My Story: Things Changed After Partition; Trains Full Of Blood And Dead Bodies: We Lost Everything
“I was in fifth grade and there were times after leaving from school. we used to get warning alerts by government and as soon as the siren rang we had to sneak into the underground holes. We had to live in that for 2 hours till things settles down and the attack has stopped. It used to be so suffocating- we were given a bottle of water & biscuits..we had no place to go and the place used to be our washrooms.
We used to live in joint family and our neighbours were also like family to us. We used to langdi taang, gitte, and kabaddi with friends and siblings. We migrated to India when I was very young and but I still remember how the new place made me curious. We used to hear people talking about their relatives who stayed in refugee camps or died during the attacks. For almost a month there was so much of a kiosk.
My mother used to tell us stories of their childhood and these stories used to be so exciting. We also got to hear stories that she had heard from her mother and grandmother and then I passed those to my kids. This became a cycle. I used to tell my kids about how back then girls were expected to learn embroidery and cooking at a very young age. There weren’t too many activities to do back then, our lives were extremely simple.
Things changed after partition. We lost our houses and everything. Those times we had no lockers and the jewellery used to be hidden in the ground. We had to start from scratch after partition.
There were trains full of blood and dead bodies and when my father used to talk about this to my mother, we used to feel so disgusted. One of my cousin lost her uncle and it was so disappointing to hear about such incidents. I did not see much, but my family members did and their stories of the violence that took place still make me shudder. We used to miss the good times.
There was so much of love for everyone. There was no hatred against each other. In fact most of my friends were muslim. We used to celebrate Id and Diwali with same enthusiasm. We still celebrate both festivals with love. Partition changed many things but not for us. We still have muslim friends. In fact both my daughters are muslim now.
I still remember those old times and to be honest those were the best times. Our kids used to love listening to the stories and loved hearing our experiences. The closest memory to my heart is when our entire vicinity celebrated Id and it was one of neighbour’s wedding so it became a grand celebration. I wish I could meet all of our neighbours and celebrate life like earlier. Every time we talk about partition, we relive our good old memories but then the painful memories haunts us.
Few months back my husband’s friend had come to meet us after many many years and we were talking about the old times, you know we ended up talking for almost 5 hours. Every once a while we go to the nearby park and it reminds us of our homes before partition.
My husband loves watching old movies and songs. We love it when our kids visit us, all these small moments keep us going. Times have changed and people avoid socialising offline. If you come to our social clubs you would know what true happiness of life is..we are old but we know to live life in true sense instead of just living for the sake of it.
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Story By – Mansi Dhanak
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