Clouds
Intizar Husain and M. Asaduddin, 81

Leaves
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 84

The Boat
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 95

A Chronicle of the Peacocks
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 105

The Jungle of the Gonds
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Vishwamitter Adil, 113

The Death of Sheherzad
Intizar Husain and Rakhshanda Jalil, 123

Toward His Fire
Intizar Husain and Muhammad Umar Memon, 128

Comrades
pp. 137-145
Intizar Husain and Richard R. Smith, 137

The Shadow
Intizar Husain and Muhammad Umar Memon, 146

Drama

The Deluge: A Play
Intizar Husain, Alok Bhalla, and Nishat Zaidi, 156

Essays

Many Dreams Later!
Intizar Husain, Nishat Zaidi, and Alok Bhalla, 189

Between Me and the Story
Intizar Husain and Rakhshanda Jalil, 196

Stage Drama with Reference to Some Personal Experiences
Intizar Husain and Asif Farrukhi, 202

Vanishing Tradition
Intizar Husain, 207

In the Maze of Brindaban
Intizar Husain, Nishat Zaidi, and Alok Bhalla, 213

Literature and Love
Intizar Husain and Frances W. Pritchett, 220

The Blind Age
Intizar Husain and Asif Farrukhi, 226

Reason and Purpose of the Jataka Stories
Intizar Husain, Nisaht Zaidi, and Alok Bhalla 230

The Last Candle
Intizar Husain and M. Asaduddin, 233

Vikram, the Vampire, and the Story
Intizar Husain and Frances W. Pritchett, 241

Afterword

In Conversation with Intizar Husain: Some Remembered, Some Imagined
Alok Bhalla and Intizar Husain, 245


Glossary of Names and Terms, 257

About the Contributors, 259

About the Artist, 261

Permissions, 262


List of Illustrations
Imran Qureshi, ii-206

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