- Early life.
- Beginning of riots.
- I rushed to my house.
- We decided to leave the city.
- On the station I lost my brother.
- My inquiries at Lahore.
- Work as a hawker
Oh! Thoughts of those dark days make my flesh creep and make my head reel. But since you insist on hearing my life-story, I shall narrate it in brief.
Twenty five years ago I was born of a rich family. My father was, then, a rich merchant of Ambala. At the age of six I was sent to school. Those were the years of peace and plenty. We could command every comfort and luxury. Year after year my father became more and. more prosperous and I progressed in studies. It seemed for the time being that our future was as bright as the sun.
But as you know, “Man proposes and God disposes”. Nineteen years ago this proved true in our case. When all of you were made with joy on Independence Day, we were suddenly pushed into the jaws of Death. It happened in this way. I had gone for a stroll, with my friend. While we were returning, we found people closing their shops in panic. Ongoing little further, we found crowds of people running here and there. In a moment we realized that there was an outburst of a communal riot.
We changed the road and rushed in our respective houses. On entering my house, I found that my mother had already come to know about the sad turn to events. She was nervously phoning to different persons, but in vain. Then I was informed by her that my father had not returned from the club, and that my eldest sister was at my aunt’s place.
Riots spread like wild fire, and we heard wild rumors from our neighbours. Now there was no time to think I was about to go in search of my father and sister; but my mother did not allow me to do so. On that we remained confined in our house. Next day most of our neighours left their houses. Hence we collected whatever valuables and cash we could lay hands. Neither a taxi nor a carriage was available. Hence we walked hurriedly with sobbing children in hands and luggage on my head. There were hundreds of people hurriedly going in the same direction.
Fortunately, we reached the station in time. While I was making an inquiry about the tickets, my brother aged 3 was lost in the surging masses. I called him loudly and frantically but to no effect. At last my mother and other children hustled into a compartment, weeping and sobbing; while I roamed on the station searching my brother. It was a terrible sight.
Throngs of people poured into the station. Train after train arrived and carried them away. My tender tender brother was not found. At last when a violent crowd attacked the station, I boarded a train, leaving my tender brother to the mercy of God.
When I reached Lahore I made inquiry about children and my mother in various refugee camps, but could not find them. I visited different places and difference camps, but could not get any information about them. In course of time refugees were sent to different parts of Pakistan. According I was sent so Rawalpindi. Here as you know I work as a cloth hawker. Months have passed in this way. In the mean, while I have heard from some refugees contradictory reports about my dear ones. But when I think, to my younger. brother who was lost on the platform…… oh! God…… I am story, I cannot speak more.