Once again this story has its origin in a train ,it so happened that I was on my way to my hometown & as soon as the train left Delhi ,I opened up a book and was engrossed in reading .Around me was a family with 3 kids who were howling & shouting &throwing things on floor,in short taking all the benefit of them being “the little ones” After an hour a voice said
“Maaf kariyega mohtarma,aapko in bachhon ke karan badi takalluf uthani pad rahi hai”
I said “ Nahi Nahi ye to chote bachhe hain” whereas in my mind I was thinking “Aisa kaun bolta hai yaar( who says like this )” and the well known human mind’s curiosity didn’t let me read ,I asked to the gentleman where were they going to ,got a reply “Nagpur” and then to Amravati . I said” coming from delhi?”
And got a reply which solved the mystery of that urdu accent “ We are coming from PAKISTAN”
Pakistan??? I never knew Bilaspur Rajdhani comes from Pakistan .The gentleman laughed , told that they came to delhi and then are moving towards Amravati to visit a childhood friend of his mother who is seriously ill
Friend?? Ok,our history books say once we were one and many of prominent activities of freedom struggle took place in lahore
After exchanging pleasentries ,I came to know that the gentleman Dr Shaukat was also a doctor and his lovely wife told me with almost a child like enthusiasm that her sister is also a doctor and was settled in Dubai .Why Dubai?i asked to which I came to know that Pakistan is still not a very progressive society when it comes to women working but then she also defended instantly saying things are changing and they would return back to their country to vote ,the first time for 37 year old Nagma
After some time I was offered “Peshaver ka halwa”,”khajoor ki kachori” and “lahore ka namkeen” which looked mouth watering but the logical mind screamed “You should not take any food from strangers” and the probability of risk grows when the strangers are from other side of border .Well I gave a look to the yummy food stuff and politely refused
The talks with Dr Shaukat revolved aroud the girl education ,medical field,exaggerating problem of power cut and it was refreshing to know from him that the youth wants change ,they want to get educated ,no politics of hatred ,want to work and bring about a change in the attitude of outside world towards their nation
Nagpur comes early morning,when they left ,bid a “Khuda Hafiz” ,mother of Dr shaukat kept a hand on my head and wished me”Barkat” from her Khuda Dr Shaukat and Nagma wished me”behisaab khushiyaan” while I prayed for the good health of the Indian friend of the Pakistani lady
Off they went and with them went the “Peshawar ka halwa,Khajoor ki kachauri” from my eyesight,the train left nagpur and sleep was gone from my eyes .Suddenly I realized that in the pace of modernization are we forgetting human values? As we have closed ourselves into AC Compartments have we closed the way to our hearts too??gone are those days when every journey to village in the sleeper compartment ,sharing the home cooked meals with strangers earned us friends to whom our parents used to send postcards?? And then the biggest question: who is more dangerous- a gang of men who can rape you in the light of a metro city, the sick people who ogle you when you wear a short dress and make you feel naked, a group of so called left wing extemists who kill their own men with such a brutality that can’t be judged in any parameter of humanity…….or a stranger family from a nation ,a neighbouring nation who is always portrayed as an enemy.If you happen to find an answer ,do let me know……….till then stay safe and keep the women around you too safe…..
Sometimes optimism about future,about society ,about a country considered enemy can come from a shared journey ,a shared meal after all we are humans first ,nationalities later.
Go look up ,to this link and bring some optimism through housing in your life because nothing better than a home where you return from a day’s hustle.
(P.S.- The views expressed in the blog are personal and if you happen to be a crazy lunatic under the mask of a patriot,please spare yourself from the difficulty of reading )