Ice Candy Man

Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice-Candy-Man: A Thematic Study
Talluri Mathew Bhaskar
Lecturer in English

Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Ice-Candy-Man is a realistic narrative, set in Lahore. The story takes up
the themes of communal tensions using religion as a way to define individual identity, territorial
cravings, political oppressions, power and love, and binds them together in a very readable
narrative. The novel revolves around people from diverse religious backgrounds—Muslim,
Hindu, Sikh and Parsee—living in complete harmony till the rumours of the Sub-Continent’s
imminent division tear them asunder. Lenny’s narration starts at her fifth year and ends after her
eighth birthday. Lenny’s passionate love for Ayah and the loss of innocence that accompanies
their changing relationship through partition is an energetic centre to the plot. The tale revolves
around Ayah, and her several suitors and what becomes of them interestingly enough. Sidhwa
gives each one of Ayah’s suitors of different religions and cultural backgrounds.

When I was a child living in Lahore at the time of partition, my maiden name was
Bhandara, which sounded like a Hindu name. After most of the riots were over, a
gang of looters came in carts into our house thinking it is an abandoned house. They
were quite shocked to see us and my mother and everybody there. At that time our
Muslim cook came and said, what do you damn people think you are doing? “This is

Volume 01, No.7, July 2015


Bapsi Sidhwa was born and brought up in United India. In this age of globalisation, it is really
very difficult to categorise some writers; Bapsi Sidhwa is one of them. She likes herself to be
described as a Punjabi-Pakistani-Parsee woman. Her fiction deals with both the pre-and
postcolonial period of the Indian Sub-Continent. What is most remarkable about her work is her
dual perspective which is based on both the Pakistani and the Parsee point of view. She speaks
both for the Pakistani‟s...