My grandfather remarried in Pakistan, and had four other other children. After doing her postgraduate degree in Chemistry from Government College, Lahore in the early 1960's, my mother became a teacher. She retired as Assistant Professor and Head of the Chemistry Department, Government Post-Graduate College for Women, Gujranwala, on August 10, 1991.
All her life, my mother desperately wanted to visit her mother's grave but due to her government job and the strict visa policy between both countries, she was unable to fulfill her dream. Whenever she was ill and in pain, she would cry out, "O Amma kidhar ho" (O Mother, where are you).
My mother lies buried near Wagah border in Handu Gujjar. Across the border lies buried her mother. I am sharing this story to illustrate the pain that the visa policy of India and Pakistan inflicts upon ordinary people.
I want to visit India to say a prayer at my grandmother's grave in Gurdaspur, but I don't know anyone there who would send me an invitation letter, or get me a sponsorship letter signed that is required for a visa.
I am sharing with you the desire of a daughter and granddaughter. I don't know what good my little effort to write and share this will do, but at least I have expressed it. I hope and pray that my dream comes true, for my mother's sake, and for the sake of my daughter who deserves to connect with her past.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
|The common enemy is war|