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Questions for Discussion

1. Before reading the story, what did migration mean to you? Did you think this would be a happy story?

2. Imagine that you lived in Sindh at that time.  Think about the smells, sounds and sites of Sindh and what you would most like about it.

3. India was under British rule for nearly two hundred years and Indian people were very excited to be that ‘bird’ that was finally ‘set free’.  How do you think they felt when the Partition of India came so soon after Independence?

4. What is your favourite part of the story and why?

5. Who is your favourite character in the story and why?

6. Did any of the characters remind you of yourself or someone you know? In what way?

7. Why is it extra special that Nani and Nana tell their grandchildren the story of Gope and Meera? How would it be different if Mama and Papa were telling the story?

8. Look back at the pictures that show the people leaving their homes and migrating.  Describe how you think they feel.

9. What do you think their biggest fears are?

10. What five items would you take if you had to leave your only home forever?

11. How do you think a new Hindu bride might feel to have her first name changed, as well as her family name? [1]

12. What do Anoushka, Nadia and Tarun each learn from the story by the end of the book?

13. Have any of your thoughts about migration changed after reading this book?

14. This story tells the reader about a real historical event.  Why do you think people should read and know about this story, whether they are Sindhi, Indian or from a different country?

15. Even though Sindhi people lost their homeland many years ago, what can they do to maintain and pass down their heritage and culture?


[1] In traditional Hindu marriages, the bride’s first name is changed if the pandit advises it, based on the astrological compatibility of the newlyweds.  This usually takes place during a naming ceremony after the wedding, where a new first initial is given for the groom’s family to choose a name with. The families accept her new name and identity, believing that it will bring the couple more harmony and prosperity. In this story, Meera changed her first name before marriage, explaining that she intended for Gope to choose her with the pandit’s ‘given initial’. While a name change more commonly would have occurred after the wedding, the explanation and traditional reference is the same.

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