From: Chintan Girish Modi (Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012)
To: Shiraz Hasan
Subject: Eid Mubarak
Eid Mubarak! Hope you are having a great time, in the company of loved ones. Writing to you, I am reminded of an anecdote from Salman Ahmad’s book ‘Rock and Roll Jihad: A Rockstar’s Revolution’. At eight years old, he ran into a boy about the same age called Yameen, dressed in rags, with no one to call his own. Salman gave him the eidee he had received from his grandfather. Salman’s grandmother Aziza generously welcomed Yameen into her home, ensured that he went to school, and later helped him get a job. I like this Eid story because it’s about sharing and reaching out. Quite poignant, as festivals are becoming opportunities to simply show off wealth!I have been savouring your descriptions of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Narowal, and the pictures you are uploading on Facebook and Twitter. You also visited Panja Sahib and wrote a wonderful blog post. I feel happy when I read about these journeys, but sad to think of the Sikhs in India who are unable to visit their shrines in Pakistan, particularly Nankana Sahib. Things might change though. Seema Mustafa in a recent article wrote that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to travel to Pakistan in November, and that President Asif Ali Zardari is going all out to make him feel welcome.
Singh’s ancestral home, Gah, a village near Lahore, is also being given a makeover. I hope this meeting has positive outcomes for common people in Pakistan and India and that their dreams of visiting relatives and holy places come true.I will be in Delhi for four days to participate in an event organised by WISCOMP, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace. This is an annual workshop that brings together young people from Pakistan and India to discuss how they can contribute to building peace.
Hope to hear from you soo
From: Shiraz Hassan (Date: Sun, Aug 26, 2012)
Subject: Eid Mubarak
To: Chintan Girish Modi
Belated Eid Mubarak to you also. Sorry for the late reply. As you know, it was Eid and I was busy with family matters. Then there was a lot of pending work I had to complete. Finally, I met my deadline.
I spent some lovely Eid days with my family and friends. Eid is very different compared to other festivals. Everyone is smiling and happy, especially kids. It is also said that Eid to bachon ki hoti hai. I remained busy over Eid with dinners and get-togethers with family and friends. I had no idea about how Eid is celebrated in India but I saw some beautiful pictures of people offering Eid prayers at Jamia Masjid and Taj Mahal. You shared an interesting piece from Salman Ahmed’s book. We must always remember the poor and deserving on these occasions.Yes, Chintan, I like visiting the historic places and places associated with different religions. My Kartarpur visit was fascinating and I am writing about it, shall share with you.
Now I have to plan to visit some other areas, maybe Jhelum and Chakwal. As you mentioned Indian PM Manmohan Singh belongs to Gah, a village in Chakwal. There are many other places also. Jhelum is known for its river, for the Rohtas Fort and some old heritage buildings in the area. I shall visit as soon as this rainy season gets over. Jhelum is just 100 km from here so I can make a one-day trip.
How was your visit to Delhi and experience of attending the WISCOMP conference? One of my friends was also there. Do you remember, we discussed an idea of finding the old homes of migrants? I really want to work on that. I am looking for help and response from other people too. I hope we’ll manage to make a team and start an archive. Once again, it’s raining here, seems like late monsoon has finally started. Hope you are having a good time.