The Partition of 1947 brought out millions of heart-melting stories in it’s wrecked separation. As testing as that time was, it lead to unforgettable stories of conflict, prejudice and love. It’s wonderful that even after almost seven decades, there are beautiful heart-warming stories living around us to give us a taste of true love in all it’s glorious drama.
She met him back in 1930 at her sister-in-law’s place in Lahore, which then was just another Indian city. That was a time of shy glances, hesitant words and uncomfortable silence between a man and a woman. However, she admits she always felt extremely comfortable around him:.
“The rare moments that we were together, he would hold my hand and I used to feel on top of the world.”
As all good things rush away in a jiffy, so did this. As social, political and religious outbreaks became more frequent, people were no more oblivious to the idea of partition. War seemed inevitable.
”…he asked me to marry him saying that ‘war was inevitable and he couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from me.’ We were married in 1947, just when the war between Hindus and Muslims was at it’s peak.”
There was charcoal, blood and fear in the air. The trains were filled with dead bodies and slashed throats. They knew if they don’t escape now, they too would meet the same fate.
It’s said that you don’t need much in life. A pair of clothes, two breads and two hearts full of love – that’s all they had when they decided to fleed that night.
“We knew a Muslim chacha who drove the tanga and agreed to help us. He drove us through the streets of Lahore, and whenever we were stopped he said that we were his family.
Angels sure come in many shapes.
He dropped them to the station where they took a train to Amritsar and never looked back.
As we’ve been shown in a number of movies, life wasn’t easy for those who fled from Lahore. Refugees – that’s what they were called.
“When we came to Amritsar, we sold off some of the jewelry I was wearing to start a new life. We didn’t even have a house to live in but he was such a smart man that he found work easily…and we slowly started rebuilding our life. Few years later, he bought back all the jewelry we had sold…because he felt so guilty that I had to sell it in the first place.”
But no matter how far you come, your roots always call you back.
“I’ve seen the world with him because he loved to travel, but my one wish was that I wanted to go back to Lahore and see the home I grew up in.”
They did. He bought tickets for two to Lahore, where they relived the nostalgia and every moment of their younger days.
“…‘we’re going home’ and I burst into tears when I saw our train tickets to Lahore. We revisited all the places we’d seen in our younger days and I even found the neighborhood I grew up in!”
Even though he is no longer alive, he has given her a home so beautiful and memories aplenty, that his soul still thrives in her being.
“Really, he made my every wish come true. He passed away a few years ago and I miss him everyday in the home he built us with so much love…but we have 5 children, 15 grandchildren and a lifetime of memories to keep me going.”
Even though, this is not an extraordinary love story, it touches my heart on many different levels. It’s honest and apparently a story of so many who fled their homes to find themselves a home away from home. On the bright side, this couple did find their happily ever after.