Hyderabad ‘partition’ story, world of magnets — highlights of Literary Festival final day
As we are marking 75th year of Independence, and celebrating Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav along with Independence, on the other side of the coin there is also partition and division.
Published: 30th January 2023 11:25 AM | Last Updated: 30th January 2023 11:25 AM | A+A A-
HYDERABAD: Award winning author Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s Hyderabad: Book 2 of The Partition Trilogy and eye surgeon Anthony Vipin Das and Vidushi Duggal’s travelogue Around the World in Magnets were the main talking points on the final day of the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) on Sunday.
Speaking about her historical fiction The Partition Trilogy, Manreet said: “When it comes to partition, people generally talk about Punjab, Kashmir and Bengal. But the story of Hyderabad was kind of forgotten. When I started researching, I found that there is this entire story about Hyderabad. This is my story of Hyderabad and there might be millions of stories yet to be told about the partition.”
In a chat with TNIE, she said: “I grew up with many stories of partition in my hometown, Firozpur, which is on India-Pakistan border. Soon I realised that what I had grown up with was not reflected in the books and I felt the desire to tell those stories and started researching about partition.”
“Sometimes people talk about Hyderabad’s accession to India and it gets filed under a different subheading. But to me it was very much a partition story. If Kashmir is a partition story so is Hyderabad. Therefore in the partition trilogy, I am looking at these three places where violent disruptions happened,” she said.
Speaking about the challenges she faced in her research, she said: “As we are not good record keepers, finding the resources was tough. Along with the libraries abroad, where I live, many people helped me. For instance Lt General Ahmed El-Edroos, who headed the Nizam’s Army when India was invaded, has written a memoir, but I couldn’t find a copy of that book. Through a friend of mine, I was able to find a copy of that book here in Hyderabad,” she recalled.
“As history is often politicised and weaponised, I thought, what is the truth that I see here and how can I tell it,” she added.“As we are marking 75th year of Independence, and celebrating Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav along with Independence, on the other side of the coin there is also partition and division. As the legacy of partition is within us, resulting in unresolved issues and traumas therefore it is important to tell these stories to open up conversations and it is critical that the younger generation know these stories,”she added.
About her sightseeing in Hyderabad after a gap of 10 years she said: “I started writing about Hyderabad during the pandemic. In my mind I was spending time in the Nizam’s palaces, having Irani chai, going to Charminar. So I am going to do all those things over the next few days.”
Speaking about his travelogue Around the World in Magnets, which he co-authored with Vidushi Duggal, Anthony Vipin Das, an Eye surgeon at L V Prasad Eye Institute and TED senior fellow, said: “Essentially, we collected about 370 magnets from 40 countries over 30 years. When we put all the magnets on the wall, we saw a bigger story, and thought that this should go into the hands of the people who love to explore the world. We are excited to bring this into your hands, so that you can enjoy and discover the places we have went to and also celebrate the cultures of the world.”
Vidushi Duggal said: “I saw the magnitude of the wall. I saw a lot of history, culture and art. With one glimpse you are taken to a different country and region. There is also a lot of emotion attached to these magnets.”