From Sindh to Mewar – A Story of Life, Struggle and Migration

Independence Day has recently enveloped us into a feeling of patriotism in and out. Obviously, it makes us feel proud that we belong to a country called India or Hindustan but behind that jolly feeling, a lot of efforts has been put. India and Pakistan was a single country before which isn’t alien to anyone. But just when we were on the verge of Independence, the country was divided into two which wrote million unheard and bitter stories in the hearts of people. And in this article, another story is going to unfold. Another story – From Sindh to Mewar.

Partition undoubtedly has led to the biggest mass migration in the history of the world. And Sindhi is one of those communities that saw the aftereffect of this migration very closely. Incidentally, I came across a man who has seen every phase of independence vividly.

Prabhudas Pahuja shared his story of struggle and Migration which left us dumbfounded. In the passage below, I have tried to capture the exact feelings and experience of Mr. Pahuja. I hope you could connect to it as much as I did.

“It all started in 1947. I was 15 years old. Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to be the first Prime Minister of Independent India whereas Muhammad Ali Jinnah either wanted to be the Prime Minister or a separate country. Mahatma Gandhi never wanted this partition. He used to say that Pakistan would be formed over my dead body. And this was the beginning of all.

Source: The Express Tribune Blog

Our life at Sindh was good. There were multiple communities and we all lived like a family. Although, the majority were Muslims Hindus were more dominating. My family owned big lands, properties, retinues, flour and rice mills which were the main source of our income there.

The news of partition reached my father’s ears and we planned to migrate before the intense communal riots. We couldn’t sell our house or properties due to the act where you cannot buy or sell properties in the other country. And so my father gave our house and properties to relatives and left Sindh with Rs. 200 in the pocket. Although, there were a few highly educated people who managed to exchange lands with people in Ajmer, Jaipur, Lucknow, and Bombay and managed to encash some lands too.

Traces of migration could be seen when a large number of people were traveling to different parts of the other country via ships, planes, and trains. People from Sindh started moving towards a completely new land. For once, we thought that this migration would be temporary and that we’ll return to our motherland as soon as the situations get better. Little did we know that destiny had something else planned for us.

Source: Quartz

I was scared in this entire journey from Sindh to Udaipur. After all, situations were such that a little spark could get everything on fire. I palpably remember the images of riots in the train, when even women’s parts were cut down to pieces. But luckily our train went straight from Jacobabad to Hyderabad to Bombay and finally to Udaipur.

The first preference of all the Sindhi migrants was Udaipur. The images of Maharani Meera and Maharana Pratap used to flash in front of our eyes whenever we thought about Udaipur. Pratap was a man who protected Hindu culture so much, who sacrificed his lives for others. At land of people like such, we knew we were safe. And it turned out to be true.

People in Udaipur were very supportive. The king, Maharana Bhopal Singh Ji was too kind. He arranged a stay for us at several places like Oswal Bhawan, Panchayati Nohra, MB College, BN College, etc. We came here as mere refugees. We weren’t much talented or educated so my father and we had to start everything from scratch. I studied till 8th standard in Sindh and even that was too much back then. It was when I came to Udaipur, I resumed my studies, learned some basic Hindi at Vidyapeeth.

Source: Team-BHP

Meanwhile, I gave some money to a soap maker and learned soap making from him. I used to deliver soaps to Bhuvana, Sisarma, which were villages back then, on a rented cycle. I got married in 1951. I and my wife rented a room in just Rs 15 a month where we both started soap making. You won’t believe that everything was so cheap that our expenditure for a day was Rs. 2.

The government helped us with land and properties too but I guess destiny didn’t want that and major part of land got stuck somewhere in politics and mediators. Although I feel life is better here, the environment is suitable but our community has struggled a lot. It is not easy to leave one’s motherland and shift to some strange place. Gujarat got a bit of Gujarat, Maharashtra got a piece of land too and so did Punjab. But it was just Sindhis who weren’t offered even 5 acres of land and had to scatter in the entire country. I still want Sindh to get reunited in India.

My wife has supported me sternly in my thick and thin. Women in our community have shown great courage. Society says that women are fragile and delicate but I think when hard time comes, these women become warriors.

Source: CNN

Gradually, situations got better, I bought my own cycle, motorcycle, car, house. I got involved in social works later on. Today, a lot of Sindhis are into charity. Maybe that’s because they’ve seen the hardships life has to offer from very close. They have seen what it feels like to not have a shelter above your head or a bite of food in your mouth.

But I feel negative situations arise for your own compatibility. Today I am happy and satisfied. My grandsons and granddaughters are pursuing CA and MBA from Switzerland and London. And that soap making business I told you about? That is being managed by my grandson. He has earned 10 times more than me. I think it’s the destiny that decides everything. In fact, the fact that you met me was planned by destiny too.”

The entire episode of flashback brought a teary eye to 86 year old Prabhudas Pahuja. But like they say ‘Everything happens for a reason’.

Did you like the story? Share your feedback with us in the comment section below. If you have any story of your own which you want to share with the world, send it to me at


Cheti Chand: New Year eve for the Sindhi Community

lord jhulelal
Image Credit

All About Cheti Chand

Cheti Chand is the Sindhi New Year Day celebrated on the second day of Cheti month (Chaitra month). This year  Cheti Chand falls on April 5, 2011. This festival is similar to other Hindu New Year festivals. Cheti Chand is celebrated as a commemoration of birthday of Sindhi patron saint Jhulelal. This festival is to give honor the birth of Water God (Varun Devta) popularly known as Jhulelal. The Sindhi community is seen wishing each other in the native Sindhi Language “Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav”, which means lacs of wishes for Happy Cheti Chand. Historically Cheti Chand is the birthday of Lal Sain Amarlal hence this is the most important day for the sindhi community and celebrated with that high spirit and emotions.

How we celeberate it

As a tradition, followers of Jhulelal observe Chaliho Sahab. It suggests that for forty long days and nights they underwent ritual on the bank of Sindhu. They did not shave, nor did they wear new clothes or shoes. They did not use soap or oil or any opulent thing. They just washed their clothes, dried them and wore them again. In the evening, they worshipped Lord Varuna, sang songs in his praise and prayed for their solace and salvation. After 40 days of Chaaliho, the followers of Jhulelal celebrate the occasion with festivity as ‘Thanks Giving Day’ even till today.

On this day, many Sindhis take Baharana Sahib to a nearby river or lake. Baharana Sahib consists of Jyot (Oil Lamp), Misiri (Crystal Sugar), Phota (Cardamom), Fal (Fruits), and Akha. Behind is Kalsh (Water jar) and a Nariyal (Coconut) in it, covered with cloth, phool (flowers) and patta (leaves). There is also a Murti (Idol) of Pujya Jhulelal Devta.

Sindhis keep their shops and activities closed on this day even food is not cooked at the home  and  they gathered at community building (at Jhulelal Temple, where after a session of singing, worship of Jhulelal is made and procession of Bahrano is taken out. Cities Like Ulhasnagar, Ajmer, Indore, Kolhapur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat etc are famous for unique style of Cheti Chand celebration and huge gathering of sindhi people.In City of Lakes at Shakti  nagar  there is a temple of Jhulelal sahib where a fair is organized by the community peoples  on ” Sindhi New Year Day”. Various types of treats are also available for common community peoples.

There  are various places in Lakecity where this holy festival is celebrated with great spirit one of which is located at :-

  • Pratap nagar –in the shiv temple
  • Jawaher nagar Sindhu bhavan
  • Hiran magri sector 5

In UDAIPUR the main temple of Jhulelal sahib (Sanathan Mandir) is situated at Shakti Nagar. Its main feature is a JYOT which is brought by the Ancestors of Sindhi Community after separation of HINDUSTAN (India) & PAKISTAN (1947).

In Udaipur in 2011 its celebration started two days before the “CHETI CHAND” as under

  • 3rd April 2011:- Blood donation camp
  • 4th April 2011:- Cultural night at Shukhadia rangmanch
  • 5th April 2011:- Main event (“CHETI CHAND”) at various temples of Jhulelal Sahib

The usual tradition is that on this day Sindhis bring out procession of water God Lord Jhulelal, In the form of Bahrano Sahib from Sindhudham (Jawaher nagar) to Sanatan temple in Shakti nagar where the holy MAHA ARTI takes place . During the procession of Bahrano Sahib traditional sindhi folk dance “Chhej” is performed by all age group Sindhis. After that talented Sindhi students are awarded for their excellence in academics. On this eve of NEW YEAR a Sindhi Fair is also organized by the community people, followed by an arrangement of refreshment is made for all Sindhi Community people.

Lastly, at night there is Visarjan ceremony of Bahrano Sahib.

Here are few of the glimpses of the past years’ celebrations

Structure made by straws in year 2008 in Udaipur
Structure made by straws in year 2008 in Udaipur
Statueof Jhulelal sahib by balloons in 2009
Statueof Jhulelal sahib by balloons in 2009
Statueof Jhulelal sahib by balloons in 2009
Statueof Jhulelal sahib by balloons in 2009
Sturuture of Jhulelal sahib made by lamps in year 2010
Sturuture of Jhulelal sahib made by lamps in year 2010


The people and community (“APNA SANGHATAN”) involved in making the different images of Jhulelal with the help of marbles without using adhesive  were even mentioned in the Limca book of records in 2006-07 namely Mr. Surendra Arora, and Mr. Virendra Khabrani

Team UdaipurBlog greets everyone with best wishes on Chetichand


A post by- Madhuri Tharani