I never understood if religion could be the way of living at some places. In Kafir the narrator announces that she's switched her religion to be part of Holi celebrations in a Hindu household. She does that often calling her friend a non-believer often when it pleases her. If even during play, children were so ingrained in religious beliefs, how would they grow as adults? Quite surprising
Ismat Chugtai is straight with what she writes.
In my stories, i've put down everything with objectivity. Now, if some people find them obscene, let them got to hell. It's my belief that experiences can never be obscene if they are based on authentic realities of life.Yes, Ismat was courageous enough to express herself in a very forthright manner. In The Quilt, a neglected wife in her prime, looks upto homosexuality when she's neglected by her husband. Her writings are influenced by characters who were associated with her; perhaps, with people with whom she shared her childhood. Maybe this close observation helped her gain the precision noted in her short stories. Her unfinished autobiography Kaghazi hai Pairahan, gives a more vivid description.
Lifting the veil
Selected Writings of ISMAT CHUGHTAI