How India-Pakistan partition separated four best friends, 70 years ago
As the world celebrates Friendship Day, let's tell you an extraordinary story of friendship that transcends the borders of India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan are going to celebrate 70 years of independence; the 1947 India-Pakistan partition had broken many friendships overnight. This heartwarming story of four friends separated during the partition is sure going to enlighten us on keeping our friendships alive!
Four friends separated by religion and distance
In the pre-independent India, Amar Kapur, Asaf Khwaja, Agha Raza, and Rishad Haider were four friends in Lahore who were more like brothers. They shared good times in childhood as well as the youth; but then, the hard times arrived in 1947. Riots broke out and Kapur, a Hindu, had to join those migrating to India, leaving behind Asaf, Agha and Rishad in Pakistan.
Maintaining friendships in rival nations is not easy
With Kapur gone, the other three were left with an unfillable void in their lives. Asaf, however, believed nothing, even the blood-drenched partition that used religion to split many relationships would affect their friendship. In 1949, Asaf wrote a letter to Kapur in Delhi, recalling all the memories they shared. But they lost touch over the next three decades and lost each other's addresses.
The letter that came after two years
Asaf wrote to Kapur: "Our country has been broken; the great, sound pulsating heart of India has been broken. We have spent good times, Amar, grand times, together." He wrote that he and the other two remember Kapur with the "same brotherly feeling."
How fate brought the four friends together
The four had no contact until 1980 when Agha's uncle came to Delhi for a conference. His uncle found Kapur was running a printing press in Delhi; the separated friends soon reconnected. In 1982, Kapur returned to Lahore to reunite with his three long-lost friends after 35 years. Kapur and his family started visiting Pakistan to meet the other three families, strengthening the friendship.
Rishad's daughter Cyma Haider on their friendship
Cyma stated: "They were like blood brothers, like a family. I found it interesting that all the four men were dynamic, successful individuals. But when they met they kind of merged into each other and became completely childlike. The intensity of friendship was something."
They were friends, until death did them part
Kapur often invited the other three to India; Agha promised to visit Kapur in Delhi. Unfortunately, Agha succumbed to a heart attack aged 67 in 1988; next to depart was Rishad at 67, in 1993. In Jul'96, only a month after writing to Amar how saddening it is to lose friends, Asaf died at 71. Amar Kapur is the lone survivor of the "brotherhood."
I miss them, says Amar Kapur
Kapur sold his business two decades ago; he now lives with his wife in Faridabad. About his friends, he says: "I miss them. I loved them and I love them even more now. They are the only real friends I ever had."