Three generations of South Asians take the journey of a lifetime


Where the Birds Live is a 40-minute short film documenting the journey of my grandfather (Nana), my mother and myself from Karachi, Pakistan to Sherkot, India

The year is 2020. 73 years after the 1947 Partition of India. Hate, fear, and resentment plague the subcontinent and South Asian communities across the world. Knowledge of this circumstance is represented in chapters with British colonizers portrayed as white saviors. Younger generations of South Asian’s struggle with lack of identity and stigmatized representation of their stories.

Where the Birds Live is a journey of a lifetime. A trip that shares significance with billions around the world. Viewers follow three generations of South Asians — my grandfather, my mother and myself — as we embark on a journey to India, where Nana’s childhood home still stands.

The beauty of this story is that we don’t know how it ends. What will it feel like for my grandfather to walk up to the home he was once forced to leave? What emotional, physiological and physical reckonings come when reacquainted with a stripped childhood?

Although COVID, border control, visa permits and physical constraints cloud over the possibilities of making such a trip, we travel for what waits for us at the end. Knowing, that whatever happens when we reach that house, that this trip means overcoming every obstacle faced since the bloody exodus of 1947.