Old Delhi

Escaping from Amritsar’s post-Partition fears

Vinod K. Puri


Born in 1941, Vinod was brought up and educated in Amritsar. He attended Government Medical College, and subsequently trained as a surgeon at PGI, Chandigarh. He left for USA in 1969, and retired in 2003 as Director of Critical Care Services at a teaching hospital in Michigan. Married with two grown sons, he continues to visit India at least once a year.

Why we ended up in Delhi in January 1948 is not entirely clear to me - I was only six years old then. But I do recall being in old Delhi in an area called Mori Gate.

This was located near the Delhi Railway Station, which is now known as Old Delhi Railway Station. We were living with my aunt Sheila Tai and her husband Taya Diwan Chand. Their son Ramesh, my cousin, also lived there. The house in Mori Gate was owned by an old Muslim gentleman known to us as Maulvi sahib. The narrow street had mostly Muslim inhabitants.

My mother and Sheila Tai were real sisters. Their husbands were half-brothers (sharing a common father, my grandfather), who lived in the paternal joint family home in Amritsar. So, the two sisters had lived together in Amritsar for many years after they got married.

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