And it was at one such visit to Eminabad that Maharaja Hari Singh learnt that my grandfather Diwan Kanhya Lal Nanda was soon to return after studying Civil Engineering in England, so he told my great grandfather, Diwan Guru Das Nanda Khatri, that he would like to hire his son to engineer and build the first ever motor-able road between the cities of Jammu and Srinagar. Soon my grandfather, Diwan Kanhya Lal Nanda moved to Jammu and Kashmir, a much more than a century ago; before he got married and before my father and his sister Rano Nanda Rattan, were born.Some members of his family continued to live in Gujranwala and some had moved to J&K before him– they would live in Jammu during the winters and move with of the government of J&K, which would shift to Srinagar during the summers every year.
My father must have been about nineteen years old, when the riots broke, and at the time when violence was at its peak, my father who was in Eminabad visiting his uncles, aunts and cousins, was asked by his elders to escort his maternal grandmother who lived in Sheikhupura, Panjab, to what was now going to be called divided India.My father went to Sheikhupura to fetch his grandmother but instead was left to face the horror of her being stabbed by the mob because she refused to leave her haveli when they arrived. She was overconfident that the mob would not harm her, because hers was a respected and eminent family of Sheikhupura.By the time she was able to process the truth, it was too late.
My father and his cousins tried to take my great grandmother out of her house and did everything they could to make her get into the army three ton truck that was waiting to take them away from there, but she was adamant and it cost her, her life; and when my father was dragged into the vehicle and driven off amidst the bloody violence, he watched his grandmother being cut to pieces and the haveli being put on fire.