Nostalgic memories lift spirits of Hindu pilgrims

A Hindu boy rings a bell at the Sadh Belo Temple in Sukkur.

SUKKUR: For Sanwal Das, an Indian visitor, there is no difference between India and Pakistan when it comes to love, affection and hospitality.
Das used to live in Ghotki till 1962 when he migrated to India. His cousins still live in Jarwar therefore he sees Pakistan, in general, and Sindh, in particular, as his second home.

Das now lives in village Raj Nand near Raipur in Chhattisgarh, India, and runs a small confectionary shop. He has come to Pakistan to attend the birth anniversary of Sain Shadha Ram.
The people back in India used to scare him by saying that it was very dangerous to visit Pakistan because of the rising incidents of terrorism but during his visit he has seen no such thing. “I think misconceptions are the main reason behind the tense relations between the two countries.”
Seventy-two-year-old Indira Wazirani — migrated to India from Karachi in 1947. “We used to live in a three-storey building on Burnes Road. I was only six-years old and had just started going to school when we moved to India.”
Recalling her childhood, she says, “I still remember the pakoras and gol gappay of Papoo.” She narrates that Papoo sold her chips which she was fond of. After partition, she recalls, a man came over to her house and handed her father Rs300 to take over their residence. “Someone please take me to Karachi, because I am dying to see my Karachi and Burnes Road,” Wazirani pleads with gleaming eyes.

Her younger sister, Chanda Virani, works as a journalist with Sindhu Desh Television and this is her fourth consecutive visit to Pakistan. “I was not born in Sindh, but I don’t know why Sindh attracts me and I come to pay homage to the land of love,” she says. She feels at home when in Sindh as it embraces her as soon as she sets foot here. “My elder sister is passionate about Sindh, especially Karachi, where she was born.”
“Believe me when I say, though we live in Mumbai, we sing the songs of Sindh.” There are some visa restrictions because of which they cannot visit Karachi, but one day they will surely visit Karachi and go to Burnes Road to have a look at their old home and other places, she says.
A delegation of 84 Hindu pilgrims from India led by Sant Yudister Lal entered Pakistan through Wagah border on December 1.
They went to Mirpur Mathelo to attend the three-day birth anniversary of Sain Shadha Ram in Shadhani Darbar Hayat Pitafi. On Sunday, the delegation visited Sadh Belo Temple in Sukkur, where thousands of Hindus from across the province accorded warm welcome to Lal and other members of the delegation.
Talking to the media, Lal says he used to visit Ghotki and Sukkur almost every year in connection with the annual celebrations of Shadhani Darbar.
“The people of both the countries love and respect each other, which is a binding force.” The delegation, after their two-day stay in Ghotki, will leave for Lahore. They will leave Pakistan on December 12.

Source: Hindu News