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Chahatein Yahan bhi Hain wahan bhi

Posted by Neeraj Singh on September 10, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Yesterday I returned from Frankfurt. A trip that I can't forget for many reasons. One it was my first full blown visit there. Two, I met my business counterparts face to face & last but not the least, that I was, by chance, both picked & dropped from & to the airport by a Pakistani. The one who dropped was quite aged person while the one who dropped was a middle aged man, almost my age.


I was looking thru the airport to find where do I get the taxi & as generally happens, my feet took me thru to the exit gates without realizing that I had forgotton to ask anyone inside the terminal where to take the taxi from. Anyways, as usual, my nicotine levels had gone down & my brain was constantly asking me to light up the cigarette before thinking about the taxi although it was already late in the night. By the time I finished, it was already around 11 pm. Went to the taxi stand & found approached by a slim looking pale yellow coloured taxi. It was a mercedes benz (most of the taxis in Germany are Mercs). A man alights, saintly bearded, out of it & gently asks me to give my luggage to put in the hood. By the looks, I could make out that the gentleman belongs to somewhere closer to where I belong to. Both of us sat & started for my hotel. I couldn't control my anxiety & before he could say anything, I asked him, was he from Germany? he nodded his head, giving me a signal as if he said "Yes", but I wasn't fully convinced.


He then asked me, was I from India & I said Yes too. As I wasn't too comfortable until now, I still pondered & quickly shot back, is he also from India? This time, I got what I was intending to hear, that yes he did belong to somewhere closer to where I was from. He said he was from Pakistan. It didn't really matter Pakistan or India, I was just looking for some one with whom I could talk in Hindi. Don't know why but it does give me a sense of belongingness & security. Then started our point to point discussion. We both started, almost together, with the current political situation between India & Pakistan. We discussed it all including Bollywood, yesteryears singers specially Ghazal singers, Musicians, his kids upbringing in Germany, their likes & dis-likes of Indian movies, actors & on & on.


Out of the whole conversation, the only thing I felt was both of us were pained & repeatedly said that our individual governments could have done much more than what they are doing today to stop the cross border & internal issues. Riaz Hussain Saheb was like any other Indian to me in a country where both of us were there for our living. The only difference was that he lived there while I was on short visit. It would have happened for the first time that I had got into some discussion like this for almost 30-45 mins after getting dropped. He just came out of his car & we lighted cigarettes again. Although he had his, but I insisted that he has it from my pack. Not sure but that gave me a sense that we belonged together & I felt good when he accepted to smoke my cigarette (Thanks Marlboro, interestingly he also had Marlboro but a regular one compared to my lighter version). After we came to conclusions of our own, we shaked hands & departed in the hope that we may meet again.


Dua salam karke aisa laga jaise kisi apne se hi mil raha hoon. It was the same while I was getting dropped too, but this time, it was Sayyed Saheb, a middle aged man. I asked him why was he there & not in his country. His answer was very simple & satisfying to me. To run my family, I need a house, a job, education for my kids & medical help when needed. This government provided him everything. He was not the one to scream why something was less rather a one who felt satisfied that atleast the governments care for their people & that's important. During the trip back to the airport he received many a call from his friends. He said, we all keep in constant touch with each other telling & helping where the prospects are more to find customers who need a ride. This way we get good business & we share the joys. He did play a hindi bollywood number for me. As I reached my destination, we departed & said the same thing to each other - - Apse milkar bahut achha laga -- & I guess, both of us really meant it to each other unlike a lip service. (Typically something we do in business every now & then)


Atleast I now know that I made 2 friends there. We may not remember each other for long but I am sure if we happen to meet again, we will recall these drives.


In all, the logic was very simple. People do tend & like each other across borders but it's some of the forces that are keeping us apart.  Forces that normal people like you & I may not be able to recognize & do anything against but atleast talk them as bad dreams & forever wish to be together.


Jai Ho

Categories: Social

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1 Comment

Reply amrita
3:46 PM on September 11, 2010 
Well I do wonder some times that the moment we step out of the bounds and boundaries of our nations we start feeling a bit insecurely secure, rationally open minded, culturaly diverse and to be true less rigid and appreciating what we have, we had and what we want from this little life. We become more sensitive i guess and transcend all boundaries. I'm not lecturing but saying what I've felt in many others. On meeting people who are broadly Asians ( Indian, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Indonesians....) I feel all are so easily bonded and need that feeling of homeliness and cultural softness and social intermingling and closeness that they happily bond with all that look anywhere and are from any land that direction. Amazingly we are all worried about our governments parting us, our love and respect for peace and and eachother and a basic understanding of the fact,.....united we stand divided we fall.
may be over a match of cricket we are divided but we don't hate each other. Which nation's citizen doesn't want his country to win but that definitely does not mean we will kill each other or wage a war for that!!! I can trust and confide in my new found friends as easily as I'd do with my friends back home. All we need is the condition and freedom to feel and think trans boundaries. By now I feel we all over the world are bonded by one creed...mankind and if there's anything that cuts accross it its the political manipulation of simple and emotional people with some loss or mishap that these politicians harbour on as parasites and feed into this bond till they rotten it and eat into it .....DIVIDE AND RULE.... AS LONG AS YOU PLEASE is what they believe in. But I'm sure education, love and sensitivity to each others thoughts, cultures and hearts will counter their ulterior motives....I love my fellow humans as a human is what I'll say. And such drives in foreign land do reveal the basic truth hidden from media and political upheavals...we all long for love and belonging...the basic need that's never satisfied.

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