The Partition & I: What I Lost by S.J. KAUR In 1947, four Sikhs - a couple, a young man and a teenage girl - fled their respective homes. Uprooted, ravaged, humiliated - all they wanted was to live. And live they did with all the passion of those who have lost - everything. This was my grandparents' story. Their strength amazes me. Out of nothing they built everything. I always considered the events of Partition to be their story. I could not have been more wrong. Something strange stirred within me when I was pregnant. Home to me has always been a noisy suburb throbbing with life. But now I craved for the comfort of a quiet village, fields and dirt - it was the quiet throb of a piece of earth that I longed for; one that I had never set foot on. Suddenly the Partition of 1947 became immensely personal. I was separated from the one thing that I ached for. Was it because I was bringing a new life into this world? The yearning, the craving was intense. I can still feel in my heart something strong stirring. I try to imagine the texture of that dirt in my fist as I rub it between my fingers. Why? And so, just like my grandparents weaved my parents and all their stories together, they also weaved my husband and me into the rich fabric of their story; and included in it all the stories that came with my life-partner. Today, every generation of my family lives in different countries. When I ask myself, where my roots lay, I can only think of a village left behind in today's Pakistan. A name is all I have... The Partition and I Criss-crossed On my womb, My arms clutch With ferocity Our unborn, our seed. My body bends, Dissolves, Into heart-breaking sobs; Silent screams ring through my head... All I want... Is a fistful of earth. Lay my tired self Under the massive tree, Lay on this earth Feel it pulse through my veins. And I want it so bad. Tears spill out Forcing me to face An incomprehensible truth - The blood-drenched dirt Cries out, ...Calls Two generations later? I must go, I will. To find my tree To find its roots To feel, To caress, To clasp that lost earth And lock its scent. To return And Bring back some lost past. Some lost part Of what lingers, In that ravaged Earth. A seed needs roots She must have her dues. All I have is a name. Now I need a fistful of Earth.