Black human outlines in war

The Unsettled Dust – Long Term Effects of the Partition of India

It is ironic how I still feel connected to an event that happened over 50 years ago, the partition of India into Pakistan. Don’t worry we are not going to discuss the reasons of this partition, this not a history class.

Because irrespective of what triggered it, my thoughts go back to that unfateful, event again and again.

Why? I belong to one of the families that came from that part of the land which is now tagged as a separate nation – Pakistan. Fast forward two or maybe three generations down, our family has been on this side of the border, in India. 

My own family mirrors those short stories on partition of India. My grandma and grandfather along with their two kids migrated here. While we/they were lucky enough as none of our family members had any kind of physical injuries. Moreover to make things easier an equal portion of and was allocated here.

So what do we miss? That connection and euphoria of being able to see where my grandparents were born. And not to miss, those connections that have remained unknown to us even today.

I still wonder how many of our relations, mind you, not relatives but relationships have we lost in this turmoil.

Just yesterday during our family get together we were talking over the tea, discussing something, something as trivial as what our great grandfather was like. Were we able to gather much information? Nope.

Does it impact our lives? No. But can we deny that we do not know our ancestral roots and culture? Do we know who my great grandmother was or where was my grandmother born and where her family is now? You are right, we have no clue.

India is a country deeply rooted in its customs and relations. Yet, sometimes it leaves us in predicament. So when a friend, a neighbour or a new acquaintance asks me about what are your family roots we brush that off.

Over these years we have trained ourselves to answer as calmly as we can with statements like my family history is complicated or sometimes, my family migrated from Pakistan during the partition. Only to earn comments like, “oh so you are a refugee.”

In my land? No

But sometimes questions like these do alienate us and shatter our spirits that are still learning to deal with the subtlest of losses.

While we are learning to cope up with those diminished families that the partition gifted us with and still trying to feel connected, to this land and to our ancestors. Their memories keep becoming more and more tarnished as we move back in time leaving us with no option but to sit and wonder why did the partition of India happen?

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash