I have a particular intimacy with borders. An intimacy that I inherited, but did not seek. My family history is a history of belonging and unbelonging across borders. In August 1947, my grandparents, generationally rooted to the Deraghazikhan region of Pakistan, suddenly found that their country was no longer theirs. I want to imagine what that might have felt like. You wake up one morning and find that your country is free of almost 200 years of British rule, but this freedom is accompanied by the political splicing of the country into two nation-states—secular India and the Islamic state of Pakistan. This is the geopolitical event that came to be known as the batwara (in...

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