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. Read this article to know about Lihaaf The Quilt summary by Ismat Chughtai. Lihaf is an Urdu short story that made Ismat Chughtai popular for its controversies . Ismat Chughtai’s Lihaaf challenged the conventional feminine qualities of obedience, abstinence and modesty in a patriarchal society and.

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I tried to wriggle out and Begum Jaan began to laugh loudly. The gold necklace she had offered me moments ago flew into pieces. What could I have said to anyone?

I was then a small girl and fought all day with my brothers and their friends. The heavy gold buttons of the kurta were open and swinging to one side. She was very tall and the ample flesh on her body made her look stately and magnificent. So the incident slipped from my memory. But the following night I woke up again and heard Begum Jaan and Rabbu arguing in a subdued tone. There was sound of someone smacking her lips, as though savouring a tasty pickle.

And Begum Jaan here was more terrifying than all the loafers of the world. He was too busy chasing the gossamer shirts, nor did he allow her to go out. Get back to sleep.

Speaking for myself, lihag anyone were to touch my body so often I would certainly rot to death. Literary Radicalism in India: Rabbu was still rubbing her back as I fell asleep. Thank God Rabbu returned that night. Then I heard two people whispering. Her hands were cold like ice but clammy as though the skin had been stripped off. Her eyelids had drooped, her upper lip showed a black shadow and tiny beads of sweat sparkled on her lips and nose despite the cold. Despite using all the oils and balms the itch remained stubbornly there.


The muslin net dupatta was torn to shreds. Begum was gaining the glow that she lost.

Periyar Chugghtai In Trichy: The elephant started to sway again. How tight this sweater is! Amma always disliked my playing with boys. This is the feeling of every girl who is newly married yet her desires were never fulfilled by her husband that she wanted to gratify her wishes by other means.

She was a believer in strict segregation for women. I forgot the lines though I knew the entire ayat by heart. Liuaf the story progressed, I grew increasingly uncomfortable by the narrative of a nine-year-old girl who witnesses the sexual encounters and is then used or rather abused by Begum Jaan to satiate her desire in the absence of Rabbu.

Her existence was centred on herself and her itch.

Why Is No One Talking About The Child Sexual Abuse In Chughtai’s Lihaaf?

However, I had resolved to switch on the light that night, come what may. No one had ever seen a nautch girl or prostitute in his house. But nothing really pleased him. It could be an infection under the skin. My heart chugjtai in anguish for Amma.


Scared, I went to bed rather early and pulled the quilt over me.

This, however, does not make Lihaaf any less of a feminist text even though it might challenge some accepted tenets of feminism. Relatives, however, would come for visits and would stay for months while she remained a prisoner in the house. She arranged for night long reading of the scripture but in vain.

Chughtai blurs the lines between the powerful and the powerless untill each resembles the other in their morbidity. The story, over the years, has emerged as a fitting example of the triumph of feminism and Begum Jan is often viewed as the champion of it.

After some time she stopped and lay back exhausted.

Ismat chughtai’s lihaaf

Someone would mention their name and the whole group would burst into loud guffaws. Have you read these?

The arrangement pleased both Begum Jaan and me. When Amma decided to go chuvhtai Agra, she left me with Begum Jaan for a week. Her cheeks began to glow and she blossomed in beauty. I rubbed gently and was happy to be of some use to her.

But what followed was confusion and questions.

Full text of “Lihaaf [ The Quilt] Ismat Chughtai”

Rabbu had no other household duties. Begum Jaan regained her senses after much fuss and ministrations. History of Indian Literature: