The partition of India and Pakistan is known to be the biggest partition in the history of the world. The stories of the almost Independent India battling its own war as the countrymen got ready for the separation from the country and formation of Pakistan are not just gut wrenching but also, very very horrific.
The partition was so precise in its way that things as small as chairs, tables and stationery were equally divided. In a time like this when such trivial things meant too much to people, material memory plays a huge role while talking about people and their experiences.
People left their houses with nothing but a few things in hand, trying to save lives and honour, while blood divided the two nations into two parts. But what the partition of India and Pakistan however, couldn’t do was divide the love people had for their lands that now were across the border, the memories of their homes and ancestral legacies.
Aanchal Malhotra’s Remnants of a Separation is a book that travels with us, takes us through the journey of these people who left their hearts across the border, but managed to bring along materials that will forever remind them of the same.
Remnants of a Separation is an account of stories through material memory, how certain objects are inanimate and yet have the power to take you back in a time you’d trade everything for to go back to.
Aanchal Malhotra’s writing is beautiful, breathtaking in its way and nostalgic to a point where you feel what was spoken to her. It’s not an account through the creativity of a writer but through the memories of the narrator and that sets apart this book. The honesty of the writing sets her book apart in the most eloquent way possible.
If literature on history and people interests you, this book is a must read.