AnanyaDhall Review Cracking India: Bapsi Sidhwa Cracking India Dreams are often the most accurate insights

into our psyche. In Cracking India by BapsiSidhwa, the narrator Lenny has a recurring nightmare that realistically portrays the state of India. In Lenny¶s dream we see that ³children lie in...what¶s happening´ (Sidhwa 31). Her nightmare alludes to India¶s condition before and during partition. The indifferent guardians watching on while the children suffer represent India¶s state of unrest, which is a consequence of its tolerance towards the British Raj. While one might be horrified by the image of the British officers dismembering the children¶s limbs, what appears to be even more shocking is the fact that their alleged guardians are standing by and watching them suffer. This pushes forward the idea that the main issue isn¶t the mistreatment by the British officers, but the mistreatment by characters like Godmother, Mother and Ayah; who represent the leaders of the nation; who are incapable of helping the situation or stopping the violence. Lenny¶s sense of immense loss parallels India¶s loss of pride, unity and dignity as a nation. India¶s spirit is being broken as the British destroy it while Indians stand by and watch their own country¶s slow demise. Though it might seem like the British only have this negative effect on India before partition, Lenny recalls the same nightmare much later in the novel. She says, ³I am back in the factory«with an eerie horrifying insistence´ (Sidhwa 142). It seems like

The hammering of nails into hands and feet in Lenny¶s dream represents the inflexible borders being enforced through the partition. religious riots and divisions within previously united communities.though the British might have released their control over India officially. they still remain in spirit through the unfortunate events like partition. However most dreams. India can prosper despite the damages caused by the British raj only if the leaders of India who are represented in the nightmare by the guardians like Ayah and Mother. . can become proactive and work towards the betterment of India¶s future which is personified by Lenny. The heartbreaking image along with India¶s many grievances regarding partition and the British raj lead us to believe that change is imperative. including horrific nightmares as this one are only lived through in states of deep sleep and lost in the transition to reality.

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