Sartaj Singh’s Diwali vacation always starts with a visit to Gurudwara Chandni Chowk. Every year he reminds his daughters how the ninth Guru was killed here by the Muslim rulers of the time. “We remember him as Hind di Chadar.” In the lane behind the Gurudwara he points to the shop where his Grandfather worked after partition. “He lost all his family and property in Lahore to Muslim rioters.”
Sartaj walks at a brisk pace, his wife struggling to keep pace in the narrow lanes teeming with shoppers crowding in and out of the wholesale firecracker shops. At the foot of stairs to Jama Masjid he waits for his wife. The girls race up the stairs.
“Simran, Shoa, careful. Watch your step.”
“Come Shagufta,” he takes his wife’s hand and follows.
(Memory Lanes - Diwali & An Old Enemy, a short story, written June 2019)