I have grown up listening to stories about the other side of the border. My grandparents were refugees who were directly affected by the partition. My grandfather lost his brothers and sisters whom he never met again.
It used to be a bedtime ritual for us to listen to all those stories, how they lived before partition, how they came to India, how their neighbors hid them and helped them travel. Like all the others, my grandparents also locked their houses, buried their gold in their backyard came to this side of the border thinking that once the situation settles, they will go back to their house. Their Lahore. Maybe one day when all is at peace, we will get to visit the land of our ancestors. How I wish I had documented the stories when my grandparents were alive. Now with every passing day, I am forgetting the details. What was the name of the neighbor? What was the name of the bardaari? What was the name of the horse? Can’t remember now.
Maybe it’s the effect of hearing the stories or something else that every time when someone talks about partition, it leaves a void inside me.
I visited Punjab last month and I had these dejavu moments, not once but many times. I have visited Punjab multiple times as a tourist and never stayed there for long but every time I visit Punjab there is a sense of familiarity, of being comfortable, walking on unknown roads yet knowing the way.
It is not my home but still my soul feels at HOME!
#partitiondiaries #punjab #truestories #travel