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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At the same time since it is a child who is reporting these goings on, it is done without any awkwardness that might have chugntai such descriptions.

It is unfortunate that such beautiful and clever stories are translated in such a mediocre way. They almost walk out of the pages to stand before us as real flesh and blood figures.

It is a life full of luxuries and comforts with a surfeit of material things. 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.

Begum Jaan had not eaten anything the whole day.

Don’t be afraid to keep one finger marking the glossary. The story is told from the point of view of a small girl who is the niece of the protagonist, Begum Jan. In Ismat Chughtai successfully defended herself before the Imperial Crown Court against a charge of obscenity for her short story Lihaaf – The Quilt. 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. Want to Read saving….

Begum Jan is able to avoid direct censure because tje does not violate the heterosexual code of chastity by taking another man into her bed.

The Quilt & Other Stories

The lonely Begum starts to wither but is saved by Rabbo, her masseuse. As the light came on the lihaf did a somersault and collapsed. It became another reason for her to qquilt for colloquial, everyday speech in telling her stories rather than sophisticated, stiff and ornate Urdu that would make her characters seem unreal.


I have to admit to read Ismat Chugtai in English was bit less of fun. The next step is an unmasking of the pretentiousness, the hypocrisy, and the pseudo-religiosity of the Nawab and by extension of the society to which he belongs.

Till now it was as if the narrator was preparing the ground on which the events would unfold. And her hair-parting which fhughtai never crooked was a tangled mess.

Ksmat favorite story was ‘Homemaker’ about Lajo, the former prostitute and simpleton Mirza. The quilt crept into my brain and began iskat grow larger. Lists with This Book. Retrieved from ” https: Each of these 15 idmat concerns marriage in one way or another, and most begin or end with a wedding.

The kind of loss that comes not from brushing against death but from the awareness that one is constantly vulnerable to it. But Chughtai places a lihaaf or a quilt of vagueness and euphemism over her writing as she explores the homoerotic theme in her story.

Rabbu was still rubbing her back as I fell asleep. Some people are crazy enough to cultivate interests like breeding pigeons and watching cockfights.

All this is surprisingly achieved through a nine-year-old narrator and through a deft use of the lihaf as a metaphor as well as an object. Our curiosity is suitably aroused and we move quickly onward for the mystery to unravel.

Begum Jaan grew more and more irritable.

My favorites among the fifteen stories? They helped themselves to rich food and got warm stuff made for themselves while she stiffened with cold despite the new cotton in her quilt.

She was considered rather radical and was even hhe to trial by the powers that were at the time for pornography, for THE QUILT, one of the short stories in this Ismat Chughtai was a forward-looking author in an era where “good women” were obedient, not in the world and forward looking.


A nice new adventure for me! Published in the Urdu literary journal Adab-i-Latifit led to much controversy, uproar and an obscenity trial, where Ismat had to defend herself in the Lahore Court as well for this work.

The Short Stories: Ismat Chughtai: The Quilt

Sometimes her face seemed to change shape under my gaze and looked as though it were the face of a young boy Open Preview See a Problem? The subject is treated in the form it is most important to acknowledge, the misuse of power that adults hold over children.

For her the sounds are simply due to some feast that the Begum and Rabbu are enjoying in hiding and according to her this was entirely possible since Begum Jan had not eaten anything the whole day. Then, I think, you will be able to find out how a forlorn Begam can give her undivided attention to a “Laundi” female servant. Her husband, the Nawab, was much older than her and was thought to be extremely respectable for never having had any encounters with prostitutes.

Begum Jan has some legitimate rights as a wife but it is not for her to demand them. Rich old men marrying poor put beautiful young girls was a common occurrence in a society where marriage was essential for a girl’s survival but poverty often became a hindrance to it. Now tell me, are they man-eaters that they would eat up her darling?

But then she started living and lived her life to the full. The narration doesn’t lack in humour, detail nor in honesty.