Speaking my mind is a place where I'm just myself. It is a place where imagination, facts and emotions live in harmony. A place where expressions get the right words..

Saturday, September 8, 2012

To.. Whomsoever It May Concern !!

To,
Whomsoever it may concern,


Respected Sir/Madam (Not so respected actually),

       I don't know if it matters to you or not but there are things I want to talk about. Last month for a business trip I got my visa approved for Lahore, Pakistan. There was a sense of excitement but also was some anger and fear. Anger for the terrorist activities we hear Pakistan's name connected and fear, also for the very same reasons. Since birth our generation is listening to the stories of enmity between Indo-Pak and that somehow developed into the perceptions. For a 25-26 years old Indian, Pakistan is a hostile nation and he probably looks at it as a place where one's life is always at risk. I too was bit afraid but as I said there was also some unknown excitement. Unknown because I didn't know the source of this excitement, probably coming from the stories that Grand Pa used to tell us. I have never seen that place but believe there also lives the humanity at least it did in Grand Pa's stories.

I chose bus ride instead of a flight, the sole reason was that I wanted to discover that nation from my own experiences. Our generation was grown up listening to the stories of both the nations but from childhood to adulthood the stories got bitter with time. Guns, bombs and terror attacks took the main stage and those peaceful towns where everyone once lived happily in Grand Pa's stories vanished somewhere. Business trip was just a platform and actually it was a chance to live few moments from those childhood tales. It was a long journey from Delhi to Lahore. Our bus started 5 in the morning from Delhi. After crossing Amritsar I felt a strong urge to have a nap and when after a couple of hours I opened my eyes we were on a highway having fields on both the sides. I asked the fellow passenger, "Are we still in Punjab?" "No Saab ji, this is Pakistan." he replied. "Pakistan??" I asked shockingly. I was surprised as I could see no difference between the two nations till now. Everything from farms, tractors, people to buildings looked exactly similar. We stopped at a Dhaba, even the taste of the Paranthas and Lassi was similar. I wondered, why do we keep fighting then? 

As I reached my hotel in Lahore I kept my luggage in the hotel room and boarded the taxi to the place where  
the business conference was supposed to be held. On the way I noticed everything was just so similar to Delhi. For an Indian who haven't seen Delhi can easily be fooled by showing the pictures of Lahore's streets.
Attended the conference and later in the evening was invited by one of business associates for the dinner at his place. Experience of conversing with the generation of our age is as similar to talking to someone here of your age. The only difference I could realized was Urdu but it was as understandable to me as Punjabi is. 
But later in the night when I reached the hotel room and switched on the T.V. I got stuck on a news channel where a Pakistani political leader was giving a hate speech against India. And I realized speeches like this are not new, I've heard a lot of them in India too against Pakistan.

Now coming to the point, I want to tell all of you politicians and self-acclaimed leaders that being a common man, neither I nor anyone of my age there is really interested in the cross hate talks. Kashmir, which the political leaders from both the sides have always used as a shield was never a real issue it seems. For Pakistan terrorism is their biggest industry and Kashmir is its breeding ground and India it is always an international issue to change the spot light from its internal failures. Both the countries are not really interested in a peaceful Kashmir. If solved tactfully, today Kashmir could be merrier than the Switzerland considering its natural beauty. Even today if we work together the industry of terrorism can be dismantled and can make the way for the industry of tourism.

OK leave Kashmir issue aside, I'm even not interested in knowing what happened 64/65 years ago at the time of partition. I'm not interested in knowing 'who killed whom'. That era was over long ago and I and crores like me want to live today and make this world better and peaceful. There are enormous ways through which we can help each other economically and socially.

I don't know if this will ever reach where it should but one thing I know that there are many kids on both the sides who grew up listening to the stories from their Grandparents in which India and Pakistan were not two different places and in those stories bombs and guns never existed. I know the lines have been drawn on the maps but let this not divide our souls. Come on, let's celebrate life together.

I want to end this by reciting a few lines from Gulzar Sahab's treasure of poetry.
                          
                                       लकीरे हैं तो रहने दो
                       किसी ने रूठ कर गुस्से में शायद खेंच दी थी
                               
इन्ही को अब बनाओ पाला/
                                 
आओ कबड्डी खेलते हैं/
                                 
लकीरे हैं तो रहने दो.... 


Yours faithfully
A frustrated commoner.













  

4 comments:

  1. As a continuous reader of your blog, i can surely state and observed that you have chosen very correct topic this time. Out of your all stories i would not say that others were lesser but this one has its social relevance and practical existence. Good Work Rahul. Keep it up.

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  2. fact or fiction? I agree to all that u had to say..although never been to pakistan i have many relatives there who come to india and tell me how much similar it is. The way of life is no different here and there, its just the leaders and their selfish policies that have been bridging hatred for petty gains and sensible people of both nations realize it. Although its saddening that there r people who hate pakis for reasons they too dont know. i guess, posts like these might serve as an eye opener.
    good effort :)

    sarah

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