The Lady from Pakistan

“I am from Pakistan,” she said looking at me closely, studying my reaction. “Oh, okay,” I replied nonchalantly. 

In the aftermath of the URI attack, when the tensions on the borders of India and Pakistan mounted, I was ironically making aquaintance with this lady from Pakistan on US soil.
I first met her when my older Son started Kindergarten. It was difficult for me to let my son go to the Big Kids School in the bus all by himself. In the afternoon, I reached the school bus stop very early to receive him. My son arrived and an older boy alighted from the bus next after him, carrying his water bottle. 

The boy laughingly told me,” Everytime your son started to cry, I distracted him.” Taking the water bottle from him, I smiled and said, “Thank you!”

His mother had come to receive the older boy. She had her head covered like the Sikhs but was not wearing Vermilion or bindi like them. I gathered they were Muslims from India. She smiled at me and I smiled back. This is how I first met her!

Her apartment was close to mine and we walked a little together, talking casually about kids, work, weather etc. This became our daily routine.

But the day after the URI terrorist attack in Kashmir along the LOC, when every Indian across the world was outraged and shocked at the killing of brave Indian soldiers, she happened to tell me that she was from the enemy nation – Pakistan!

Something stiffened deep inside me although I did not show it. I mentally prepared myself to keep a distance from her. 

As I looked back to hasten my son, an unexpected sight made my heart melt. Walking hand in hand with his Pakistani bhaiya (brother), my son looked cheerful for the first time he started school. He had made his first friend in school. They looked absolutely comfortable in each other’s company, ignorant of the fact that they belonged to two deadliest enemy nations of the world. 

They were laughing, teasing and running around us, oblivious of the hate that surrounded their mother nations.

I stole a look at the lady from Pakistan. Apparently, she was having similar thoughts. She seemed worried about the heightened tension across the borders of the two neigbouring countries and for the safety of her family back home. Like me, perhaps even she did not want her kid getting lessons on hate in case the situation worsened. We were so similar yet so apart!

It seemed as if a thick line of uneasy thoughts seperated me and the lady from Pakistan. But not far behind us, our little boys, chased each other in blissful ignorance…! 

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42 thoughts on “The Lady from Pakistan

  1. Abhishek

    Nice descrition of feelings from a mother. I wish people understand we all are made of the same blood and flesh and no one has the right to hurt other living being. This hatred has to end to keep the smile of our kids and give them a future where we respect life in any form across the man made borders.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. That is the beauty of children; not tainted by hatred unless they have grown up in environments of animosity. Shivangi, I think you could pick a leaf from your son. It may be hard now, but rewarding in the end

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Shivangi!
    As they grow the poison is slowly injected into the children. You know whom- the parents, the society, the community, the politicians and more so by the so called priests and mullahs.
    Is their a border line drawn between the two countries for that matter any country.
    The dividing line has been created in the mind over a period of time.
    In this context I get to remember my Post “THE ERASING OF THE INDIA PAK BORDER BY “BAJARANGI BHAIJAAN” .
    Here is the link:

    https://theshivasponder.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/the-erasing-of-the-india-pak-border-by-bajarangi-bhaijaan/
    Do read it.
    I once again welcome you to read my latest poems, your absence is being felt Shivangi!
    Thank You,
    Shiva
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The overwhelming humanism in the episode surrounding your kid’s schooling would point to futility of the trajectory which Pakistan as a country is hurtling along. It is bound to speed the region towards certain destruction. Unfortunately most of the unsuspecting folks steeped in backwardness and poverty in Pakistan are trapped in an army state, hand in gloves with terrorist outfits of all denominations. What was earlier a small part of undivided India has since been desperately trying to establish an identity of its own all through nearly seventy long years without getting anywhere. Will anything come out of these churn of events. Nothing in the short term, except more squalor and misery. But over the long term, I am hopeful, Shivangi, of regions and societies transcending geographical borders and restrictive dogmas of organized religions to espouse humanism and uphold universal values above everything else. May your son grow up to inhabit such a world of bountiful progress, peace and harmony.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen Sir… Thank you for this wonderful comment throwing light on the present day conditions of Pakistan. It is so powerful and correct! I wish too that our kids inhabit such a peaceful world far away from strife and hatred! Thanks a lot for coming over😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice post and I appreciate the reaction of both the mothers.
    A child mind is like a blank slate, you can write whatever you want on it and that is going to remain with them, within them forever.
    You both choose not to fill their heart with hatred which obviously is the right decision.
    Hope every parents in both countries do this with their childrens, then the enemity will abolish forever.

    Liked by 1 person

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