I have been trying to get my hands on more information about Multani culture for the last many months. It is said to be a dialect without any formal written literature.
A bit of trivia – My grandparents were predominantly from Multan and Karachi respectively.
My maternal as well as paternal grandparents had to come down to India during partition. I’ve heard stories of how they were forced out of their palatial homes back then. I guess that was the case with most migrants. As newly married couples, they set up a home in India – the paternal side in Bombay (now Mumbai) and the maternal side in Delhi. A lot was lost during this transition. What remained was just the language, a few cuisines and a couple of religious rituals. A minority soon became a minor minority in India.
Both my parents were born in India much later. For my parents, whatever little they know about Multani culture, is through their respective parents and the traditions that were followed at home. My grandparents, during their growing up days, had seen a lot of Multan, Karachi and Multani culture as well. By the time I realized the true essence of Multani culture and wanted to know more, it was more or less too late – my grandparents had already left us.
What still stays with us – are the daily conversations between Mom and Dad – in Multani ofcourse! A couple of delicious Multani recipes and a few customs, traditions and religious rituals. And my on and off probing about Multani culture – where my parents try to answer whatever they can by recalling their childhood conversations with their respective parents. They sometimes wish to visit the house where their parents had grown up – even I would love to see it – someday when peace restores. Sometimes I go high on emotions thinking of what my grandparents must have gone through – how they must have felt to pack their bag and baggage, leave their homes behind and come here. But now this is home to us – just like a home to lakhs of people who had to go through a similar thing back then.
Although I do wish to see our ancestral house in the nearby country, for me Bombay is home. My dad was born here; I was born here. More often than not, people think that I am originally from Punjab! A lot of people I know, think that most Bombay-ites are either first generation Bombay-ites or have moved to Bombay during their growing up years. They look at me with a bewildered surprise when I tell them that I have no ‘gaon’. It’s Bombay all the way! That’s the city that flows in my blood. Although my roots are in a nearby country which seems far away.
It’s important for Multanis worldwide to come together and help in reviving the beautiful culture they are a part of. Don’t let it become non-existent.
Be proud that you are a Multani!
P.S. I am trying to collate more information on Multani culture, language, customs, traditions, cuisine and just about anything Multani. Write in – with whatever information you have – big or small – what matters is the effort.
Edited to add: Check out our dedicated space on Multanis Worldwide!