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ninety years old best friends from Pakistan and india reunited in USA decades after partition

ISLAMABAD: In a touching testament to enduring friendship despite the wounds of history, two nonagenarians from India and Pakistan found comfort in each other’s company after decades of separation.

A young woman of Indian descent living in New Jersey in the United States, captured the poignant journey of her 90-year-old grandfather as he embarked on a quest to reunite with his long-lost Pakistani best friend.

Their bond, formed in childhood, was abruptly broken by the traumas of partition, which forced the Pakistani friend to flee for his life, leaving behind cherished memories and a lifelong friendship in turmoil.

Years later, fate intervened, bringing their paths together once more on foreign soil. Amidst the hustle and bustle of America’s streets, the two childhood companions were reunited, tears of joy and nostalgia filling their eyes.

For a brief yet precious week, they revisited shared adventures, exchanged whispered secrets, and relived innocent laughter that transcended borders and time.

Giving an account of the reunion she said, “Despite the passage of time, the constraints of old age, and travel restrictions, my grandfather longed to reconnect with one of his dearest and oldest childhood friends, whom he had not seen in decades. Both grew up in Deesa, Gujarat, which is just a few hours from the Pakistani border. In October 1947, his childhood friend fled by boat with his family in the middle of the night to newly formed Pakistan. My grandfather was studying in Bombay, and when he returned, he found out he was gone. My grandfather was devastated.

When his friend reached Pakistan in 1947, he wrote to my grandfather that he had reached and shared his address in Rawalpindi (which to this day my grandfather has memorized). They tried to write to each other over the years, but the tensions between the two countries eventually made it impossible. They had no communication from 1948 to 1982 until a chance encounter with a mutual friend in New York led them back to each other.

In 1982, when my grandfather’s friend, who had moved to Connecticut, heard my grandfather was coming to New York, he wanted to pick him up from JFK airport, that’s how excited he was. This was their first reunion after 35 years. They spent that week together, catching up on life and reconnecting after years of silence. My grandfather said, “So much time had passed, but it was like no time had passed at all.” After nearly 9 years, they met again in October 2023. “Babu” (heard in the video) was a nickname from my grandfather’s childhood nickname, given to him by those who have long since passed. But, when his friend called him by that name, it stirred memories of his cherished youth.

The love and respect they still held for each other, despite the geographical and political barriers that had separated them, is profound. It serves as a powerful reminder that the power of human connection can not be extinguished by any government or border. They hope to be reunited at my grandfather’s 90th birthday in New Jersey in 2024.”

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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