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The Tongawallah’s Wife

“Was it an exaggeration to say that the Partition was the death of humanity?… Before they turned on each other with ferocious bloodlust, they had been friends, neighbors, well-wishers. And just like that, they became mortal enemies, swords thirsting for each other’s blood… In the turmoil of those chaotic days, there was no baby formula to be had. The doctor himself had made the dangerous journey to the shuttered and abandoned shops that day. No formula milk, no breast milk and no milk of human kindness. The long journey to India loomed ahead… worry soon returned to the mother’s face. “We leave tomorrow for India. This baby cannot survive the journey without milk.” Her voice shook: “We should leave the baby with her wet nurse. It is her only hope for survival…” A story by Partition survivor Vinod Pathania