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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Troubled Pilgrimage

Passage to Pakistan

by (author) Balwant Bhaneja

Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2013
Personal Memoirs, Social History, Arab & Middle Eastern
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    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
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Born in Lahore in present-day Pakistan, Balwant Bhaneja grew up in the exiled Sindhi Hindu community of Delhi, before emigrating to Canada. Troubled Pilgrimage is his account of a journey to his ancestral Sindh in Pakistan. Struggling against the preconceptions nurtured in post-1947 India, and his own recent fears of the country he's about to visit, Bhaneja finds in Sindh the familiar and the strange, a homeland whose experience is as warm as it is wrenching, dispelling misunderstandings while raising profound questions about himself. This account is at once a meditation on exile, home, and identity, and on being a modern Canadian, as it is a journey into the enchanting, mystical land that was lost to his people at the Partition.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Balwant Bhaneja was born in Lahore and left India in 1965 for Canada. The author of five books, he has written widely on politics, science and arts. His recent works include a collaboration with Indian playwright Vijay Tendulkar, entitled Two Plays: The Cyclist and His Fifth Woman (2006) published by Oxford University Press (India), and Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey(2011) published by the Center of Global Nonkilling, Honolulu, Hawaii. Bhaneja's short fiction has appeared in South Asian periodicals and his plays have been produced by the BBC World Service and Toronto's Maya Theatre at Harbourfront. He lives in Ottawa.

Editorial Reviews

"The book's value is in the view it offers of a place . . . that most Canadians will never visit and the understanding that comes from such a view." --The Ottawa Citizen

"[Troubled Pilgrimage] is a celebration of pluralism" --Quill & Quire

"Bill Bhaneja delivers an unusual and captivating on-the-ground view of the Upper Sindh region of Pakistan. His travels to Sindh are book-ended by another hunt: for the great leader and teacher, Mahatma Gandhi, who Bhaneja, as a young child, saw many times at prayer gatherings. Altogether, a fascinating journey." --Mark Frutkin, author of Fabrizio's Return

"Troubled Pilgrimage is the moving account of Balwant Bhaneja's search for his ancestral roots in post-911 Pakistan...along the way sharing his reflections on memory, identity, irrevocable loss and strange twists of fate that determine our lives." --James Loney, author of Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq and The Struggle for a World Without War