Friday, April 1, 2011

India and Pakistan: 2 Different Countries - Really?

What was once the most powerful landmass of the subcontinent had an imaginary line drawn across it by some brilliant men and women in 1947, and, much to the chagrin of little more than 1.4 billion people as of date, life for them hasn't really been the same. 1.2 billion of them claim to be totally different from the other 0.2, and the poor 0.2 has no option but to retaliate. And so, screw the Indians, they say!

Well, consider this. I will say it out loud - Hindus and Muslims are named different, but they're inherently the same! We both believe in God, vehemently so - its just that one of us claims God is always in our hearts, the other makes it a point to show this openly and notoriously, 5 times a day! Both religions (ways of life, as I was taught in school), respect women innately. People from both religions don't really give a damn about their religion for the 9 nail-biting hours of a cricketing encounter. We live in the same kind of houses, watch the same films, laugh over the same filthy jokes, feel insecure around foreigners to the same extent, and, heart of hearts, actually like each other quite a lot! Of course, we will never say any of this, because then where would we be? Again, to both these religions, hating each other publicly is important - so for some Indians, to show offense to Pakistan is most important - ask them to quantify why, and they're dumbfounded, really. I'm sure its the same with Pakistan. 

Shahid Afridi - Really, Pakistan <3 India!

Get out of India & Pakistan, and you can't tell the difference between the people! They're both inherently nice people (obviously, they have got to be! They come from the same motherland after all), and are probably the most hospitable people in the world. They both love each other, but can't bring themselves to say it - because what kind of a political statement would that make? The so-called 'hate' and 'angst' they feel for each other is, believe it or not, led by their corrupt, over-stretched and immature governments and dumb leaders, and peer pressure does the rest.    

So, brothers and sisters of Pakistan and India, please show your governments the finger! The next time you meet one from 'the other country', set aside your false prejudices, screw your 'image', and try giving the other the magical 'Jaadu ki Jhappi' like only you know you can! You don't have to start a conversation - that will come naturally! You can both find the Sarah Palins and the Ricky Pontings to bitch about - and the  Halle Berrys and Brad Pitts of the world to drool over. You can both miss the same kebabs and curries, the kurta pyjamas and the biryani, the Urdu and the Hindi, the mosque and the temple, Allah and Krishna, kutta and kamina, you name it! And trust me, with an open mind, you will enjoy the company of your brothers and sisters like you never imagined you could. It happened to me - let it happen to you! There is no greater joy.

We come from the same culture, yet we behave like we're different. We love each other, yet we display hatred. We call each other the same names, yet we do it across borders. We fight like stallions on the cricket field, but alas, we redo that at the LoC! We eat the same food, and yet we classify ourselves separate. Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu turn both of us on equally! We even use the same swear words! 

The next time you feel like saying a bad thing about India or Pakistan, think back to this post. I hope it shuts you up for just a bit. Then think of the Gandhis, Maulana Azads and Bhagat Singhs. Think about the Khans in India, and the Singhs in Pakistan. Think about the dahi and the keema. Think about the Ganga and the Indus. Think about the sherwani and the kurta. Think about Vajpayee and Musharraf. Think about Nehru and Jinnah. Think about Afridi and Tendulkar.  Ask yourself - do I really want to abuse one of my own? Do I really want to shoot my brothers' children? Do I really hate these people? If the answer is still yes, go on and abuse all you like! But if its no, pause for a bit, find your brothers, and give him a bear hug like only you know how. The next time you see a friend across the border, give him your regards, and give him a rose. Say Salaam-alay-qum and Namaste with equal fervor. Say Khuda Haafiz just like you'll say Dhanyawaad, Chalta Hoon! Spread the word, spread the love you really feel.

Jai Hind, and Allah Haafiz! [And see you guys on the cricket field next time - can't wait! :P ]

Cricket - \Respect/