A couple of several years in the past, I came across a documentary titled ‘Dere tun Dilli’ (Dera to Delhi). It was a relocating account of the tales and reminiscences of the generation that experienced to leave their homes and belongings in Dera Ismail Khan to settle in Delhi as refugees, in the aftermath of Partition. It confirmed how the more mature technology had experimented with their greatest to preserve their Derawali language (the name by which Seraiki was recognized in the area in advance of the broader Seraiki appellation grew to become commonplace), folk music and cultural ethos and consequently generating a very little piece of Dera in Delhi. Even so, as the more mature generations move on and younger types just take their place, the feeling of affiliation with the Derawal identity, traditions and customs is also staying slowly and gradually shed.

I had found Shilpi Gulati’s title in the credits of the documentary. Just before arriving in Delhi, I managed to observe her down and she kindly agreed to meet up. We satisfied at a café in Khan Sector. I requested her how the strategy for these kinds of a documentary was conceptualised. She explained to me how she grew up in an environment where by the unique ethnic identification involved with speakers of Derawali language by some means acquired shed underneath the shadow of Punjabi. Afterwards in lifetime, when she turned acutely aware of Derawali’s distinctiveness, she embarked upon this undertaking to doc snippets
of the older generation’s reminiscences of their beloved city, its bazaars, food stuff, language and tunes.

It warms my coronary heart, each time I watch the documentary, to see how people reminisced about lifetime as it utilised to be in Dera Ismail Khan right up until 1947, ahead of the exile pressured on the Hindu inhabitants by the circumstances arising out of Partition. They did not know at the time that the split with their homeland would be everlasting. Derawals that settled in Delhi caught alongside one another as a group, shaped associations, structured events, founded schools and temples, brought out publications and hardly ever forgot the hometown they left driving. In the words and phrases of one particular gentleman, in his eighties, highlighted in the documentary, “You have taken away my nation, my dwelling. But you can’t consider absent my reminiscences. At the very least those are my possess.”