My Story: I Remember Men & Women Being Taken By The Mobs; Many Hid In Graveyards To Save Themselves

18 Aug 2017 4:55 AM GMT
My Story: I Remember Men & Women Being Taken By The Mobs; Many Hid In Graveyards To Save Themselves

“I remember men and women being taken away from their houses by the mobs, and trucks full of corpses passing by their house. During this turmoil, many families hid in a graveyard for 2 days to save themselves. The house was looted and burnt to ashes.

The women fled with only their jewellery on them. We had to flee the house without taking any of our belongings. I still remember we didn’t even turn down the burning stove, and still remember the flame. We had a cook who was helping my mother make rotis.

So far, I think that times are also changing with respect to Partition stories, it is taking so long, because Partition was not over with 1947 itself… thus the generations active in the cruelty and slaughter connected with Partition and the events that followed are still very much around and in respected positions maybe. Unless one makes a personal effort to curb them, hatreds will be passed on. While memorialisation undoubtedly heals by spreading consciousness of events, it also has the effect of perpetuation of grief.

Children around us had no idea what’s happening and some of them were so traumatised with constant warning alerts, blood, dead bodies, losing their family members… with many lives being taken away, even so many people’s childhood was taken away. Partition just didn’t kill lives it killed the smiles on innocent faces, separated family members, took away loved ones.

People were shattered and there was no help. I still get tears thinking about those times. I have seen people dying in front of me.

One of the days during partition times one of our neighbour lost their son and they were taken aback. I remember my mom crying with the fear of losing us. Families remained together and hid in the same place so everyone dies together. Partition took many people away from each other but it got many of us even more closer. When we had to start from scratch, there was so much of harmony and empathy for one another. Food was shared, everyone cared about their family member more than ever. The fear of losing loved one changed the relationships.

One of my friend shared his experience saying “there is a mourning period of around 3-4 months, called ‘iddat’ after the death of a loved one. We were maybe in the second day of mourning our father’s death when we had to flee Delhi,” he says. He doesn’t remember her father at all. “We didn’t even have a photograph of him.”

There has been a border and there has been so much of hatred wherein the same people fighting today were at the other side of border before partition. But back then there was love and unity. Things have changed drastically. Our grand children ask us about the differences and I tell them the facts. My wife misses her home and she keeps saying “take me back for once… I miss the old days”.

Our daughters are married to Pakistani families and there is still so much of love amongst us. I wish all the families become one like us, and the differences just vanish. During our times festivals were celebrated with so much of love and there was equal celebration during both Diwali and Id. Today there are communal fights for small things as well. I really wish to go back to the time. Certain things can’t really change but it is never wrong to have dreams.”


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Story By – Mansi Dhanak

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