My grandmom is from Pakistan. I mean she was born in Pakistan and then during the India-Pakistan partition in 1947, she had to come to India. She always remembers her childhood fondly, except the part where they had to rush to India without any preparation whatsoever.
We talk about hardships we face, imagine starting from zero with nothing but the clothes you are wearing. I know that no struggle is small or big but I do think that what she and her family had to face, for that matter all the people who had to move had to face was a real hardship. Yet, I have never heard her badmouth anyone. She fondly remembers her house from childhood. She was 10 or 12 years old when this happened. They did not know they will be leaving their home. It’s strange to even think, to be forced out of your own house. Once one of older cousin asked her, how exactly did they come to India and how did she feel at that time. She took her time to reiterate the whole incident, or what she remembers. They had no time to pack or take anything with them. They simply left the house and got on a ship to come to India. She says they had no time to feel anything, it never sank in that they are leaving their home until they actually reached India. As a matter of fact, my grandmother’s sister was lost during this entire movement. They had no time to look for her as that would mean risking their own life and then *dramatic music* found her after reaching India. Can you imagine having to leave your family member behind to save yourself? Because you have no choice. When they came to India, they had nothing. Some money I guess, no valuables, no property, nothing.
They built everything from scratch with love and hardwork. She went on to complete her education and worked for railways (where she also met my grandfather) and the rest as they say is history. She is one strong, fierce and inspiring woman. My first and best grammar and maths teacher. Even today, her day starts with reading 2 full newspapers, solving sudoku puzzles along side some chai. She has all the latest gossip about bollywood alongside a thorough political and economic knowledge. If I end up being 20% like her when I am her age, I’d consider myself successful.
I decided to share her story so that everyone knows where I get my strong roots and morals from. It’s her and my mother. Also, you can watch “Sardar Ka Grandson” on netflix. Neena Gupta reminds me so much of my grandmother, that I decided to share about her today.