By A Staff Writer
New Delhi: The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Published by Penguin Random House, Price Rs 299) is told through the perspective of twelve-year-old Nisha, this is a moving, personal, and hopeful tale of India’s partition, and of one girl’s journey to find a new home in a divided country.
On the eve of her twelfth birthday, Nisha receives a journal —a place to record the thoughts she can never seem to say aloud as she starts to see the world through older eyes.
But it’s not just Nisha who is changing. She doesn’t even recognize her country anymore.
It’s 1947, and India, newly freed from British rule is being divided into two countries: Pakistan and India. Many people are killed, crossing borders as tensions among Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and others flare. Nisha doesn’t know which side she’s supposed to be on or why she has to choose. After losing her mother, who dies giving birth, she can’t imagine losing her homeland, too.
Mama was Muslim, but now she’s gone. Papa is Hindu, and says it’s no longer safe for them to stay in Pakistan. And so Nisha and her family become refugees and embark on a dangerous journey by train and by foot to reach their new home on the other side of the border.
Told through the letters Nisha writes to her mother in her journal, The Night Diary is a story of one of the most dramatic moments in history and of one girl’s search for home, her own identity, and a hopeful future.
About Veera Hiranandani:
Veera Hiranandani is the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl, which was named Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. She teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.