Bhuchar Boulevard in association with Big Imaginations, Partition History Project and Polka Theatre presents
Child of the Divide
by Sudha Bhuchar
Friday 3 & Saturday 4 November, 1pm
A remarkable story of family, identity and belonging presented during the 70th anniversary of the partition of India.
When his fingers slip away from his father’s hand one boy’s destiny changes forever. Summer 1947 and sixteen million people are on the move between India and the newly-formed Pakistan. Jubilant crowds celebrate their country’s independence from the British while fireworks drown the sound of a divided nation.
As Lorries and trains crowded with refugees make their way across newly formed borders and amidst the chaos of fleeing their home in newly formed Pakistan, a small boy’s fingers slip away from his father’s hand and his destiny changes forever. The Hindu boy, Pali, finds himself lost and alone. Taken into a Muslim family, he is given a new name, Altaaf, and a new faith, Islam. In his changed world he learns to find love and friendship in the most unexpected of places.
In his new world, Pali makes friends with other children who are similarly lost or abandoned by their families. There is Pagal Head (literally ‘Mad Head’), the local bully; Sita/Hasina who is half Hindu and half Muslim and wanted by neither community; Aisha, the ‘queen of secrets’ and Buttameez (literally,’ Ill mannered’). As the children play and jostle, fight and shift allegiance, secrets come out and friendships are forged as hearts begin to heal.
Seven years later, when his real father comes to claim him, Pali must decide if he is the boy he was born, the boy he has become, or simply a Child of the divide. Today as thousands of children arrive on our shores, Child of the divide will make us think about who we are and how to connect with others and ensure that the lost narratives of children are never forgotten.
Group / schools offers available, call 01274 487390 for more information.
Suitable for ages 8+