It was in the bright afternoon of Finland summer. I had just finished my long stride in the boulevard of Helsinki window shopping. My belly was making noises. I hated to eat sober Finnish food. My tongue had turned numb, and was longing for some Desi food.
I couldn"t resist entering an Indian restaurant 'Namskar" in the boulevard. I ate plateful of Daal & Rice which cost me 6 euros, it wasn"t satisfying. With hand on my valet, reluctant to shed more for extra food, like most Desis, I looked around helplessly for some magic to happen and see more food on plate.
To my surprise gentlemen restaurateur came to me and offered me plateful extra without a cent quoting “Apne log hai khao saheb". Wow, I had nod without any hesitation. I ate next plate too and enquired him about where he hails from.
I was stunned to learn that he was 'Pakistani". I never had a chance to see Pakistani before, and I never thought in my wildest dream that a 'Pakistani" would call me 'Apne log". I couldn"t control tears rolling down my cheeks.
I slipped to nostalgia though I don"t belong to the generation who witnessed the partition and moreover I was South Indian not greatly affected by partition and its curse. I had my mind already recollecting lines from the Khushwant Singh"s Train to Pakistan…
It was the summer of 47, India bequeathed its most revered land, the land of Sindh to few greedy politicians" lust, who butchered the mother India"s limbs, and left India without a Indus. The so called 'partition" is 60 year old event. Generation who witnessed the aftermath is on the verge of extinct, but the wounds are malign. Generation today has forgotten the partition but bears false heartedness which has no more relevance.
Policy makers from both countries though pretend now and then to come to an accord had failed and left people from both countries in apprehension. Pakistan made a blunder in getting the aid from USA, to fight its war against Soviet Union which now left Pakistan with terrorists and fundamentalists. Intellectuals of Pakistan are as usual busy in executing coup de"tats. Pakistan is fighting for proxy identity of Enemy of India.
On other hand India is not acting like big brother to earn confidence of small brother, India acting too diplomatically, and enjoying status quo. India lacked decisive measures. Governments of both the countries need to emboss in their minds that countrymen are no more interested in politicizing the issue.
As I mulled over the pages from the history, Pakistani bhai woke me up to watch cricket match between India and Pakistan. I was reluctantly happy to see cricket with fellow 'Pakistani". We discussed our interests and hobbies and not forgot to ask each other view on our countries, I was surprised to know from him that he was fan of Bollywood, and loved to visit Delhi.
I was reluctant initially but deep down my heart for the first time I did not care who would win the match, rather would be happy if India loses to its small brother like Venus does for Serena. I walked out of restaurant with conclusion in my mind that I had no reason to hate Pakistanis, all that I can hate from Pakistan is ignorance.
As we are just month away from our Independence Day celebration, my wish list to our peacemakers, foreign affairs ministers…
We shall not see in wars but in Fares,
Not in the battlefields, but in paddy fields of Punjab for Baisaki
Want to celebrate Freedom of 47 with cracker blasts, not the bomb blasts.
We are brothers separated in tyranny, want to be together is not an irony.