Advertisement
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Milkha At Midnight

Milkha At Midnight
Milkha At Midnight
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Five years ago, when I went to Pakistan on an invitation to play a series of golf matches, I inquired about my school in Muzaffarpur district. This was when I first came to know about my real date of birth. My father had entered it as November 1929 in the school records. This means that when I arrived at New Delhi railway station in August 1947, a traumatised refugee who had seen his parents killed before his eyes and had to flee to save his own life, I was just over 17, and did not even know it.

I remember spending the remaining part of that year scrounging around for food on the station. Rich lalas would bring pooris and sabzi and throw the pooris at refugees like us from a distance, to avoid the fracas that would inevitably ensue. There were dead bodies on the station, I would sometimes sleep between them. I lived this existence till I got a job for Rs 10 a month at a shop near Ajmeri Gate.

Our entire village of Gobindpur Kot had been massacred, as the elders had taken a collective decision not to convert to Islam as they had been asked to. Among those killed were my parents and two of my sisters. My elder brother survived; a sepoy in the British army, he was posted at Multan. Two of my other sisters were married and lived elsewhere.

Those days, there would be announcements on the station to help people reconnect with lost kin. That’s how I discovered that my elder sister had somehow reached Shahdara. I went to her, but so hard were the times that her in-laws, equally destitute and refugees themselves, ill-treated me in the worst possible ways.

My most enduring memory of that year is not the birth of India and...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Aryan Khan Drug Case Live Updates | Arrested For An Offence We Did Not Commit, Argues Amit Desai

Aryan Khan Drug Case Live Updates | Arrested For An Offence We Did Not Commit, Argues Amit Desai

The Bombay High Court is hearing Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail petition in connection with his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau on October 3.

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Pratibha Singh talks about her decision to contest the poll and carry forward the legacy of ‘Raja Sahib’, ex-Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh.

T20 World Cup, Live: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler Begin England Chase

T20 World Cup, Live: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler Begin England Chase

Follow live updates and cricket scores of Bangladesh vs England, ICC Men's T20 World Cup match in Abu Dhabi.

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Stressing on the right to privacy, CJI Ramana said it was incumbent upon the Centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology.

Advertisement