The creation of India and Pakistan in 1947 led to horrific sectarian violence and made millions refugees overnight. Seventy years on, five people remember
In the early 90s, I went from Lahore to Delhi to attend a wedding in the family of some Hindu friends. At one of its many events, I bumped into a friend from Lahore who was also visiting the city. We were chatting in Punjabi when we noticed a well-dressed, middle-aged man lurking nearby, apparently eavesdropping on our conversation. Noticing our discomfiture, he apologised.
“When you mentioned Lahore, I couldn’t tear myself away,” he said. “You see, we are Hindus, but my family was Lahori. We had a house in Model Town and I attended Aitchison college. We left at partition. I have never gone back. When my wife passed away, 17 years ago, I thought that even though I had no children or siblings I would get by. But now I feel the creeping loneliness of old age and what I think of most is the happiness of my childhood. I have a yearning to return to Lahore. I want to see it once before I die.”