Illustration from “Fault Lines” by Irfan Master and Prabha Mallya; Courtesy Vishwajyoti Ghosh
Illustration from “Fault Lines” by Irfan Master and Prabha Mallya; Courtesy Vishwajyoti Ghosh

Partition’s incomplete stories

Vishwajyoti Ghosh curates a collection of graphic narratives that capture the layered history of Partition.

'This Side, That Side: Restorying Partition, Graphic narratives from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh', curated by Vishwajyoti Gosh, Delhi: Yoda Press, 2013.

"Come to the house. Not the theatre," he said on the phone. It was 1994. My granduncle, Inder Dass, and I had a regular lunch date at the Little Theatre near Mandi House in New Delhi. Why, I asked? It took some time for him to admit this to me, but he had become addicted to Oprah's show. It ran around lunchtime. "She makes people say things I don't allow myself to think," he said once in a moment of weakness.

My granduncle and I shared a love for stories. He liked to tell me about his youth and about his early days as a playwright. We often discussed one of his favorite plays, the last he did in Lahore in the waning days of its cosmopolitan colonial glory – Society ke Thekedar, the 'Contractors of Society' (1946). Angry at the countdown to Partition, Inder Dass decided to skewer the political leadership. They were going to sell out his world, compel him to leave what he knew and loved. He reconstructed the play for me so many times I feel that I might even be able to write it down. I'm not sure if there is a copy of the play anywhere, but that became beside the point.

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