Gupta, Bal K., 1937-, Kalra, Ankur, Kalra, Ankur, and Kalra, Ankur
Mr Bal K Gupta was born in Mirpur, and is one of the few people who was able to witness the independence days of both India and Pakistan first-hand. He was ten years old when Partition occurred, and still remembers the day when he and his younger brother had to leave Mirpur – and their mother and grandparents, who could not follow.The escaping caravan of 25,000 was slowly reduced over time by shelling, attacks, kidnapping and the treacherous journey. When escape looked unlikely, some of the members killed their own wives, children and even themselves to prevent capture and dishonor.A small group of 5,000 was captured and forced to march through a narrow passage – over the bodies of their own relatives and friends – to an abandoned gurudwara in Alibeg. They were imprisoned for almost a year, with a daily food allotment of just 1 ounce of flour per person. A few escapees eventually found their way to Jammu and enlisted the help of the authorities and the Red Cross Society to free the remaining 1,600 survivors.It wasn’t until April of 1948 that Mr Gupta and his brother (now eleven and nine years old) could be brought to the Kurukshetra Refugee Camp, and be reunited with their relatives, who had since resettled in Jammu.It was longer still – 1954 – before another long-awaited miracle finally happened. The Red Cross had found his mother, and was able to bring her to Jammu to reunite her with her two sons and their relatives.Mr Bal K Gupta is currently a retired design engineer in Acworth, GA. But even today, all these years later, he still dreams of Mirpur.