NH44 was the route taken by the migrants while leaving the Kashmir Valley during their exodus roughly 30 years ago. Through this book, Dhar aims at discovering her Kashmiri Pandit lineage while tracing her journey back to her roots, and the reasons that led to the exodus. The book was unveiled by Kher along with Ashoke Pandit, President- Film & Television Directors’ Association and the author.
Commenting on the book, Anupam Kher said, “I laud Anushka for her zest and courage to question some serious historic events out front with this book. History has not been kind to us Kashmiri Pandits and our ancestors are living to tell the tales. It fills me with hope that Anushka and many such youngsters are now questioning history and rallying for justice. There was no second thought given in writing the foreword for ‘Take Me Home’ and I truly believe she has got the ability to inspire people and with this book, she is definitely taking us all home.”
Sharing more details about the book, Dhar said at the event, “When I was younger it was so touching when people would talk about their home. But for a very long time we didn’t talk about Kashmir at our home and I realised the reason for it much later… This book is my retelling of Kashmir’s and its people’s story.”
When we asked Dhar, 16, about the challenges of writing this book, she said, “My challenge was to make people understand the Kashmiri Pandits’ story because a lot of us tend to overlook it. We have kind-of normalised the trauma that those people have gone through. Conveying the gravity of the issue which people don’t generally understand was a challenge for me. Also the research that went into writing this book, because there are so many sources that say different things. I wanted to capture the Kashmiri Pandit’s perspectives and so finding the right sources and accurately conveying the Kashmiri Pandit’s perspectives was another challenge.”
Meanwhile, Ashoke Pandit praised the author on her debut book on a sensitive topic. He said, “It’s incredible for her to write a book on the genocide that took place in Kashmir although she hasn’t been a part of it. Stories like such will bring all of us together to work towards a better future for Kashmiris.”
‘NH44: Take Me Home’ is published by Vitasta Publishers.