‘Pindi girl’ returns to Pakistani home after 75 years | India News

NEW DELHI: She last stepped out of her two-story home in ‘Prem Gali’ in Rawalpindi in May 1947 as a teenager. 70 years later, Reena Varma crossing the border in Wagah and then on the doorstep of her childhood home in Pakistan with dhol celebratory rhythms, tears of joy running down her cheeks.
Hussains now live there and neighbors on Butt Street in DAV College Road got together Wednesday to pick up their “Pindi girl,” now 90, on a solo tour to see the house where she used to live with her parents. The Hussains were also migrants from Ludhiana before the Partition and reception of Varma was followed by an exchange of stories.
TOI first reported in May of Varma finding her home across the border. Before the pandemic hit, she posted on a Facebook group about her memories of the house and her desire to see it.
‘Happy but sad, miss family’
“I’m happy to be here but also sad when I remember my parents and siblings, who I lived with in the house we left before Partition. They’re all gone. and I’m missing them more than ever”, an emotional Reena Varma told TOI from Rawalpindi when she visited her childhood home 75 years later.
Varma, 90, said she found the house largely the same, including the floors. Long forgotten songs suddenly came to her lips as she was on the balcony overlooking the alley and an unusual song was hummed by her lover on the terrace. She even got clicked on the bedroom she shared as a child with her older sister. “I’m in my house. At first, I cried when I remember the old days, but now I’m happy to see everyone,” she said. Dr. Mumtaz Hussain who was assigned this house against his claims when he arrived in Pakistan is no longer there, but his daughters, sons and grandsons gathered to pick up Varma and show her around. around. Varma had a story to share for each room.
Pune’s nimble grandmother posted about the house on a Facebook group and it caught the attention of Sajjad HaiderA resident of Rawalpindi tracked down her home and sent her pictures and videos.
Varma’s daughter, Sonali, helped her get a visa last year but her application was denied. Varma made a video at the suggestion of a Pakistani journalist. It was this that came with the announcement of Hina Rabbani, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, who intervened to help her get a three-month visa.
TOI reported that in May 1947, amid fears of community riots, 15-year-old Reena and her siblings set off for Solan for a longer-than-usual summer break on the hills. Hill. But Partition changed everything and the family settled in India.
Besides the new friends Varma made across the border, she also found a new family on social media through the ‘Pakistan Heritage Club of India’ who were there to welcome her. at the Wagah border and has been by her side ever since. Sajjad Haider, who watched her house said, “My father is from Hoshiarpur in Punjab and miss his home until the end. He can’t go back to see it but I can watch ReenajiHer home and being a part of her homecoming ceremony gives me immense satisfaction. ”

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