Soon after my parents got married. my mother, Akhtari Begum and her family had to suddenly move to the newly formed Pakistan. My father, Fateh Muhammad, followed in search, and as he moved desperately from one refugee camp to another, his hopes ebbed slowly. And then, one day, clutching in his heart a prayer, he found my mother far away from the Punjab border in a refugee camp in Sindh.

The wish that lived with their last breath was to once again see the village they grew up in, to visit the home they had lost. Gurgaon and Jaipur came alive for me when they gave words to their nostalgia. There was an India I had imagined, and my friendship with you made it come alive. And through this friendship lives on the beautiful stories my parents seeded.

I pray from my heart that my children don’t live on narrated stories, instead create theirs by discovering an India of their own.

I hope for all on either side of the border, that they too are blessed to enjoy the friendships I have.

I dream that our nations bridge back the brotherhood that was broken.

Nations need boundaries…love does not…