NOT media magnates and prime ministers. Theirs are not the stories that constitute the real tragedy of the Partition. It's the stories of women, children, of everyman, that bring home the tragedy, the horror, the brutality of a subcontinental holocaust that left a million dead, ten million displaced, innumerable wounded, in its wake. Each statistic a person. Usually numb, bewildered. Almost always, apolitical. A victim rather than an agent of history. Sometimes, a child of six summers like Jeet Behn.
To coax her and innumerable others to look back at the violence, to fashion into words the fragmentary language of their pain, to visit the ruins of their memory; to somehow understand that limlnal period when all distinctions between good and evil, right and wrong, were sometimes blurred, other times effaced, was my burden as chronicler, reporter.