25 February, 2021

Milkha At Midnight

Milkha At Midnight
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Five years ago, when I went to Pakistan on an invitation to play a series of golf matches, I inquired about my school in Muzaffarpur district. This was when I first came to know about my real date of birth. My father had entered it as November 1929 in the school records. This means that when I arrived at New Delhi railway station in August 1947, a traumatised refugee who had seen his parents killed before his eyes and had to flee to save his own life, I was just over 17, and did not even know it.

I remember spending the remaining part of that year scrounging around for food on the station. Rich lalas would bring pooris and sabzi and throw the pooris at refugees like us from a distance, to avoid the fracas that would inevitably ensue. There were dead bodies on the station, I would sometimes sleep between them. I lived this existence till I got a job for Rs 10 a...

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