India’s offensive across the border on September 6, 1965, saw Punjab’s border districts of Amritsar, Firozpur and Gurdaspur in the line of the fire, smoke and confusion. For ordinary people, daily privations, often destruction of home and hearth, were inextricably coupled with pride in their jawans, anguish in the reverses at Khem Karan and elation at the armour-splitting victory in Asal Uttar. Citizens who lived through those 22 days speak to Sakshi Virmani.
Anil Channana, 60
Retired judicial department employee, Firozpur
“The neighbourhood would shift to an old, big house in the evenings when the shelling was bad, using it as a bunker.”
I had come home from school in the afternoon and was playing in the street with friends when suddenly everything grew dark and hazy. A loud siren ringing through the city rent the air. Then the bombardments started. Firozpur was lucky because...