Title: The New Regime
Original Title: Sikka Badal Gaya
Author: Krishna Sobti
Translator: Jai Ratan
From the Collection: India Partitioned
Today’s story was set during Partition and written by the highly talented Krishna Sobti. She is 89 years old as of this year and all that I have read of her, I cannot wait to meet her the next time I am in Delhi. Coming back to the story though.
“The New Regime” is of an old woman named Shahni who is being asked to leave her haveli of many many years which she lived in with her husband, children and alone as well, after her husband died and her children left. The story is of her plight and at the same time her pride – which she does not want to let go of. She is being asked to leave the village she provided for and was a mother to – the story moves rapidly of course and yet it is so impactful, given the theme and the writing.
I do not think there can ever be enough of Partition writing or reading. We need a constant reminder, lest we forget.
The story originally was written in Hindi and I have read it in the two-volume collection on Partition and its writings called, “India Partitioned”. The story is translated by Jai Ratan.