How Kapil Dev was welcome in his native village in Pakistan 36 years ago
New Delhi: Former India captain and one of the great all-rounder of the game Kapil Dev, a well know emotional person, was moved by the emotions shown by locals when he visited his parent's village in Pakistan 36 years ago.
According to Dawn.com, “It was the most moving moment for me listening from the locals about my parents and the family. I was overcome by emotions as they showered their hospitality on me, showing such warmth and love that they had for my parents and family,” Kapil recalled.
Kapil made his Test debut against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1978 as a 19-year-old medium-pace bowler.
His family had migrated after partition from Montgomery which is now Sahiwal in Pakistan to India.
“My mother Raj Kumari was born in Pakpattan, in the town of the Sufi saint Baba Farid and father Ram Lal Nikhanj was from Dipalpur not far from Pakpattan. And they lived in Shah Yakka nearby which is now in Okara district Pakistan,” Kapil said.
“My four sisters were born there before partition and my two brothers in Fazilka, where we moved after the partition before moving on to Chandigarh, where I was born, grew up, got my education and learnt the game,” he said.
“One of my uncles did not go to India and remained in what is now Pakistan because he was in love with a Muslim girl whom he married and took their family name,” Kapil recalled.
Kapil said as luck would have it, he was picked to tour Pakistan with the Indian team and his mother told him to make sure to visit Shah Yakka village near Pakpattan. He said he did vist the village escorted by Pakistan security men.
“My mother also told me that ours was the only ‘Pakka' (concrete) house in the village with a rectangular four wall around it where my father and his brothers lived with their families.
“I found the place and disclosed to the residents who I was and who my father and mother were. It was a moving experience as the elders of Shah Yakka gathered and welcomed me and told me stories of my father and his brothers. They also remembered my mother. They told me that my father was ‘Shararti' of the lot and like to go hunting.
“I fail to understand why people change the names. My mother will always mention the name Montgomery and after Pakistan it became Sahiwal. I think we should have sense of history and respect the legacy that we have inherited. In India, Madras has become Chennai, Bombay as Mumbai and now Calcutta as Kolkata. I do not like this. I wish the names had remained the way they were.”