Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory
Long before partition, Muslims and Hindus co-existed as neighbours, friends or b ...more
Remnants of a Separation by @aanch_m does that and more. The book manages to talk about and discuss batwara (partition) of India and Pakistan through material objects brought by refugees on either side during what was perhaps the largest mass migrations in human history with violence on a scale that had seldom been seen before. With Trains full of dead mutilated bodies on either side, gendered violence on ...more
"After Pakistan was created, did you still think of it as home?" I asked.
"Oh yes, it was the same land, only now it had a new name," she said with a sense of surety.
"I say that even now. It was where I was born. The place you come from moulds you into the person you become. Remember that. You must never forget where you came from because a part of that soil stays with you forever."
The book is a compilation of 21 stories of the material objects that made across the border, with each one being ...more
Sporting an extremely attractive and eye-catchy cover featuring an exquisite piece of maang tikka amidst the neatly parted white hairs of an old lady with smiling eyes, this book attempts to revisit the Partition through the objects carried across the border. What started as inquisitive conversations around the items bought by the author’s great grandparents during their migration to India expanded to include the stories from other migrants culminating in 21 short stories.
In spite of being one...more
I would recommend this book to everybody based on how deeply it affected me. But I also acknowledge that for somebody who isn't Punjabi and with a family history intertwined with Partition, that same personal connection with the book might not be there. Even so, I would like to give this to everybody, even if only as a warning and antidote to the rhetoric we see the ...more
Some mundane items and some heirlooms which later become the sole material belonging to the home on the other side. This book has experiences of people who have witnessed the "batwara" of the "British" India.
With no clear border people were displaced from NWFP, Pakistan, Bangladesh and today's Indi ...more
I picked up ‘Remnants Of A Separation’ by ‘Aanchal Malhotra’ this month in honour of India Completing 73 years of Independence and in memory of the Partition, a calamitous event that affected the lives of millions.
The book contains 21 stories of refugees through the focal point of an ‘Object’ that travelled across the border and the memories of the experiences that the ‘Object’ evokes to its owner.
The author has don ...more
1. I traveled to India 26 years ago.
2. I like books that talk about what an item means to someone.
3. I recently learned about the Partition from a woman whose grandparents were forced to leave their lands in what is now Pakistan. Though in her 40’s, she was upset that this legacy was no longer available to her family.
I liked how the book was laid out. Each chapter w ...more
Remnants. What remains after something has passed over taking with it most of what you had, except the little that was left behind, or rather, held on to, wit ...more
This year on Independence Day, I picked up Remnants of a Separation, on partition I have read very few books and I wanted to read something non-fiction. There are few books the moment you start you know it is going to be one of the best books you ever read. This book is tear-jerker, one of the masterpieces written very brilliantly. There are few thoughts which keeps on lingering after reading this book.
It is generally said there is no place like Home, Home is a place where we feel it is place of ...more
This book helped me understand a lot of things - how the partition ripped people apart - their lives, their livelihoods, families, land. Overnight, many people became refugees reduced to utter penury. Almost 72 years after independence, the generation which has seen the partition is slowly dying, with their children and grandchildren now growing up witho ...more
My only complaint (and the reason this book did not get 5 stars from me) is that the writing is still raw and not completely refined. There are places where the author sounds a little r ...more
We all know how much independence had cost us to meet with the free living we lead today and that being said partition around the provinces of now India had suffered destruction, ...more
Maybe a trickle, maybe bucket loads, maybe your eyes will begin to prickle suddenly but it's inevitable that you will cry. Unabashedly. Unreservedly. And if you're Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani, then hysterically.
This is the book that deserved to be written so much but until Aanchal Malhotra came along, nobody really did. ...more
I was intrigued by the Partition in my sec ...more
Today we live in a free India, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis each stay in their own free country. But we never thought what is the price our ancestors had to pay for this. We don't know what they had to go through during the partition. Who had ever dreamt of an Divided India. ...more
Human memory is a dangerous thing, wrote Milan Kundera, for one cannot be certain which image/event/information will have a lasting impression on your mind. Moreover, malleability of memory means that memory changes over time. It gets shaped, influenced and conditioned by the changing nature of the socio-political order, symptomatic of the institutionalized process of disbelief and denial promoted by the dominant ideology of a particular geopolitical loca ...more
The Independence Day ...more
The above statements may make my ...more
Aanchal is the co-founder of the 'Museum of Material Memory', a digital repository of material culture from the Indian subcontinent, tracing fa ...more