‘Ketchupgate’ was forever seen within the family as Dip finally seeking a voice independent of her marriage to a large personality to whom she always took second place. This melancholic book, although a little contrived at times, seeks to do the same for her daughter. ‘I was indeed on a journey,’ as Wheeler remarks, ‘about what we have, what we lose and what we rebuild.’
The Lost Homestead is a response to this diasporic predicament. Wheeler too had picked up a vague chronology, but didn’t know the story of her own family. Her mother, Dip — a member of the dwindling generation of Indians who lived through partition — was always reticent about the past. But Wheeler sought to document it before it was too late. Now, by narrating partition with a focus on her mother’s family, the Singhs, she has made the abstractions of history suddenly more real: they are given names, faces and feelings.