In early 1947, Sheila Sanyal's father was posted in Sargodha for his work as a sanitary inspector. Her family consisted of her mother, father, two younger brothers and one older sister. Later in 1947 as independence drew near, her father was posted to a new job in another city, but the rest of the family remained in Sargodha until October 1947.
Mrs. Sanyal was 17 years old in October 1947 when she, her three siblings and parents took a train out of Sargodha. When the train stalled at the Ravi River, her family was taken by truck to Lahore. They crossed the border at Wagah. During the journey, Mrs. Sanyal's 12-year-old brother boarded a bus from Lahore to Amritsar on his own, and the family lost track of him for a few weeks.
Mrs. Sanyal says that after Partition, her family’s lives continued without much change. Sargodha was a temporary posting for Mrs. Sanyal’s father. They left behind some household goods, including five bicycles, always kept neatly stacked against the wall.