“I told him, ‘Tussi Ghabrao Na, twadi zameen wapas nahi levange’ They thought that we’ve come back from India to claim the land- even after 50 years of the Partition that sore the subcontinent.”
An excerpt from 'In the Language of Remembering' by Aanchal Malhotra. When it comes to division and boundaries, the intentions behind them inevitably reveal themselves as time takes its course. Hate, prejudice, loathing, discontent, disloyalty, and loyalty - these may appear to be the 'reasons' for division, but in reality, the underlying cause is often far more complex.
A simple pedestal, which may seem straightforward at first glance, is, in fact, the root of it all - 'You and Me' versus 'Them and Us.' Clear distinctions between identities, not ordained by a divine code of discrimination but rather created by humanity, perpetuate discrimination.
I deeply resonate with Partition stories. Whenever I hear phrases like 'We came from that side' or 'We had a house there,' my curiosity ignites, and I start asking questions, listening to their stories. Honestly, if the concept of reincarnation is true, I genuinely feel like I belonged to Lahore.
It's ironic that despite having a 'Dilli Darwaza' in Lahore and a 'Lahori Gate' in Delhi, none of these gates are open for the people of either city to pass through. Despite shared culture, language, traditions, and hearts resonating with love, politics often overshadows it all.
There are times, mostly at night when I strongly feel that I was born in the wrong era. There's something about the India of the 30s and 40s that captivates my imagination. My soul feels old. I prefer Hindustani Classical Music over any other genre. I love watching Kathak and Odissi, traditional Indian dances. I enjoy reading literature and poetry from that era or even further back. To further prove that I'm a 71-year-old trapped in the modern Gen-Z body of a 17-year-old, my favourite writer of all time is Sadat Hassan Manto, who extensively wrote about the Partition.
I'm selective about the Instagram pages I follow, as most of my feed is cluttered with phone cover ads and university sign-up prompts. Among the few pages I willingly follow, 'The 1947 Partition Archive' on Instagram is one I can't bring myself to unfollow anytime soon. It shares human stories of people who witnessed the Partition firsthand. Their accounts of grief, migration, settlement, and ultimately, hope, keep me connected to my roots.
Even in seemingly trivial matters like following pages on Instagram, making wise decisions to reject what you don't need and embrace what you do is a fundamental principle of life.
In essence, life will present situations with multiple options, alternatives, variations, and preferences. Choosing what aligns perfectly with you at each step is a conscious decision that
leads to a life filled with meaningful abundance rather than an excess of meaningless and trivial supply.
*Note: At the end of each article, I'll recommend a piece of music to enhance the appropriate mood the article should evoke.
Music Recommendation - #1:
"Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan