How does Corporal Harnam Singh spend his sleepless night in "The Dog of Tithwal"?

In "The Dog of Tithwal," Corporal Harnam Singh spends his sleepless night humming. He also talks to and feeds the dog, along with speculating about its national identity.

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Saadat Hasan Manto’s story "The Dog of Tithwal " features three Indian soldiers named Singh: Banta, Ganda, and Harnam. The last is referred to as “Jamadar,” a title that can correspond to corporal or lieutenant. As the story begins, Hamam is finishing the night watch and turns it...

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Saadat Hasan Manto’s story "The Dog of Tithwal" features three Indian soldiers named Singh: Banta, Ganda, and Harnam. The last is referred to as “Jamadar,” a title that can correspond to corporal or lieutenant. As the story begins, Hamam is finishing the night watch and turns it over to Ganda at two o’clock in the morning. Lying awake a cold night, after the fire had gone out, sleep eludes him; the narrator says it is as distant as the stars.

Hamam begins to hum a Punjabi folk song, which induces a “good ... sentimental” mood. The lyrics that pass through his mind also refer to the stars, as the speaker asks their beloved to buy them shoes with stars on them. Banta, the youngest soldier, is a good singer. Hamam’s humming awakens him and the older soldiers, and Banta begins to sing from a “timeless Punjabi epic.” His singing makes the others feel melancholic.

The dog’s barking shatters this mood. Banta retrieves him and says the dog told him his name, Jhun Jhun. As he noses around into their camp, the soldiers wonder where he came from and jokingly speak about him as if he were human. Banta declares him a refugee, while Hamam gives him treats but also insists that even a dog must declare their identity as either Indian or Pakistani.

The night ends with Hamam looking through his binoculars at the smoke from the enemy’s fire, which indicating they are making breakfast.

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