Monday, September 29, 2008

Of Indians, Pakistanis and desis...

What socks your mind first up when you think of India and Pakistan? War? Kashmir? Astringent diplomatic rivals? Why is it that we always fail to remember the fact that we were once a single country? Why is it that we fail to remember that our ancestors were born and brought up on the same piece of land? Why is it that we forget that we fought together to evacuate the tyrant British from our motherland? We might forget everything but one thing that we cannot do is change the views of the Americans about us.


People who have been to the US must know what my point is. Approach an American and ask him what he feels your native place is. I can bet a thousand bucks that he won’t name a place but will call you a ‘desi’. Go ask an American about some of the differences that we (Indians and Pakistanis) share. I am ready to scotch a vein from my hand at every single difference that he states.


It all started when I came to the US in the year 2006. I had an Indian student with me on the same flight. We had a 4 hour long stay at Doha. Such a long stay can really sting you after you have gone through what the guys at customs have to offer. We sat down together to have a chat. I still remember clutching my bag like he had come to Doha just to take my bag away from me. As we chatted for 30 good minutes, the clutch on my bag started to loosen a bit. I realized that he is exactly like me and makes the same number of grammatical mistakes as I do=). I wasn’t too surprised when he spoke the same thing I had started to feel-“Dude, your psyche is pretty much the same as any Indian teenager. ”


That wasn’t the first time I was interacting with an Indian. I’ve been to India four times and every single time I found them to be exactly like us. But that is how you ought to behave when you are meeting a visitor who has come all the way to your country. That was the first time I was meeting an Indian with absolutely no fear whatsoever of him abusing my country, leaving me behind with my mouth wide open.


That is when I started to realize that regardless of what amount of hatred we have in our hearts for each other, no matter how many borders we draw between each other, we know for sure that we certainly are no different. We share the same ancestry and the borderlines between us are nothing more than a series concerned with provisioning bilateral politics. I don’t want to sound too poignant at the end so I will leave it for you people to decide what to do next in terms of improving two-pronged relations between India and Pakistan.

12 comments:

ayyo.... said...

@ Usman

I did not know that the Americans knew the meaning of the term "Desi"
That's a surprise.
But for the post, your experience and surprisingly neutral outlook towards 'we' makes me eager to hear more about your encounters with Indians and 'Desis' :D :D

Sikander F Khan said...

For the rest of the world we were always the same people... desis.... untill this terrorism started off.

Since then we muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular got stereotyped in the west... now we are seen as 'Muslims' only.

ayyo.... said...

@Sikander

Now, now thats a very grim view of the things that you're taking. If that is true, then the same applies to Indian Muslims as well.
And I believe that it's a phase.. set to pass...

Sikander F Khan said...

Ayyo, it does apply to Indian muslims as well, and the phase is passing out I believe. But the years after 9/11 were indeed difficult... but getting better...

Anand said...

"Why is it that we fail to remember that our ancestors were born and brought up on the same piece of land?"

The sad part is that we still remember...We fail to remember that the Brits once ruled our land, and look where we are today..we love a visit to the UK, love David Beckham..

And now that we remember India and Pakistan were the same country, we also remember the painful memories of partition, the wars that ensued and there you go-I hate you..

ayyo.... said...

@Anand

Bingo!!

Usman, I hate you! :P

Usman said...

@ Ayyo
Actually they don't know the exact meaning of 'desi', or they would have called us 'pardesis':P

Usman said...

@ Sikander F Khan
agreed to some extent!

Usman said...

Ayyo
I hate u 2:@
*whack*;)

Saurabh said...

@Usman

well said bro....

but we hav to forget tht we were 1 in past nd hav to start frm the vry begining like 2 strangers........

the only thing tht is creating LOC is the "Past".....

Hav to leave the Past at ny cost if we need a future

Usman said...

thanx Saurabh...

Usman said...

//but we hav to forget tht we were 1 in past nd hav to start frm the vry begining like 2 strangers........//

I beg to differ, my friend...I believe we can still move on successfully like brothers rather than strangers..