‘Hoping that now things will be different’
I am Shirin from Delhi and this is my friend Mahad from Lahore,

Everybody knows about the stereotypical thinking Indians and Pakistanis share about each other. Coming from India I was always surrounded by various opinions about Pakistanis, including growing up hearing that Pakistan is an enemy country. But personally I never formed any impression about Pakistanis until I went to Hong Kong.

In this multicultural environment I have gone beyond the conservative thoughts and understood the deep underlying fact that ‘country’ is just another attribute associated with a person and there is more to every individual, which defines the real identity.

RTB-logoThanks to this exposure where we have shared thoughts, opinions and emotions, and co-existed together with no animosity towards each other, I have made my best friends from Pakistan. Together we’ve shared memorable moments to be cherished for life.

I learnt a lot about Pakistani society and feel that Pakistanis have a deep regard for their cultural values and traditions, which makes them essentially very presentable and respectable. They possess the beautiful sharp facial features also seen in the Middle East and their respect for women is commendable. Plus they are really smart (they are reaching sky when you talk to them about their GPA’s).

Thanks to my Pakistani friends, I had the best Sheeshas, heard some beautiful evergreen songs and leant some graceful Urdu words! I will take these things with me forever, to always remind me of the gestures, hospitality and respect I received from my Pakistani friends.

We must understand the importance of staying united together and eradicate the disparities between the two nations. It’s time to change the history and think beyond boundaries. Its time to move on from our 65-year history of conflict to a future of peace, as this August 14 and 15, our nations turn 66.

I and my friend Mahad, would like to wish you all a very Happy Independence Day. Here’s hoping that now things will be different. Hoping that now our boundaries won’t be so insurmountable that we are unable to see our reflection on the other side of the border.

– Shirin Soni (Delhi) with
Mahad Naseer (Lahore)

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