Of Cabbages and Kings

December 9, 2008

India and Pakistan

Filed under: Random musing — Tags: , , , — Chinmayi @ 2:45 am

are good neighbours here in London. S., the Pakistani next door, is full of marvellous stories. She will play beautiful Urdu poetry set to music for me well after midnight and make buckets of delicious biryani for her friends fairly regularly. If she refuses to wear sleeveless clothes or so much as sniff alchohol, she is full of jokes about how easy it is for a Pakistani woman to get a scholarship thanks to the patronising attitude of the West and she is mocking of the hypocrisy of a country where the people who ban alchohol are known to have the best collection of it.

When Mumbai was attacked, we talked about it in the kitchen – S was sympathetic while I was anxious, and I was indignant on her behalf when she told me of someone who had suggested that she should bear some of the responsibility for the incident. Characteristically, she grinned and said that even if the violence did come out of Pakistan, it was very unlikely that the political leader had any control over it. 

S. invited me for her Eid feast today. We played some table tennis and suddenly realised that the pairs across the table from eachother had inadvertantly formed into Indians versus Pakistanis. And the laughter of the evening is something that I will always remember.  A mock war was carried out – with the Pakistanis accusing Indians of targeting their soft corners and their women, and the Indian accusing the Pakistanis of infiltration. Every platitude ever offered by either country’s government was hurled across the table to be incinerated in the laughter. And I caught myself hoping that the world will never change so much that it no longer holds any place for such a table tennis match.



  1. fantastic…such a silver lining amidst all this hatred on blogs everywhere masquerading as half-baked patriotism

    continue spreadin’ the love.

    Comment by Christy Bharath — December 11, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

  2. Thanks! The cascading hate is almost as upsetting as the attacks themselves. I do hope that it stops.

    Comment by Maya — December 17, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

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