“Kal tak tan ji khatte hi si, o tan ena ne aiven hi vand te”
“We were One till yesterday, they divided us for no reason”
These were the words used by a Pakistani national when I met him in Greece and I couldn’t have agreed more.
After having spent around 3 months in these foreign lands, I have experienced the love Indians and Pakistanis share for each other. Sitting at home, in India or Pakistan, there can be anger and disgust towards each other for various reasons but in the end, we are the same. It has been just 60 odd years till nothing of this stupid rivalry existed. The love and affection of thousands of years can’t just evaporate in such a short period and the fact is, it should never evaporate.
Being a punjabi, I feel elated when I meet someone speaking punjabi in Europe. In a lot of cases, that person is not an Indian but why should that matter when he speaks the same language, wears the same clothes, has the same culture. If you come to think of it, India's history is incomplete without Lahore and Pakistan's history is incomplete without Delhi.
The funniest part to all this the fact that those who are responsible for separating us and those who have tried to make sure that we don’t see eye to eye are often offering to act as arbitrators in Indo-Pak talks. I think we can manage without them, rather we can progress without them.
Diwali of 2010 would always be etched in mind for what happened that day. We were in Athens and we wanted to have some Indian food and hence we headed to a Pakistani restaurant we had been to the previous day as well. As soon as we entered the restaurant, we saw a jam packed hall with Pakistanis watching Pak play SA in an ODI match. We were about to turn back when the owner saw us and recognised us from yesterday. He came running towards us, got some tables and chairs vacated for us and served us in the best possible manner. He indulged in a small chat with us when he discussed the bad economic condition of Greece which was forcing loads of Indians and Pakistanis to go back home. When he was talking to us, it never felt that he belongs to a different nation because deep within, there are 2 countries divided out of the same nation. I don’t think there could have a better diwali celebration than watching cricket sitting amidst separated brothers and having your own food.
This is just one of many examples that I have of how I have enjoyed and relished the company of people from our neighbouring nation. In my college in France, we have loads of Pakistanis who are studying as full time students. They have been more than willing to lend a helping hand if it came to searching for accommodation, advising where to buy groceries from and even invitations to play cricket.
The person whose quote I used right at the start of the article met me in San Torini, Greece asked me after observing me and my friends for some time , “ Punjab to?” I had made out from his accent that he is from the Pakistani side of Punjab so I replied, “ Hanji India wale Punjab to han.(Yes, From the Indian Punjab)” And he was quick to add,” tan ki ho gaya ji. Punjab tan Punjab hi hai.(So What, Punjab Is Punjab)”
I quoted this instance to my dad and he said,” waise dona punjaban nu chahida aape khade ho k koi reunification movement chala den.” Or “Both Punjabs should themselves start a reunification movement.” Though he said it in a light mood, this may be the only hope we have. Some fanatics, who don’t belong to any religion or any nation have created all these unnecessary problems and some politicians are not letting this die. Reunification is a far fetched dream but the least we can do is-Live like two brothers should, with love & peace.
Naraz to tum bhi ho
Naraz to hum bhi hain
Galtiyan kuch hamari bhi hain
Galtiyan kuch tumhari bhi hain
Par kum tak yun roothe baithe rahenge
kab tak ik dusre se kuch na kahenge
kab tak yun dono taraf aansu bahenge
bhula do gile shikwe
do kadam tum chalo, do kadam hum chalenge