Thy People is the testimony of one woman’s devotion. Mariam Salam was born in Rotherham, a small town in Yorkshire, known for the wild beauty of its moors and the robust common sense of its people. She graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and the conviction that each and every human being can achieve anything he truly sets his heart upon. Then she acquired a teaching diploma from the Institute of Education, London University. It was there that she met and married a young Pakistani law student Abdul Shakur-ul-Salam. With unflinching devotion, she followed him over continents and oceans, through the barriers of culture, creed, language, color and traditions, to his home in Pakistan. The devotion which she initially gave him grew, over the years, to embrace not only his immediate and extended family but also the whole community to which he belonged, until his people had become wholly and irrevocably her very own.
Title: Thy People
Author: Mariam Salam
Number of Pages: 190
Many few memoirs or accounts come in to mind, that have the power to compel a reader so greatly within them, as Thy People by Mariam Salam as done so.
It is a very meticulously crafted memoir telling the account of the Author's odyssey from England to Pakistan in the late 1950's after marriage with her husband- a native Pakistani.
After arriving in Pakistan, the Author describes the culture-shock she cogently observes in the day-to-day Pakistani life‐ totally opposite to what she was used to in England! But what struck me the most was that in describing the Pakistani way life— The author maintains such a beautiful, gentle and at times, a wonderfully hilarious way at describing the culture through her eyes that gives any Pakistani reader a fresh persepective on their own traditions and why they exist and the underlying convivialty behind them. All this, she does so while maintaining a profound sense of humbleness and humility– recognizing and accepting, nay–embracing the wisdom and the way with which the Pakistani life conducts itself, especially the Pakistani unit of family.
Later on in the book, the Author also takes the reader on a painful, heart-rendering journey about the pre-partition horrors that her in-laws faced, her people who she had come to love so much and they, her. The horrors are foretold in such vivid detail– I was on the verge of tears throughought.
You, see, as a Pakistani reader, growing up we were not told of the accounts, of the exact gruesome nature of bloodied sacrifies that our ancestors actually went through. The trauma that it all must have been. Our history books simple squeeze it all in a simple diluted sentence for example, " 1947 partition caused great riots between Hindus-Muslims". Nothing more than this usually. So, to actually read about some of the real-life accounts of real people makes one realise how far removed we as a society have been from the realities of the sacrifices made to create our homeland.
This review can in no way account for the honorableness of this book and the beautifully intricate way that the author has written it. I would recommend this book to every person especially a Pakistani, to re-visit their own culture and regain a lost vision that many people gave their life for, for the sake of this country. To love and cherish each other. To Our people, My people, Thy people.