Vijay Shankar, New Delhi: Journalism and politics are two professions that allow you to connect with and understand people from all walks of life. Similarly, cricket is a game that does not adhere to traditional boundaries. This game is not a religion, but its popularity in India and Pakistan rivals that of any religion. Rajeev Shukla, the author of ‘SCARS OF 1947: Real Partition Stories,’ published by Penguin Random House India, has a long history in journalism, politics, and cricket. In such a case, he has attempted to beautifully express those true stories in his book, which he has experienced firsthand.
Rajeev Shukla recounts in ‘SCARS OF 1947: Real Partition Stories’ meeting an elderly woman who aspires to have a handful of clay from Bombay when he travels to Pakistan to watch a cricket match. A handful of Bombay clay is more valuable to that old lady than gold or diamonds. The elderly Amma’s only wish is to visit Bombay at least once before she dies. This is an intriguing story about a family in which both the protagonist’s maternal grandmother and grandmother have a strong connection to India. Whenever India and Pakistan play cricket, the elderly grandmother sits in front of the television, holding the tricolour. The author’s description of the elderly grandmother’s reaction during this cricket game clearly shows that the heart and emotion do not respect boundaries.
SCARS OF 1947: Real Partition Stories is one such document, in which the facilitators themselves connect with the author in some way and share their painful stories for various reasons. The book also tells the story of an elderly Babuji, who was a well-known Lahore builder prior to partition. He used to own a number of properties in Lahore. However, circumstances forced him to leave Lahore for a few days. During this partition, they descended from the summit to zero. During this trying time, his Muslim servant stood by Babuji and arranged for Babuji’s wealth to be sent to India in some way. Babuji had been betrayed by the man he most likely trusted. Readers should also be familiar with that individual. Rajiv Shukla’s entire book is filled with such heartbreaking stories about people who completed the journey from zero to peak after partition.
Rajiv Shukla’s SCARS OF 1947: Real Partition Stories tells the fascinating story of many personalities, including former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and Avtar Narayan Gujral, father of former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral. In the book, the author also shares his experiences from his visits to Pakistan, demonstrating how cricket, music, and literature connect people on both sides of the border. The book also mentions singer Noor Jahan’s close relationship with India’s vocal queen Lata Mangeshkar, who moved to Pakistan after Partition and met at the border due to border compulsions. Both used to travel to each other’s favourite restaurant in order to meet at the border.
After a long wait, readers now have a book in their hands in the form of SCARS OF 1947: Real Partition Stories, in which an attempt has been made with great sincerity to keep the emotions from both sides of the border. This book is about connecting, not breaking hearts. It’s a story about overcoming obstacles, not avoiding them. This book, in the form of true stories, is such a document in the hands of the young generation, inspiring them to move forward while struggling in the midst of difficult situations.
The simplicity of Rajeev Shukla’s new book is its main selling point. A person with a basic understanding of English can easily read and understand it. As the reader turns the pages of the book, he realises that his relationship is not limited to the characters in SCARS OF 1947 Real Partition Stories. Rather, an attachment to the book’s style and language develops. The reader becomes engrossed in the flow of simple and interesting language, and he does not realise he has reached the final page of the book. Rajeev Shukla has already published a novel, ‘Teen Samandar Paar.’