Have you ever experienced the feeling of not knowing your true identity? If your answer is no then I commend you and hope you never feel that way. If you said yes, then I sympathize with you because I understand. I understand the feeling of not knowing. Of feeling trapped behind these pale white walls. Worst of all, I understand the feeling of waiting within confined corridors as the outside world abruptly changes forever. Welcome to my life.
My name is Bishan Singh and I hail from the small community of Toba Tek Singh. Where is Toba Tek Singh you may ask. Well, that is the answer I am trying to seek. I have been locked away from the outside world, situated in the Lahore asylum for some time now. Set up as a mental institution for deranged patients, ironically I feel like the members of the asylum are the sane ones in this world. They are sane because they have created this divide; unaware of its repercussions and lasting legacy. The partition of India has nullified the borders of my homeland, but more importantly it has displaced my community.
I am no longer sure where I belong. From the brief and ambiguous information that I have heard pertaining to the partition what I know is this. My homeland has been divided into two separate countries: Pakistan and India. However, the community where I was raised and spent the entirety of my life does not coincide within either of these borders. No one seems to understand the concerns and feelings of acrimony that have resonated within me for the past decade. The feeling of not knowing where my community resides. As a result of the partition, binarism is certainly present; a distinct divide between two extremes in the form of Hindu and Muslim. I, along with the rest of the world cannot reach a middle ground here. The isolation and space between these two religious groups has gotten so extreme that frankly trying to distinguish where I belong is seemingly impossible. I wish I could quickly resolve the dilemma that has divided our country, however, the problem stems from hundreds of years of animosity. Surely there is nothing that can be done.