Train to Pakistan

by

Khushwant Singh

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Gurdwara Term Analysis

In Punjabi, the term means “doorway to the Guru,” or “house of God.” A gurdwara is a Sikh temple. Like other houses of worship, Sikhs conduct the business of worship in the gurdwara. They also use the space to officiate weddings and religious initiation ceremonies.

Gurdwara Quotes in Train to Pakistan

The Train to Pakistan quotes below are all either spoken by Gurdwara or refer to Gurdwara. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of Train to Pakistan published in 1956.
4. Karma Quotes

He felt a little feverish, the sort of feverishness one feels when one is about to make a declaration of love. It was time for a declaration of something. Only he was not sure what it should be. Should he go out, face the mob and tell them in clear ringing tones that this was wrong—immoral? Walk right up to them with his eyes fixing the armed crowd in a frame—without flinching, without turning, like the heroes on the screen who became bigger and bigger as they walk right into the camera. Then with dignity fall under a volley of blows, or preferably a volley of rifleshots. A cold thrill went down Iqbal’s spine. There would be no one to see this supreme act of sacrifice. They would kill him just as they would kill the others … They would strip him and see. Circumcised, therefore Muslim.

Related Characters: Iqbal Singh, Meet Singh
Related Symbols: Bangles
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gurdwara Term Timeline in Train to Pakistan

The timeline below shows where the term Gurdwara appears in Train to Pakistan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Dacoity
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
...crying outside of the house. Iqbal walks in the shade alongside the wall of the gurdwara. Children and men have used it as a bathroom. He sees a mangy dog there... (full context)
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Iqbal walks back to the gurdwara. He goes to his room and lies down on his charpoy. Meet Singh appears and... (full context)
2. Kalyug
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
During a meeting in the gurdwara, people are melancholic. Imam Baksh says that they are living in bad times. Meet Singh... (full context)
4. Karma
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
...sleep. The group disperses. Some visitors, along with Malli and his gang, stay in the gurdwara. Others go home so as not to be implicated in the crime, due to their... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Postcolonial Anxiety and National Identity Theme Icon
The tonga arrives at the gurdwara. When Meet Singh greets Iqbal and opens the door to his room, the priest talks... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Power and Corruption Theme Icon
Honor and Heroism  Theme Icon
...what it is doing. If the plot is a success, they will come to the gurdwara for thanksgiving and make offerings to wash away their sins. (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Honor and Heroism  Theme Icon
At the gurdwara, Meet Singh is awake. He is sweeping the floor and tidying up when someone bangs... (full context)
The Partition of India and Religious Warfare Theme Icon
Honor and Heroism  Theme Icon
...priest to say “Sat Sri Akal” to Iqbal on his behalf, then he leaves the gurdwara. (full context)