DISCLAIMER: I do not wish to hurt anyone. I respect every religion. My religion is humanity and I do not follow any other religion. Don’t be a bomber clad and do not waste your valuable time in writing a hate comment.
I request you to hold my hand and enter into this plot. Cover yourself with this cloak, which I have borrowed from my good friend, Harry Potter. (This will make us invisible but not inaudible, so remain silent.)
Darkness had gobbled up the city of Lahore. The clouds initiated a constant and deep wail. The sky quavered and the rain itself detonated. It was a macabre year for the Hindus in Pakistan and for the Muslims in India. It was 1947. Affliction and carnage had occupied every part of Hindustan. It was the phase of the Partition of India and Pakistan. During this epoch, humanity was burning blisteringly and the smell of aversion had occupied every corner. The cities douched in gore. A country which had preached pacifism to the rest of the world was itself experiencing dreadful violence.
This is an anecdote about a woman named Kartardevi. It is a pragmatic story, which highlights the valor of this lady. Back then, she was a 25 year old woman who was wedded to a wealthy business man, Ram Prakash Narang.
Kartardevi was serving supper to her family, when she heard some continuous and loud knocks at the door. She rushed in order to open the door. Abrik, their servant was standing outside. His face pronounced that he had been carrying a bad news within himself. He said, “The situation is turning worse rapidly. There is distress everywhere. Muslims are killing Hindus because this area has been declared Pakistan. The government has requested the Hindus to move to the nearby camps. But, unfortunately there is no camp nearby. You must leave as early as possible. I will guide you a way.” Kartardevi exclaimed :”O Waheguru! Be merciful!” The predictions of the wise and logical, had taken shape of a reality. Ram Prakash said, “Pack your bags. We will be leaving for India tonight. In addition to this, bring all the money and gold in the veranda.” All of a sudden, there was a hustle bustle in the family. Everyone was in a hurry. Kartardevi helped her mother-in-law and other family members to pack their bags. Her husband stated that only important things should be carried along. Life took over wealth.
The family assembled in the veranda in approximately one and a half hour. They had brought all the wealth that they had accumulated over the years, out of their cupboards into the veranda. They decided to dig a pit in the soil, in which they could dump all the valuables. They thought that one day they would come back and acquire the gold. They carried their essentials in a five meter cloth. Woefully, they could not take one of the members of the family along with them, as he was handicapped. Being a faithful servant, Abrik agreed to take care of the disabled member.
On their way to India, they experienced human demeanor at its worst. The family had to beg for utensils and food in order to fill their bellies. Food was scarce. The rate of inflation was incredibly high. The prices of the basic necessities had acknowledged a hike overtime. Strangers were stabbing each other. The Hindus and Muslims who once lived like brothers and sisters were becoming sworn enemies. They had forgotten the fact that their freedom from the Britishers: was the product of their unity. Women were raped and mistreated. Many children were born on the way, and became orphans on the same way. In the words of Margaret Bourke White, “With the coming of independence to Hindustan, the world had the chance to watch a most rare event in the history of nations: the birth of twins-India and Pakistan. It was a birth accompanied by strife and suffering”.
It took them four days to reach a camp for refugees in India. Ram Prakash had good business relations with one of the Sikh named Jassi and they were fortunate that he decided to help them. He arranged a small house for them, which had been vacated by a Muslim family.
The situation slowly attained a peaceful mode. Meanwhile, Ram Prakash once again commenced his business in order to support the family. The family had come to terms with the truth that-they were would never be able to return to Lahore.
As time progressed, the couple had nine children. They were elated and satisfied, as they were living together without any threat. But, life is not a bed of soft petals; rather it is an amalgam of ups and downs. It was 1961, when time once again took a toll and played havoc with the family. Their youngest daughter, Seema, was only two months old, when Ram Prakash passed away due to a sudden heart attack.
The responsibility of their five daughters, and four sons came on the shoulders of Kartardevi. But, she did not lose hope. She was resolute in nature. Thus, she made a firm decision to make her children live a healthy and successful life. She had no fear of the unknown. She felt discouraged many times but never stopped working hard. Narrow-minded people passed comments and tired to pull her down. But, her determination was stronger than the opinion of others. She did many jobs per day in order to support her family. Subsequently, she turned out to be the support system of the family.
Years passed by and Kartardevi was successful in her mission. All her children are married now and by God’s grace, they are well settled too. I am proud that she is my Great Grandmother. She is ninety four years old now and is still strong and resolute. She is my inspiration. I worship her like a deity. Her story is like a beacon of light for the youth. If she can make it, in such terrible conditions, we can too. Therefore, in the words of my good friend Bob Marley:
“ You see, most people think
Great God will come from the sky
Take away everything
Make everybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your rights
Don’t give up the fight.”
OOPS! I forgot to remind you, to take off your cloak. I need to return it to Harry! Thank you for accompanying me! 🙂 ~Palak Arora