Nalini Malani

Dearest Nalini

Your friend the artist Manisha has very kindly sent this portrait of you at age 69.

It’s 69 years since we left whatwe called home. At that time I wondered what it would be like to live on this side. My language was alien here as was the food we cooked. In some parts of India we Sindhis were even called half Muslim.

Home – Karachi where you were born and Hyderabad my place of birth, were peaceful towns. Although we werenot Muslim, much of the culture was amalgamated into our Sikh culture. They did not want us to leave when partition was announced.

They would protect us from any harm as we had lived in harmony since generations. And they really tried their best. And we would not have left our homes and fled if people who were alien to our land had not started disrupting our peace. The rioting went beyond control and we were all targeted., non Muslims as well as Muslim Sindhis.

Manisha writes she will be visiting Pakistan soon. Do ask her to visit what was once our ancestral home in Hyderabad. My grandfather (wado dada) called it the White House after he came back from a world tour in 1860.



(Narrated by Satni Malani, mother of artist Nalini Malani, now 96 years old)