Rawalpindi in the first few decades of the twentieth century is a prosperous, bustling town, witnessing the first stirrings of the freedom movement. It is in this place and time that a delicate child grows into adolescence, at the heart of an unusual family. Adulthood and the horrific business of Partition drive the young man to Bombay, then Ambala and finally Delhi. As he gathers life experience and hones his talent at writing, his politics are formed. We observe the making of one of the icons of modern Hindi literature: Bhisham Sahni.
In addition to being the story of Sahni's life and art, Today's Pasts also chronicles the great cultural highpoints of modern India: the IPTA, the Progressive Writer's Association, the Nayi Kahani movement. The stars of Hindi and Urdu literature enter and exit the text as friends and familiars.
In Bhisham Sahni's hands a life story is transformed into a history of our present: one life bears witness to the tale of a nation.