Finally, I'll be returning home: After 75 years, a Pune grandmother will return to Pakistan.

Reena Varma, 90, left her home in Prem Gali, a lane named after her father in Rawalpindi in 1947 . She plans to visit her home in Rawalpindi in July .

Reena Varma, 15, left her beautiful home in Prem Gali, a lane named after her father in Rawalpindi in May 1947, out of fear of communal riots.She and her siblings were packed into Solan for what was supposed to be a longer-than-usual summer holiday in the mountains.Her mother, who later joined them, was certain that once things improved, they would return home.All of that was changed by partition, and the family could never return home.

How Reena, 90, is affectionately known as Toshi (the term used by neighbors and friends in Raw alpindi) managed to find her house across the border is a moving tale.She wrote about her childhood memories of her home and her wish to see it two years ago, when the pandemic was happening.A Sajjad bhai from Rawalpindi followed this sprightly grandma from Pune and even sent her pictures and a video.Sonali, her daughter's grandma who lives in Gurgaon, assisted her in applying for a visa last year, but her bid was turned down.

Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan's minister of state for foreign affairs, came to notice of it.Reena, who lives alone in Pune, was recently given a 90-day visa.Reena is enthralled by the prospect of returning to her birthplace.I don't know who lives in our house at the moment, but am hoping they will allow me to visit, says Reena, who plans to visit Rawalpindi in July.

Prem Gali, named after her father Bhai Prem Chand Chhibber, is still vividly vivid.Shafi, the family tailor who sheltered her mother when riots broke out on the streets, is still remembered by her grandmother.According to Reena, she was hiding in his shop for six hours.She has no resentment, recalling her family's Muslim friends with utmost reverence.

When Partition took place, there was fear and confusion.For safety, girls in our lane were forced to hide in an army camp.I am sorry for what I left behind, but I can't grasp the hatred that some people have left in their wake, adds Reena, whose family moved from Rawalpindi to Solan near Shimla and then to Ambala, Pune, and finally Delhi.Partition hit her parents the hardest, according to her parents.

In Delhi, they lived on rent.Reena remembers her father warmly by sharing photos of a valtoi (brass pitcher) and a martbaan (urn used to store pickles) brought by the family from Rawalpindi.In her Pune home, she now has flowers.Over the past decade, a lot has transpired.

But she quickly moves on to talk about her grandchildren, her daughter Sonali, her life in Pune, and her new social media connections, but not one to allow sadness to rule.Is she afraid of her solo trip to Pakistan at this age?I feel somewhere in my heart that Rawalpindi h has kept alive, and I have no anxiety at all.After all, I'll be returning home.