The feeling of returning to your ancestral house is always quite precious. Whether you stay in Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune or any other big city, the connection to the house where you were born and brought up is worth remembering. Isn’t it? ‘Cuz we are often attached to the memories of our childhood and how we grew up there. Now, imagine, if someone returns to their ancestral house after more than seven decades. How would that feeling be? Yes, it really happened.
A 90-year-woman, Reena Chhibber Varma, is grabbing headlines for returning to her house, Prem Nivas in Rawalpindi, Pakistan after 75 years of partition, Times of India reported. She is there on a three-month visa. Reena currently lives in Pune, Maharashtra, her Facebook profile suggests. Photos and videos of her homecoming are going insanely viral across all social media platforms.
Reena Varma received grand welcome in Pakistan as she visited those galiyaan where she reportedly used to play in her childhood. Residents of the street welcomed Reena with dhols and showered her with rose petals. She also danced along with them. Watch the video here:
While speaking to the media, Reena Varma appealed to the youngsters of both the nations to live with harmony and peace.
Appeal from 92 years old Indian lady to youth of #Pakistan & #India to live with harmony and peace. Reena Verma visited her birthplace in Rawalpindi for the first time after partition in 1947 #PakistanIndia #peace pic.twitter.com/tbeXcZOCse— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) July 20, 2022
Here’s how netizens are reacting to her homecoming:
My grandmother and her two elder sons never stopped talking about the life and people of Jhang and Rawalpindi, the two cities where they were based out of, their agricultural fields, a bookstore and other businesses they owned and left behind.— Aman Malik (@PatrakaarPopat) July 21, 2022
If only they’d gone back once. https://t.co/305lXEPROR
Watching videos of Rena Verma visiting her ancestral home in Rawalpindi is making my morning. The love she has in her eyes. The love the residents of the mohalla have for her. ❤️— Oishika Neogi (@NeogiOishika) July 21, 2022
This is how we heal, together. https://t.co/14xdLYtVke
Reena Verma, who left her home in Rawalpindi at Partition, returns 75 years later. The joy on her is unmatched, for there are millions who never thought they’d one again walk on the soil of their birth with dignity. How I wish more survivors are granted this opportunity 1/ https://t.co/tKf5ZZspzP— Aanchal Malhotra (@AanchalMalhotra) July 21, 2022
Reena found her house largely the same including the flooring, she told TOI. Here’s what she said:
I am very happy to be here but also sad as I am reminded of my parents and siblings whom I lived with in the house that we left before partition. All of them are gone and I miss them more than ever before.
According to TOI, Reena Varma had once posted her desire on a Facebook group to see the house. Her post caught the attention of Sajjad Haider, a Rawalpindi resident. Haider tracked down her house and sent photos and videos of her house.
After being rejected earlier, Reena Varma was finally granted visa by Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, this year. This happened after Varma’s video of visa appeal went viral on social media, Indian Express reported.
Here’s what Reena’s daughter Sonali Khullar told Indian Express about how she could not go back to her house after partition in 1947. Reena was 15 years old back then.
They were a family of eight, with six siblings. She moved to Solan during partition and her mother hoped that they would go back, which never did happen.
Reena’s story is a perfect example of ‘kisi cheez ko shiddat se chaho toh poori kainaat use tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.’ And what an inspiring cross-border homecoming tale it is.