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Crossing borders to reunite

delhi Updated: Feb 20, 2012 00:31 IST
Rajat Arora

The conference room at the Indo Islamic Culture Center, Lodi Road, was resounding with stories of ladies - most of who are in their 70s and 80s - who reminisce their college life during pre-partition days.

Indira Pasricha, 96, said the college from which she graduated in 1933 can give any modern day all girls' college a run for its money, even today.

In a reunion of its own kind, 17 former students of the famous Kinnaird College in Lahore are in India to catch up with their Indian seniors who graduated before Partition.

"We are more or less the same. We share a history, language, college, tradition and even fashion. What divides us is just a border line," said Dr Nighat Agha, a former Pakistani senator, who graduated from the college in 1955.

The upmarket college in Lahore, also known for its fashion, was affiliated to the Punjab University - the only university in north India during those days. Now, the college has become an autonomous institution awarding its own degrees.

Former students still remember the day when they had to take their exam on the day the Partition was announced.

"The exam centre was the nearby FC College. Men had kept guns and swords on their side, whereas I only had ink with me. That was the most dreadful day," remembers Jamila Veghese, 85, who was the last student to be in college on the day of partition.

Despite the sour relations between the two countries, the alumnae of Kinnaird College has done its bit to be together.