From Karachi to the United States of America
Hemandas Punjabi was born in the year 1933 in Karachi, Sindh, British India in a big family of nine siblings - two brothers and seven sisters.
Hemandas was 14 years old when Partition happened and a serious incident spurred his family to leave Pakistan for a safer environment.
Today, Hemandas lives in California, the United States of America and this is his story.
Hemandas Punjabi was born to parents Hiranand and Gomibai Punjabi. He describes life in Karachi as very happy and pleasant, where his father owned a cloth shop, where he was enrolled in school and had reached the ninth grade, and where the neighbours were friendly.
But all that was disrupted when Partition happened. On that fateful day, Hemandas recalls a series of explosions in his neighbourhood. This was enough to spur his family to pack up and vacate their home. While they felt extremely sad to be leaving their lives in Karachi – and their homeland – behind, they knew it was necessary to do so. Hemandas and his family embarked on a ship that was sailing to Bombay (now known as Mumbai).
When they reached Bombay, Hemandas says they were helped by welfare folks who got them to a refugee camp in Chembur, a suburb of Bombay.
After leaving the camp, the family moved to Kalyan (now known as Ulhasnagar) and tried to rebuild their lives. Hemandas managed to enroll in school again and was able to complete his schooling up until the 10th grade.
In 1955, Hemandas got married and was subsequently blessed with two daughters. He moved to California, USA in 1997, after his wife passed away, and continues to reside there till today.