This essay, written as narrative nonfiction, is the portion of an oral history interview with Kalyani Ray Chowdhury, who was born in 1929 in Chittagong (present-day Bangladesh), on what she recalls of her homeland in East Bengal. A few months prior to India's 1947 Partition into India and Pakistan by the British, Ray Chowdhury's family had been vacationing in the city of Patna. They were unable to travel back home to Mymensingh due to rising communal and political turmoil. When the Partition line was finally declared, they found themselves living life as refugees in Calcutta in West Bengal, while their home remained abandoned across the newly formed border in East Bengal. During the course of the interview, Ray Chowdhury also makes note of the nuanced distinctions in the culture and language of people from both sides of the Bengal border, and how conscious efforts had to be made on the part of her family to feel any sense of integration to their newly adopted home.
There Are No More Places to Migrate To
Aanchal Malhotra is a New Delhi-based oral historian working with memory and material culture. She is the co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory, a digital repository tracing family histories and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles, and antiques from the Indian subcontinent. Her debut book on the subject was published by HarperCollins India (2017) under the title Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory and by C. Hurst & Co., UK (2019) under the title Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided. The book has been short-listed for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize, 2018, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, 2018, the Hindu Lit for Life Non-fiction Prize, 2018, the Publishing Next Printed Book of the Year, 2018 and long-listed for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award, 2018. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Aanchal Malhotra; There Are No More Places to Migrate To. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 March 2019; 8 (1): 42–49. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2019.8.1.42
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