THE BLOG

Why Wouldn't Indians And Pakistanis Feel For Each Other?

12/01/2015 8:17 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter

Every time I am going through the social media, I can feel India is weeping and bleeding for the children of Peshawar.

They are children for God's sake, nothing justifies violence on them. Please don't bring in our long history of political difference here. We are talking of humanity which is currently at stake.

And anyway to think of it as human beings how are Pakistanis and Indians different? We have the same shared history, the same culture, the same kind of warmth and hospitality, similar family structures and similar food habits--a reality we often miss out on while discussing our political and religious differences.

The way India has reacted to the massacre in Peshawar, in the same way my ex-boss in Dubai, who was a Pakistani, had reacted when I had told her that I had lost my brother to cancer.

I was in office the day after my brother's demise and my ex-boss Alia was livid at me for not taking an off. I explained to her through my tears that in my ninth month of pregnancy I was not allowed to fly so I couldn't go to India for the last rites and my colleagues were people I could think of who could help me deal with the grief.

Alia had held my hand and later left me an email saying that for the next few days I could walk in and leave any time I wanted. An email from a Pakistani I would cherish all my life.

Before I went to Dubai I had no clue that Pakistanis and Indians could be friends, could be mothers who could strike up a conversation at a paediatric clinic over shared worries on child rearing, could be colleagues discussing and denouncing cross-border politics and could be just random people meeting at a café and conversing about the weather over a cuppa .

Dubai is a place that has a number of Pakistani cabbies who invariably strike up a conversation with you if they hear you speaking in Hindi over the phone. I met Bhaisaab this way. No, I don't know his real name. He was very proud that his daughter was going to college and seeing my interest in his daughter he even called her up and we spoke. I still have her number in my mobile.

Then another Pakistani cabbie once refused to drop me off on the main road because it was 11pm. "Madam it's late. I will take the extra turns and drop you at your doorstep," he said. This was a kind of concern an Indian cabbie had never displayed to me.

Another incident I cannot help but share here. We were all in office exhausted because the night before we were running around for a huge event that was organised by the company I worked in.

I had news to break to Alia. "I am pregnant," I said.

"What? You should have told me before I would never have allowed you to do the running around yesterday then," said Alia.

This was a reaction from a mother, a woman and not a Pakistani.

Some feelings are universal you cannot divide it into Pakistani feelings and Indian feelings like you can with land across the borders.

If India feels Pakistan's pain what's there to be surprised about it? To divide you need politics and religion, to feel you need just the heart. Your nationality is never stamped on it.

More On This Topic