15 Aug 2009

The Journey of His Lifetime

"That looks like a nasty wound, Khan Sahib", said the fellow passenger, seeing his bandaged forearm.
"Its better now", he answered cautiously, a drop of sweat coming down his forehead.
Within some hours he was off the train at Karachi and onto the ship to independent India, away from his homeland.
He hurriedly removed the itching bandage to reveal his tattooed name - Lachhmi Narayan it read.

A Happy Independence Day to all of you. Celebrating the day of our freedom, we sometimes forget the pains associated with it. I recently saw the BBC Documentary The Day India Burned and the movie Train to Pakistan, both portraying the horrors of partition.

The pain I just mentioned is not just the physical one felt by those who travelled miles through days and nights and even got killed mercilessly at the hands of the anti-social elements, but it is also the emotional pain of leaving one's homeland, parting from the loved ones and the fear of the difficult times to come.

Here, I have tried to relive the journey made by my paternal grandfather, Late Shri. L.N. Grover from his homeland (in present Pakistan) to India upon the partition. He was lucky that he survived this journey due to the small trick he played and thanks to that I am in the world today. (Update: And as IP corrects me in the comments section, thanks to that I am in India today, rather than Pakistan.)

I dedicate this 66-Fiction (rather non-fiction; inspired from 55 Fiction, on the occasion of my 66th post) to all those who were not lucky enough and perished making this journey of their lifetime. My mother's both grandfathers were two of them. The paternal one died saving the honour of his daughter-in-law(my maternal grandmother). Also, my mother's maternal aunt and her daughter jumped into a river to save their honour.

P.S. I can't help but write 55 Fictions, cinquains and now 66 Fiction these days because of the lack of time, thanks to the upcoming examinations.

Image Coutesy:


Indian Pundit said...

Hey Vipul

This story is really touching.
Even my both sets of grand parents made the SAME TRIP but from EAST PAKISTAN.

You wrote:

""""He was lucky that he survived this journey due to the small trick he played and thanks to that I am in the world today.""""

Thanks to that you are in INDIA TODAY.....just like me.

Its so sad to see how we are taking our freedom for granted these days.

Anyways,66-word fiction is good innovation.

Cheers man and Happy Independence Day!!!

If possible check out my recent post.

Vishnu said...

so sentimental..
ur grandpa is one witty guy n so r u.. happy independence day..

Vipul Grover said...

@IP.. Het thnx buddy for showing d empathy. Yup, the story mst hav been d same on the west nd d east.
Its true man, we have strtd taking this freedom 4 grantd. Though here I only touchd upon the immediate cost of freedom, thr wer many who wilfully sacrificed their lives to attain this freedom.

@Vishnu.. lol. yup he was 4 sure. He left us for his final journey to the heavens, some years back nd this is a story he used to narrate to us vry fondly.

Miss u dadu!

Ava said...

This is really touching. We need to relate these stories to each other to remind us of our wonderful heritage and the sacrifices of our elders in making us what we are.

Siddhesh Kabe said...

oh wow...dis is excellent man...u truly share d spirit of independence!!!

pawan said...

The best 55-Fiction I have read till date. Err, I guess I should make it the best 66 Fiction instead!

Your grandfather's heroics must have paved way for a few more to arrive to their homeland.
My prayer's go to your aunt and her daughter, who sacrificed their lives for the country.

Jai Hind!

Shruti said...

Hi Vipul,
my very first comment on your blog!
its a wonderful read yaar!!

"Within some hours he was off the train at Karachi and onto the ship to independent India"

careful etching of words!!
congrats on your Blog-a-ton initiative!!

Shilpa Garg said...

That was a very beautiful expression!! Too poignant and liberating!!
And Jai Hind!! :)

Vipul Grover said...

@Avdi.. Its so true.. it was not an easy job 4 thm 2 leave bhind evrything they had nd strt off a new life at a new place. Their resilience made us what v r 2day!

@Siddhesh.. Thnx man.. Lets cherish this independence:)

Vipul Grover said...

@Pawan.. lol.. yup d best(bcoz its d only) 66 Fiction u've read till now ;)
Thnx 4 appreciating man nd also 4 showing empathy..

@Shilpa.. thnx 4 d nice adjectives:)

Jai Hind!

Vipul Grover said...

@Shruti.. Hi, welcum 2 my blog:)

I mst thnk u 4 appreciating tht line.. it was indeed challenging 2 put it all tht info in2 it 2 make d situation clear 2 d readers:)

Hope 2 read ur Blog-a-Ton post on 5th nxt mnth.

Keep refelcting:)

pawan said...

I consider it in the lies of 55 Fiction as it had all the required characteristics of a 55 fiction!

BK Chowla, said...

Vipul,I have said this before also.You seem to be getting into the habbit of writing excellent posts.
Happy independence day

Vipul Grover said...

@pawan.. thnx buddy once again 4 appreciating nd calling it the best u've read till date.. it means a lot:)

@chowlaji.. sumtimes u giv d best of complimnts in d simplest of language.. thnq so mch 4 alwez reflecting with me:)
u back frm singapore right?

Prashansa said...

That was a toyching story! To get independent was very painful. We should always remember it! Thanks for the post!

Vipul Grover said...

Hey pra, I believe thts ur frst cmmnt on my blog.. so welcome 2 my blog, first of all:)
Thnks 4 reflecting ur thoughts. Keep returning:)

Shruti said...

hey Vipul,
mind checking my blog?!

Dhiman said...

It was very heart warming piece... still people don't learn from history like Punjab, Bengal too faced the dreaded "partition" and I have heard so many horror stories from the descendants...its really one of the biggest human tragedies ....

Bharathi said...

Nice and touching 55-non fiction. I m impressed. More 55-fictions are not bad. I dont hav to spend more time to read ;-)

Vipul Grover said...

@shruti.. i've already been thr:)
any way will rtrn 2 leave my reflections there:)

@dhiman..its true man.. IP talkd about bengal tragedies in d frst cmmnt.
partition was painful, not only in d sense tht country got torn (bcoz tht ws inevitable) bt in d sense tht thr were so many causalities, a thing tht cud b avertd only if Britishers hd actd more responsibly while leaving India nd not hurried up d process of partition nd independence.

Vipul Grover said...

@Bharathi.. I know it vry well tht u r luving it:)
nd yeah um so sorry hav not rtrnd 2 ur post 2 carry on a detailed discussion. d thing is tht i agree with most of d things u said, so nxt time plz write sumthing with which i dont agree.. i hv 2 increase my coments count ;)

Mr.R said...

Wounds of past .... Touching !

Vipul Grover said...

Yup indeed.. bt thn these r jst momentary emotions which jus pass by wn d day is ovr.. lets hop v cn hold on 2 thm 4 making a safer future!

Bharathi said...

I thought of writing a post on 'What is love'. probably you may have something to object on that :-)

Vipul Grover said...

lol.. lets c :)

Roshmi Sinha said...

Very touching, indeed!

Its difficult to overcome these traumas and heal the wounds... even after the passage of 62 years...

Mou said...

the fiction is one of the best I have read !
I can relate well... seen my granddad live in a village @ Bangladesh border... they came to India with a two year old baby (my dad). its tough letting go of a place you have lived for years and grown up.

Vipul Grover said...

@Roshmi n Mou.. Hey thnx a lot for appreciating d post!

Ofcourse it tuf.. sum times wn i hear my frnds talking about their paternal home town or village(nd once evn visitd a frnds village), evn i yearn 2 go back 2 mine.. Bt sumhow our roots have been severed nd um jus a city guy with no roots in d country side!

Pramathesh said...

Quite an interesting way of telling a painful story.

Vipul Grover said...

Hey thnx pramathesh.. keep reflecting!

Anonymous said...

Wow... you said so much more in such short a space!

I've just found a new addiction in the form of 55-word fiction... and I'm rather enjoying it.

I like what you write...so blogrolling you!

Keep writing