My uncle is visiting from Pakistan where is a he a journalist and though we are not talking about this story about a same sex couple in Pakistan who are out on bail (woman had a sex change but still medically deemed a man...desi version of Boys Don't Cry, I suppose), we keep talking about the flooding there and today at lunch (Lunch is not something we normally do at our place and it is really funny since my mom and I now need to take afternoon naps since we have a full on lunch, normally I skip lunch or have fruit or cigarettes), but we finally did some partition stories and started out by talking about memory and how different people have different stories for the same thing. We had different opinions, all four of us at the table, on partition, the past and present of it. What India and Pakistan are today, the status of Muslims, the relationships between Hindu's and Muslims etc and my mom was saying, given what she has done in her life and the places she has lived, she could never live in India. She can't live in Pakistan either anymore. I would not want to live in Pakistan but can totally see myself in India for a few years, no problem. I think part of that is because I want to be able to get a better grip on my past. When my other uncle talks about partition, he is adamant that it needed to happen. He was in college in Aligarh at the time. I am of the belief that it was a mistake. My dad says the same thing. It was a mistake. Neither my father nor I were young adults in India as it was back in the day. My dad hasn't even gone back, actually since he left as a toddler. I didn't even really grow up in South Asia though I am an active diaspora member.
Why is it that I feel the need to be able to understand partition by living in India. Duh, I think as soon as I stream of consciousness type that out: It's because Pakistan got carved out of India and India was the motherland and it was the treatment of Muslims there that made the Muslims want their own land. Both my parents were also born there and so much of me feels so much more connected to that place than any other in terms of the question "where are you from, no New Jersey is not an answer even if you were born there, where are you really from?"
Sometimes I refuse to answer questions and just say Brooklyn. I've said it ad nauseum now, but when overseas, no one even blinks when I say that and in fact, look properly satisfied with that as an answer.
That's cuz I am a bad ass.
This is obviously a much longer conversation that I will get to slowly slowly slowly on my blog. What I meant to do was talk about the same sex couple. But I think the link says it all.