Khwaja’s letter is also a part of the exhibition. The project’s primary objective is to document the stories of people who migrated to India. Like SP Rawal’s story, who was just seven during Partition (see box below) or the story of Leelavati Khanna’s favourite book, about a Muslim artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai, the one thing that remained with her family as a marker of their home. ‘Then how real was this division of culture into Hindu and Muslim?’, reads the placard above the box that displays the dilapidated book at the exhibition.
Indeed, the poem expresses the idea that love cannot be pinned down. A metaphor like “love’s a little boy” or “it’s a bird” will not do; love cannot be reduced to one simple thing. Auden extends the point in the second stanza to humorous effect: “Does it look like a pair of pyjamas, / Or the ham in a temperance hotel?” There is wit and absurdity in the metaphors and similes, which has led critic Lytton Strachey to compare Auden to court jesters of the Middle Ages and the philosophers of the 18th century, who were fond of pranks and buffoonery.