Celebrations were rife in Karachi. And in Rawalpindi. In fact in all of Pakistan.
Ali, Mohammed, Rawoof, Ghula Khader, Bader and Ilyas. All of them were ecstatic.
People thronged the streets, singing and dancing and distributing sweets to all and sundry.
All and sundry, whoever they were, were quickly gobbling it up.
It isn’t often that one gets to see such sights in the nation.
And why, one may wonder, were the people celebrating?
That is a long story. One with history. And as always, concerns geography too. From the word go, the two nations have been bitterly contesting every trivial issue and many major ones too.
Whether it was hockey or cricket, kabaddi or snooker. In most instances, more than wanting to win, they would want to get the better of India. Losing to anyone else was bad, but losing to India was sacrilege.
If a donkey from across the Rann of Kutch managed to beat one from the Indian side in an exuberant donkey race, it would go down in the annals of the village chronicles and would be given an extra lump of sugar for a few days.
If a chicken from the Indian side flew over and laid an egg there, the roosters would crow about it till they made it to the dinner table as a biryani or rogan josh or something.
Folks from this side of the border look on indulgently. As they would, at a maverick boxer celebrating a verbal victory over the world heavy weight champ.
And one must give it to them that celebrations this time around were over what they perceived was a victory. Their boy had married the star tennis player of India. The immediate conclusion was that Indian men were not good enough. Only a Pakistani could manage to woo this great beauty from across the border. The fact that it was a simple love story between two young and talented people from across the border, seemed to have missed them completely. That neither was looking at anything political in their love, escaped them.
Don’t be too hasty in blaming them for it. Let me justify their emotions.
India went ahead and became a nuclear power based on research by its scientists. Pakistan still remains an unclear power. India went on to launch satellites and they decided to compete. Their best brains promptly ordered for some high grade rubber bands a kilometer long to launch their own satellites, based on native technology. However, not being able to build a high enough fork to string the rubber catapult to effect a launch, they abandoned the plan.
Stories are told over a few drinks sometimes, about the high quality of underwear elastic available there a few years back.
Then came the business enterprises. Wealth existed in a few pockets of Pakistan. Like the underwear manufacturer who bought a huge lot of unused high grade rubber bands from the government. And so on. But unfortunately, one of the two brothers from an Indian business empire, was rumoured to be valued at more than the entire Pakistan stock exchange.
That’s not a very good feeling.
Despite their best efforts, they were getting whacked in all fields. Not very good for the morale. And then along came Dhoni’s men who took India to the number one rank in the world of cricket. Pakistan only had a few over the hill, unmanageable speedsters.
Like all the Mumbai movies find a favourable audience there, while their government is keen on banning Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
I think all Indians should rise and compliment Shoaib on the wonderful choice of a bride. And wish the married couple the very best.
Month: June 2010