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The ‘Partition Library’ of Dardan Di Pand — Ujaada 1947 is a memorial to the Sikh man’s uprooted family.

76 years after the Partition of India forced his family to leave Rawalpindi, Gurpreet Singh Anand uses the timeless words of poet-author-filmmaker Gulzar to describe the ongoing anguish of “rootlessness” his ancestors have felt ever since.

This emotion motivated Anand, now 64 years old, to set out on a quest to gather and preserve fragments of history related to the largest human movement in recorded history, as well as the lives of lost loved ones and abandoned dwellings.

An homage to his uprooted family, Dardan Di Pand— Ujaada 1947 is the “Partition Library” of a Sikh man. The 1947 handwritten journal of Anand’s father sparked his curiosity. (Press Photographer)

Anand has amassed over 1,500 books, documents, and other published works dedicated to the Partition, including rare texts describing the horror people on both sides of the border went through, which he calls his “Dardan Di Pand — Ujaada 1947 (A bundle of pain — Partition of Destruction 1947)” library.

Gathering these shards of recollection has been a challenge that not everyone can appreciate. Anand’s mother was from Gujar Khan and his father was from Rawalpindi; he says he wanted to learn about and keep alive the conditions that made their migration necessary.

When the country was divided, they left for Delhi.

Shyna Kalra

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