Daljit Kaur's Memories of Partition as Feeble as her Frail Body
At the time of Partition, Daljit’s husband was away, serving the British army in India. When the rioters came down to burn her village it was she, who gathered her two sons, aged four and two and walked out leaving behind everything else-cattle, friends, home and hearth.
At 97, Daljit Kaur's memory is as feeble as her frail body--she can't recollect if she has had her evening medicines. But distinctly remembers her home in Pakistan, village Sakhira, in Faisalabad district of Pakistan, which she left in 1947.
The heavily veined hands tremble even as her face lights up at the mere mention of the house. It was a big house with six rooms, a house where she came in as a bride and left as a mother. The Gurudwara was just round the corner and all the neighborhood full of friends. At the time of Partition, Daljit’s husband was away, serving the British army in India. When the rioters came down to burn her village it was she, who gathered her two sons, aged four and two and walked out leaving behind everything else-cattle, friends, home and hearth.
The memory of the journey across the border is a haze for Daljit. Her eyes glaze behind the thick glasses. She pulls the end of her phulkari duppatta and wipes them. On the pink walls of the house a picture of a handsome Sikh man in uniform, her husband is a reminder of different times. Daljit was reunited with her husband in Amritsar a few months later. She is now a great grandmother.
In February this year, Daljit traveled to Pakistan and her village, a journey she remembers clearly. Her grandson, Raj helped Daljit get a Visa. It wasn’t something she planned but a journey she was destined to take. Accompanied by her son and grandson, Daljit came to a homecoming she hadn’t imagined.
"It was like the whole world had come to meet me, " she says with a twinkle in her eye. "I should have stayed a few days more, there was a wedding I could have attended."
Daljit Kaur with News18 crew and her grandson Raj
I sit next to her, as we watch the video of her visit to Pakistan playing on a laptop. The smile on her face, the glint in her eyes. This memory was going to be with her till her dying days.
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