The contributor’s father, Lutfur Rahman, was from a village near Chandpur in eastern Bengal and left to go to Islamia College in Calcutta. When he graduated, he joined the Calcutta Police as a sub-inspector and worked in various postings around the city. His police career started around 1928. In 1942, he quit the police force and moved to Dacca. Later, he would join the rebel struggle in East Pakistan during the 1971 conflict with West Pakistan.
The contributor’s mother, Ayesha Aziz, pictured here at 24 years old, poses on the rooftop of their house with her first husband, Abdul Aziz. In the next couple of years, she would have another son with Abdul Aziz, who would die of typhoid. Ayesha would become a widow with six small children and would move to live with her parents. She would later marry the contributor’s father, who lived down the street, and have three more children.
Farida Noorani, Hamida Noorani, and their friend Seema, are pictured here in traditional gharare (traditional dress). Seema’s family opted to stay in India after partition. In 1947, Farida and her family flew from Bombay to Karachi, Pakistan, and a few days later settled in Lahore.
Eight-year-old Farida Noorani is seated in the first chair on the left, among her class at Queen Mary High School, Bombay. In 1947, Farida and her family flew from Bombay to Karachi, Pakistan, and a few days later settled in Lahore. Farida remembers Bombay for its diversity and multiculturalism.
Brigadier Dewan Chand Duggal in Hong Kong with the British Army during World War II. Upon hearing of the partition riots, he traveled from Hong Kong to the Indian state of Uttaranchal (present-day Uttarakhand state) to be with his family.
The contributor’s grandmother surrounded by her children. The contributor’s father, Aarij Kirmani is in her lap. He was three years old at the time of partition.
Sami Ahmed, and his wife Safia Ahmed, pictured on trains as they left Simla, India for Karachi, Pakistan. The men in both pictures are colleagues from the British administration who came to the train station to say goodbye to the family.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah is seen greeting a group of well-wishers at Karachi airport. The contributor’s grandmother, Nasreen Qadir, is the young girl in the foreground. The contributor’s grandfather, Saeed Qadir, is the young soldier standing in the back. Their family traveled from Delhi to Lahore and Karachi at the time of partition.
Brigadier Dewan Chand Duggal, photographed with his wife. Upon hearing of the partition riots, he left his World War II posting in Hong Kong to be with his family in the Indian state of Uttaranchal.
Satya Vati Khanna left Lahore during partition. She was married to Sat Dev Khanna in 1953, in Muzaffarnagar. They are pictured here at their wedding.
Keerti Kunzru at her wedding ceremony. She married a fellow Kashmiri, Gyanendra Nath Kunzru. She was only 17 when she met him and he was around 26 years old. He was a doctor and a sportsman. In spite of a few reservations her family had against the match they got married when she was 19. Keerti and her family migrated from Lyallpur to Dehradun, India during the 1947 partition.
Shamsuddin Chowdhury, pictured here with his wife, Halima Chowdhury, shipped products, including fish, by train from East Pakistan to Calcutta, India. His business would halt during the 1965 war, when trade barriers and visa restrictions were put into place. Before then, his family travelled frequently to India.
Burjor Rustomji at the age of nine, at his Navjote ceremony standing in the gardens of Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. The Navjote ceremony is a rite of passage for Parsi children, carried out between the ages of seven to 13, and it symbolises their initiation into the Zoroastrian faith. Around six months before the Navjote ceremony, the child has to learn all the prayers by heart and learn how to tie a Kusti, a rope made of sheep's wool, around the waist over the Sudreh. On the day of the ceremony the child will recite these prayers with the priests on a stage in front of family and friends. Burjor is wearing a dugli, worn by Parsi men after the completion of their Navjote. In adulthood, the outfit is worn on auspicious family celebrations like weddings and Navjotes.
* CAP has focused its attention on the tradition of oral storytelling in Pakistan, emphasising the importance of such narratives in a dialogue on national identity. Our organisation has three main goals: to preserve and provide access to the archive, to build and support educational programmes, and to develop educational products based on the testimonies collected. We are passionate about sharing Pakistan’s stories with the educational outreach programmes and the thousands of visitors who attend our festivals, and exhibitions. Our archives, exhibits and galleries change and grow as our understanding grows, and we strive to share our knowledge in original and exciting ways.
Satya Vati Khanna left Lahore during partition. In this photo she is celebrating her son’s birthday in Chandigarh.