“My name is Nita Bulani and I live and work in Mumbai. I am a production designer working on documentaries. So far, I have recorded the life stories of 14 Partition witnesses. Overall, it has been a humbling experience. The stories I have heard are ones of resilience and joy despite the challenging circumstances of Partition and its aftereffects. These are inspiring stories of people relocating to a new land and rebuilding their lives with their families.
Partition was a much bigger event than many are aware. The people of the state of Sindh lost so much, and the Sindhi language is disappearing. What stands out to me about recording stories is what they reveal to us. These stories are not only about Partition but about a person’s childhood and life at that time. I have learned of festivals that are not in existence anymore, such as the festival of ‘Savni,’ described by Mr. Bulani (Read his story here: http://tinyurl.com/ow2esja). It is celebrated during the mango season. Families would take cartloads of mangoes to the nearby lake or river, throw the mangoes into the water to cool them down and then catch them and spend the day enjoying them.
I only wish that I had heard of The 1947 Partition Archive sooner and had been able to record my grandparents’ stories. I have recently traveled to small towns in central India with my sister Kavita, recording stories. I’ve been to Indore and taken the train to Amravati. Everywhere I go, I try to encourage the people I meet to share their stories and seek out others they know who may have memories of Partition. There is such an urgency to this cause because these stories need to be recorded before the information from that vital time period is no longer accessible to future generations.”
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