Last week I met an old man. On conversation with him, I got to know that he was a refugee from Pakistan and like others; he too suffered huge loss during the transition from Pakistan to India. He had hard feelings for the people responsible for the separation. Because according to him, he had to suffer because of some other people’s decision and their personal interest (his feelings).
As per him, on 14 August, as Pakistan got independent, terrorists started converting people from Hindu to Muslim. And if anyone refused, he/she was cut down. A similar scene, which we must have seen in the movie ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’. He was 12 years old at that time and had 1 younger brother and 3 younger sisters. All the memories of that day are still fresh in his mind. He was on tears while he was narrating this to me. His father was shot dead in front of him. His mother leaving behind his husband’s body took all her children and moved towards the station to board train to India. At the station, he and his brother were given poison. One kind man, who was also trying to escape made them ate flies so that they both puked and get rid of the poison. They all escaped and moved to India, where they settled in Meerut.
They left all their earnings in Pakistan, buried in and around their house. His mother started working in India and brought them up. Feeding 5 children alone must have been tough task for her, that too in such state of mind.
On my further questioning to him, he revealed the name of the place he belonged to. It’s Dera Gazi Khan near Multan in Pakistan. I opened Google maps to look for the place and all what he remembered about the place still exists – ‘Committee Chowk’, ‘Jhampur Road’, ‘Mandi’ etc. He was too happy to see the images of the place and its development.
The mother of the old man is my Great Grandmother, whom we use to call ‘Amma’ and the old man is my Grandfather. If she would not have showed courage on that day, I may not have existed in this world.
This post is my small effort to say thanks to her for all the love and blessings she has showered on our family.