Rashmi Kaleka

Narrated to me in Punjabi by my father, Sukhdev Raj Chadha. Transcribed by Ranbir Kaleka:

Dad says it’s all very vivid, “When the slaughter started the sky was empty of all birds, the skies carried no bird sound.” In the midst of the cruel violence of 1947 Shankar Ohri, my mama (mother’s brother) is agonizing over his “door”. He is missing it. He can resist no longer and Pays fifty rupees to two Gurkha’s to accompany him. Armed with a screwdriver he makes his way from Jalandhar to Lahore. Warily he enters his Lahore home and unscrews the door. No one remembers how he got back. He built a house in Shah dares, Delhi, and fitted his door in it. It is a long time ago but dad believes the ordinary simple mesh door must still be keeping the flies out.

Reminds me of “Door”, Makhmalbaf’s film. A man who is left with only a door of his house roams on barren land on tne island carrying it on his back.