Wisp #writephoto

Sue’s #Writephoto prompt this week:

Sitting cramped in the corner of the train carriage, Meena glimpsed a flash of the blue sky, wisps of cloud dancing across without any cares in the world.
Why?
Why, when the sky was the same, here, and there?
Why, when the clouds moved with such freedom?
People were squashed in the carriage, fear etched on their faces. some were crying. The only laughter came from small children who were unaware of what was happening.
Meena and her family had fled their ancestral home, in the city of Lahore.
It was February, 1947.
Partition.
One of millions of families, displaced when the border was announced, they had hurriedly collected basic belongings, and disappeared in the middle of the night, to catch a train, hoping to reach the other side of the border in one piece.
The stories that had reached them had told of endless bloodshed.
Fights, murder, rape.
The Muslims in the area, once friends, were gathering Hindu and Sikh families and slaughtering them brutally.
And across that shiny new border, the same was happening, but in the opposite way.
There, Muslim families, not unlike hers, were battling a journey in the opposite direction, leaving their homes and lives, trying to reach the apparent safety of Pakistan.
She thought of  Amira, her best friend.
They had clung together, in tears at the thought of being separated, having grown up together.
But there was no choice. If she stayed, she would be killed, just like all the other non-Muslims.
The train was moving. They were safe. Stories of gangs boarding trains, and killing whole trainloads of passengers haunted the minds of everyone.
As long as it kept moving, they would be fine.
After a short while, the train slowed, coming to a halt.
Fear spread among the passengers, but there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.
Cries of battle were called, and the train was soon a blood bath. Passengers pulled out by their hair, throats cut. Woman mauled and raped before being left for dead. Small children witnessing atrocities being committed on their families, before being cruelly killed.
Meena’s eyes glazed over for the last time, staring up at the sky.

***

Above her, the clouds still danced, untouched by the events below, so it seemed, but if you looked closely, the pink tinges seemed to reflect the rivers of red flowing beneath…

#writephoto

Sorry for the slightly sombre entry this week.

I am sitting here, watching a series of programmes that aired on BBC1 last night, My Family, Partition and Me: India 1047.

August 15th and 16th, saw Pakistan and India respectively, celebrating 70 years of Independence from British Rule.

But the horrors that the partition which preceded this independence will never be forgotten by those who experienced it.

I have been lucky to have been brought up in an atmosphere of equality, where regardless of race or religion, friendships look at the people first, rather than their background.

My best friend, and soul sister is a Muslim. I am Sikh.

I cannot imagine a life without her, or her family.

I thank God that we are living now, rather than 70 years ago.

Though, with the happenings around the world in recent years, it scares me.

Like the Holocaust and Jewish ethnic cleansing, the Partition tore families and friends apart.

Please, let’s not let this happen again.

99 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robbiesinspiration
    Aug 24, 2017 @ 20:34:42

    A very powerfully descriptive piece of flash fiction, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Mahesh Nair
    Aug 24, 2017 @ 17:01:35

    You have a strong voice, and great choice of words. And, “…the pink tinges seemed to reflect the rivers of red flowing beneath…” made my heart skip a beat. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Photo prompt round-up – Wisp #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
  4. Sue Vincent
    Aug 21, 2017 @ 22:39:07

    Thank you for writing this, Ritu. It needs to be remembered… and not repeated. We live in a very different world than 70 years ago, but sadly the same mindset still affects too many people.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  5. dornahainds
    Aug 20, 2017 @ 21:13:30

    Beautiful and oh, so Tragic. 🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Hugh's Views and News
    Aug 20, 2017 @ 11:26:04

    Such a powerful story, Ritu. I, too, have been watching those programmes. I had no idea of that part of history until the BBC started promoting the series. It was something never talked about in history lessons at the school I went to, yet we were taught all about the second world war which was part of my history O level curriculum.
    I agree we should never be allowed to forget about events like this, especially given of what is happening in the world every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 20, 2017 @ 11:28:26

      There’s so much that has happened in the past Hugh, that is never taught in history lessons . That’s why I think whenever possible, if we can, we should share stories in our own way. So if even one person is made aware of something they didn’t know before, you’ve done your job xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  7. Frank Hubeny
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 23:20:09

    I wonder why all that happened? I heard of it before, but I have never understood what triggered that slaughter. Nice description of the event in your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 20, 2017 @ 01:16:01

      Thank you Frank. It was because as the British prepared to leave… they didn’t have clear plans for how partition would happen. The borders weren’t announced properly and when they were the religious impact was great. Muslims wanted their Pakistan and the Hindus and Sikhs needed to leave the new Pakistan. As the families moved across the new border these awful atrocities occurred.
      It’s so sad x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  8. Thewanderingdarlings
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 20:36:33

    Such a poignant and beautifully written post about a very somber time. Feel honoured to have read this and be made aware of this

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. suzie81speaks
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 20:27:54

    It’s a beautiful and touching post, and teaches me something I knew very little about… I think Gary absolutely said it best – things like this need to keep being talked about…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Sobhalisha Panda
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 17:47:56

    This touched my heart

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. fancypaperblog
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 17:20:12

    It is pretty sombre but I can see why x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Gary
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 16:01:32

    Poignant Ritu and very sobering; you’d think as time moved on lessons from the past would be learnt from and not be repeated. I think more people should post and write about this sort of thing to keep it up there in peoples minds. I find this sort of writing is painful to do because you get inside the minds of individuals and have to “try” and sense what sacrifices and fears they walked with. It can be a very emotional experience. Especially when you look around the world and see it being repeated. Sometimes I just don’t get people at all; for a cognisant species we can be immensely stupid.

    Good post and well written x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 19, 2017 @ 17:03:51

      Thank you Gary. It took that series of programmes to make me really think from the prospective if someone who experienced it. You’re right. We can’t forget. Somehow we need to learn… but it appears to be a lesson hard to remember. ..

      #GaTu

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • Gary
        Aug 19, 2017 @ 17:50:10

        Ooh, Ritu, that is the most writerish thing I’ve seen you say. Watching a series and using it to write in a different way. Totally brilliant IMO. These days I can’t go or do anything without thinking about writing or plot twists, listening and people watching to see how different people react and speak.

        Next you will be visiting an ancient site, ruin or stone circle and actually feeling the history present there. Wondering about time and your own mortality realising thousands of years ago people were standing where you are now, with some maybe feeling the same resonance as you do.

        I don’t think enough people get outside of their own bubble world’s these days and look into the sacrifices and survival fights people in the past have gone through so we can live as we are today. The media does a terrible job of positve news and a great one for driving division. We all need to remember and not just pass it off as something someone else did decades or centuries ago. Those people were like us, felt like us, had thoughts like us and yet their lives were ruined by circumstances beyond their control. I think everyone should walk through the war graves in France and look at them with an eye of respect reading the ages of the soldiers for example. The lesson has to be learnt otherwise we’re in big trouble in the future. Cracking post and a real one for debate and discussion x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Aug 19, 2017 @ 18:13:00

        Thank you Gary! I see I inspired you too Lol!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gary
        Aug 19, 2017 @ 18:26:21

        Hard not to be reading your RiWriMo posts. #awesome. Certainly this post has got me thinking too. In tune again methinks lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Aug 19, 2017 @ 18:32:49

        😊

        Liked by 1 person

  13. angelanoelauthor
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 15:26:38

    Oh, Ritu. Meena’s story brought tears to my eyes. I’ve read a lot of your posts, and this one struck me with a different kind of power. It’s one thing to know atrocities happen, it’s another to feel the story from a single person’s perspective. I heard a quote (the source of it seems in dispute) “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” The reality of a world where millions can die senselessly and my brain hears it as “information” rather than as a gut-wrenching, stupefying tragedy saddens me. But stories like this, and speaking of individual experiences rather than the broader context of a “happening” or an event, brings it all home to my heart. Thank you for sharing this story. We need to hear more of these–the true stories from those that live it, and in the fictional realm as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 19, 2017 @ 17:00:01

      Thank you Angela. You know, I try to keep my posts lighthearted and positive but sometimes there are other issues that my heart wants to write about. I feel grateful that my words can raise a smile… but provoke thoughts too.
      Each and every life that is lost meant something to someone. They were all individuals like us. But you’re right. It doesn’t seem so serious until you hear of single stories… xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  14. Modern Gypsy
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 14:05:31

    This … it takes me a while to process stories like this, based as they are in the horrible truth of the brutality of human beings. Partition. The holocust. We thought we left them behind. We thought the wounds had enough time to heal. We thought we would never let these things happen again. And yet. Here we are. The collective horrors of those years raising their heads again. Hopefully this time we won’t let them rise up. Hopefully this time we will be able to stand strong and say no, not in our name; never in our name.

    Beautifully written, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 19, 2017 @ 16:52:14

      Thank you so much Shinjini. It was a truly terrible time. We can only hope that humanity has learned from previous mistakes… though current events make me doubt it…

      Like

      Reply

  15. You Can Always Start Now
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 12:46:16

    Parts of history I never knew. It always needs re-telling and hopefully someday it will click with the right people.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Stacia May
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 11:54:20

    Wow. Thank you for posting this, I did not know much about this. What a terrible time, may it not be repeated. (Praying the same for my beloved U.S. Where we seem to be losing our way 😢)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Phil Taylor
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 11:39:48

    Wow. Haunting images that you painted with words. At the end of it though, I know and understand more than I did before. Thank you Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. memadtwo
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 11:30:27

    Powerful. We should never forget. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. Gloria
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 11:08:21

    This is beautifully written Ritu. It is very sad though and gave me shivers. I will never understand war. : (

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 19, 2017 @ 11:12:27

      Thank you Gloria. It was so interesting and verybemotional watching those programmes and when I Saw that photo it hit me how much is the same though different….

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  20. noellekelly
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 10:34:46

    That’s beautiful, yet disturbing Ritu. Good job writing about something so meaningful to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. globalhousesitterX2
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 10:20:58

    I had goosebumps reading that Ritu. Made an impression, thank you. In the environment we are now, we need to be very aware of what we say and do, and respect all without thinking of our western attitudes and beliefs. We have had no bad moments here, only open arms. Wish it was like that everywhere!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. shelleywilson72
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 10:16:09

    Sometimes the only way to address something is in a sombre way. Beautifully written, Ritu x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. Sue Vincent
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 10:12:03

    Reblogged this on Sue Vincent's Daily Echo.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  24. TanGental
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 09:46:18

    Bloody British. Partition was the right idea executed with such haste and stupidity. I’m glad we are hearing more about it now because at school (in the 6os) it was sold as a momentous ans noble thing showing how we knew the right way to withdraw from Empire unlike the French or god forbid the Belgiums. Ha! Arrognace was never a good trait. Your story is spot on Ritu

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  25. thebeasley
    Aug 19, 2017 @ 08:58:38

    Yes, very sombre, but also very well written and covers a very important part of history. Great work Ritu x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. willowdot21
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 17:04:24

    I am with you there Sis a beautiful post about another historic atrocity … One of so many. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  27. weejars
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 11:15:34

    These stories need to be told. A powerful tale ..unexpected from the prompt. Hopefully one day humans will learn…but unfortunately we seem hellbent on repeating history 😖

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  28. Michael
    Aug 18, 2017 @ 06:38:18

    I’m with you Ritu, and what a wonderful piece of writing….this was the reality of so many, we pray it will never happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 18, 2017 @ 08:04:14

      Thank you Michael. That programme touched me. And looking at that wisp made me think… our view is the same on so many things… so why all this conflict?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • Michael
        Aug 18, 2017 @ 08:07:11

        Yes you have to wonder….people are basically greedy and need to feel valued, its just they don’t know how to go about it in a way that makes life safe for us all…..I once lived with a family whose sole object in life was to be one up on the next person….in reality they were ‘upstanding pillars of their Christian communities’ and never saw the danger in what they were constantly on about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Aug 18, 2017 @ 08:09:16

        This is just so sad and frustrating to. The majority of the world are at one. Yet the minority pull the strings and cause chaos….

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 21:21:10

    A powerful piece of writing, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  30. Erika Kind
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 19:33:45

    We must never forget what terrible things men did to men in order to never let this happen again. It still happens far too often when even in the small. And this should be recognized to through reminders like yours, sis!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  31. syl65
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 17:02:44

    Writing is not always fluff and happiness. We express ourselves in the moment of inspiration no matter what the source. Vivid storytelling and imagery Sister!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  32. floridaborne
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 17:01:06

    Wish I could said this could never happen again, unfortunately, it has been the way of the world. Until our spirits can rise above it, nothing is going to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  33. OIKOS™-Redaktion
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 16:17:46

    Reply

  34. Judy E Martin
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:55:05

    Sis, this was such a powerful piece of writing. It captures the horror and brutality of what happened. Why do people do this to each other, especially when they once lived together in harmony?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  35. Reena Saxena
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:40:53

    We need not be apologetic about being sombre. This is one of your most beautiful pieces that I have read. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:43:42

      Thank you so much, Reena. I’m sitting here still reeling from watching that program, hearing about the atrocities from all sides, and how it affected us all, in some way or another.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  36. Mr. Militant Negro
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:37:09

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  37. afternoonofsundries
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:35:16

    The imagery and the horror, you captured it in such a way that I felt like I was there. Even though I have never experienced anything close to this I felt such sadness and anger for this child. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  38. Richard Ankers
    Aug 17, 2017 @ 13:33:01

    Well said, Ritu. And I think sometimes being somber is the only way to get these messages across.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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