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Watch The Quilt

'Lihaaf' ('The Quilt') is a 1942 Urdu short story written by Ismat Chughtai. Published in the Urdu literary journal Adab-i-Latif, it led to much controversy, uproar and an obscenity trial, where Ismat had to defend herself in the Lahore Court as well for this work. She was asked to apologize which she did not and also won the case, after her lawyer pointed out that the story makes no suggestion to a sexual act, and prosecution witnesses could not point out any obscene words, and the story is suggestive and told from perspective of a small girl. In the coming decades it was widely anthologised, and became one of her most known works, besides Angarey which remained banned for several decades. Years later, she mentioned in detail the court trial in her noted memoir, Kaghazi Hai Pairahan (A Life in Words: Memoir).Though it received attention for its suggestion of lesbianism, it also deals with the insulated and suffocating life of a neglected wife in the feudal society. It became a landmark for its early depiction of sex, still a taboo in modern Indian literature, let alone Urdu literature. The film is adaptation of the story 'Lihaaf' and about author's real life experience of three years of fighting a court case against her challenging her freedom of speech.

Drama, Biography, History
Rahat Kazmi

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