Wednesday, September 01, 2004

lahore and a 4 min film?

shuddha sent this today...

dear Joy, Iram, Taha and Anand,

you guys could think (time permitting of course) of sending something
simple, short and effective for this, either individually, or together,
in small groups, or both



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: aar paar 3: call for entries
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 22:34:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: h mulji <>

/Please circulate widely | Apologies for cross postings/

* *

*Aar** Paar 3*


Aar Paar 2004 is a public art project between artists in India and
Pakistan* *

* *

Artists are invited to submit short films , or video works no longer
than 4 minutes.

Fifteen entries will be selected by a Jury of artists and film makers.

The selected works will be projected in open air public spaces as well
as educational institutes in Mumbai and Lahore, between November 2004 to
January 2005.

reminds me of the whole pakistan trip...

of Lahore via Ahmedabad and DV8, a journey over three months, two nations, and endless borders of the heart...

Prelude, February, Delhi.

We've made happy hours start half an hour early in the name of
India-Pakistan friendship. We sprawl, downing pitchers of beer, F, U C and I
(and how i wish my name began with K), in DV8, Regal Building. They're from
Pakistan, students from Lahore here in Delhi for a conference, and we've
known each other for less than a week. But we've bonded over the pleasures
of public drinking in the middle of the afternoon and then going shopping in
Connaught Place.

In what U will later characterise as 'typical sub-continental style', they
invite me to Lahore, with C promising an afternoon of drinking Murree beer.
Relationships have just thawed between the two countries after over two
years of closed borders. Perhaps it is only the reckless optimism of mild
inebriation, but with talk of the forthcoming cricket series, and the
possibilities of Indians getting visas to watch matches, it doesn't seem
that fantastic to think of crossing the border for a drinking session.


Of course, there is many a slip betwixt the beer mug and the lip. I read,
aghast, as the cricket is nearly called off because of the possibility of a
defeat to Pakistan, which would take a bit of the shine off India, the sort
of ball tampering that reverse swings electoral fortunes. Then the series is
on again.

I meet Mike Marquesee, whose book on sub-continental cricket, 'War Minus the
Shooting', is pretty much a classic study on how jingoistic nationalism has
hi-jacked the sport of one day cricket. Now that the cricket is over, and
trophies and hearts have been won, it might be difficult to remember, but
back then, in February, cricket for war rather than cricket for peace seemed
an equal possibility. History was on the side of cricket for war. India
Pakistan encounters have, previously, turned neutral venues into zones of
war and battle cries. India Pakistan matches have led to riots in India. And
now , the two teams were going to be playing a month and a half of cricket
in the sub-continent, in front of tens of thousands of baying fans, their
passions fuelled by MNC advertisements which are more nationalist than thou,
staking their claim to belong...

It could get really nasty. Especially becuase this is the initiative of a
government which has advertised, over five years, its attempts to make peace
with Pakistan and always ended up making war. The bus was followed by
Kargil, The Agra summit was a fiasco, the Parliament attack, for which an
innocent man was sentenced to death, led to a near war situation for two
years, and the stoppage of all cross-border movement... dreams had been
betrayed too often.

Mike wanted a delegation of people to go for all the matches as 'cricket
lovers for peace'.
This was before we knew that whole cities and stadiums could be just that.


The lines and lines of people outside the Pakistan embassy, queueing up for
cricket visas is something else altogether.
I wonder if they would stand in lines so long for matches being played in
Sri Lanka or Bangladesh or even in India.
I think not, and am happy with that thought.

History says, Don't hope
On this side of the grave
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave...

I con my sister into buying me a ticket for the Lahore test online on her
credit card.


First One Day International, Karachi/Delhi/Lahore

I watch the last eight overs of the first match in time honoured yuppie
fashion. on a big screen in DV8, guzzling beer, and cheering loudly
everytime we get a wicket and groaning every time they hit a boundary. I am
too drunk to be ashamed of the fact that the crowds in Karachi are cheering,
and have been cheering, for both teams. But I do remember being in DV8 a
month ago.

F writes that night -
So you guys have finally avenged Sharjah?! but what a match it was! i
watched it in complete sobriety in our largest auditorium with 200 other
students... but ofcourse would have much preferred my usual leather sofa and
a couple of beers at DV8.

And still later that , long after the fireworks have died down, I catch U
online -
- I don't care how much I believe in Indo-Pak peace and how much I don't
believe in nationalism, but if you'd been in DV8 today, in that final over,
I'm sure we'd have had a fist-fight.
- I'm pretty sure we would have. ;-)


Second One Day International, Rawalpindi/Ahmedabad.

I feel like having a fist-fight with someone. Anyone.

I've reached Ahmedabad in time for the second ODI and am wandering around
Teen Darwaja, the elegant fifteenth century triple arched gateway at the
heart of the Old City, surrounded by the bustling commerce and terrible
pollution that so characterise the city. Across one of the arches of the
Teen Darwaza is strung a banner that reads, 'Bhartiya Cricket Team Ne
Haardik ShubhKaamna, Teen Darwaja Hindu Muslim Vyapaari Mandal.'

I know that the banner wasn't there for the India Australia series. I know
that in all his post-riot, pre-election speeches, Narendra Modi always
invoked 'Mian Musharraf', as if the head of state of Pakistan was the
biggest problem facing the government of his state. I know that the riot hit
areas of Gujarat are still apt to explode at the least provocation, and
anything can be provocation. I know that a minor riot (one in which a only a
few people die) has started because of a game of gali cricket, in which a
Muslim kid went to recover a ball that had accidentally been hit into the
precincts of a Hindu temple. Give or take a couple of years, and it could
have been Irfan Pathan...

I know that in Gujarat, to be Muslim is to be constantly subjected to the
Tebbitt test, and those banners across the Teen Darwaja, and elsewhere in
the city, are the only guarantees they have for peace.

A frayed, fraught peace, but in Gujarat, 2004, even that is a lot to expect.

I fervently wish that India loses this game. What riles me is that as a
Hindu, I have the freedom to wish that in public.


Fourth One Day International, Lahore/Junagadh.

The last Nawab of Junagadh used to get his dogs married in elaborate
ceremonies. Came partition, and he wanted to acceede to Pakistan, which was
separated from his kingdom by about five hundred kilometres of Indian
Gujarat. So plans didn't quite work out, and he fled Junagadh for Pakistan,
taking with him two Hindu veterinarians, and so the story goes, leaving his
wife behind. They still show Junagadh, status undefined but separate from
India, in maps printed in Pakistan.

So I'm in Junagadh, and I manage to get into a hotel room in time to watch
the Indian innings. After watching four quick wickets fall, I give up on the
match, disgusted, and go off to check mail. There's a mail from F.

am on my way to the 4th ODI...hope we kick your butt today.. keep a look out
for me on tv!!!

I rush back to the hotel. Jungadh might not have made it to Pakistan, but
sattelite TV ensures that Qadaffi Stadium, Lahore, makes it to my hotel
room. I look for my friends, but it's too late. Though someone else sees
them on TV, and phones U from Delhi, 'Hey I saw F on TV.'


Fifth One Day International, Lahore/Nowhere.

By conservative estimates, there have been eight thousand Indians in Lahore
for the one day internationals. By all accounts they've been won over by
Lahore. By people going out of their way to make them feel more than at
home. Auto-rickshaws refusing to take money, shopkeepers giving discounts,
perfect strangers inviting them over for dinner. And yet all the same
stories happened to me four years ago, when things were fairly frosty
between India and Pakistan, when I was part of a student group in Lahore a
week after the Kandahar hijacking. It's not just the hype, there's something
else here... something warm and deeply human that manages to co-exist with
the hatred and hostility which are undoubtedly part of our complex
relationship. But there is the hype, too, and I have never appreciated it so
much. I feel like going around Lahore wearing a T-shirt which says, "I'm an
Indian, hug me", except that I'm sure everyone would.

" It's become the New status symbol in Lahore to have Indian guests. People
have been inviting Indians home off the streets. People have been begging,
borrowing, stealing Indian guests, so that they aren't left out."

But the best story of them all, which I heard from Yasser Hashmi, Faiz's
grandson, was about Old Anarkali Bazaar, on the night of the final match.
'There must have been about two thousand Indians in the street, and India
had won the match. But nothing untoward happened, and everyone was cheerful,
and the street was packed. My father was with me, and he turned to me and
said, "This is what Lahore used to look like [before Partition]. I never
thought I'd see it like this again in my lifetime."'

Apparently the Indians in Lahore even hired dhol-wallahs and danced, and no
one seemed to mind particularly. Considering that a lot of the Pakistani
audience started rooting for India once it was apparent that they were
winning, I don't see why they would.

I was glad, in a way that I didn't catch the final match. I was on a train
between Gujarat and Delhi, getting regular updates on the match from the
cell-phone of the guy on the berth across. I don't want to know what would
have happened if we lost. I wasn't quite sure I wanted to know what happened
after we won. We explode fireworks everytime we win against Pakistan, and we
did that this time too, so what has changed? Mobs in Baroda surrounded Irfan
Pathan's house to celebrate India's victory, but supposing that Pakistan had
won, and hammered Irfan's bowling in the process, what would the mobs have
done then?

I was glad that I went to sleep on my berth, and the cell phone went out of
range, and I only caught the excitement of the night before second hand in
the next day's newspapers.


First Test, Multan/Delhi

I get hope from the empty stands in Multan. It should be easy getting a visa
for the Lahore test.

There aren't that many people milling around for cricket visas outside the
Pakistan embassy either. Maybe fifty. But the line of people waiting for
'normal' visas to Pakistanis as long, as patient, and as hopeless looking as
it has ever been. These are people who don't have access to credit cards and
online booking, these are people who need to cross the border and be in
other towns and other times from where/when the cricket is getting played.
For them it is still a long, torturous process, while us cricket visa
seekers are asked to come back the same evening.

Maybe the unprecedented handling of fifteen thousand visas at short notice
by the Pakistan Embassy gives some hope to these people, becuase a precedent
has already been set for visas being cleared, fast. There are people asking
about business visas and being directed to yet another gate. This is
certainly new. And welcome.

What is interesting about the cricket line, when we come back in the
evening, is that lot of the people there are from (Indian) Punjab, and have
already crossed the border once for the Lahore one dayers, and are now
waiting to get back again. my favourite are these two young girls from
Amritsar, chattering away in Punjabi, who had gone on their own to Lahore
the first time, and have now come all the way toDelhi (the visa camp at
Amritsar being operational only for the crazy rush of the ODI's) to get a
visa to go all the way back to Lahore. All the talk of enemy country seems
to just have disappared down the toilet which we once eupemistically
labelled 'Pakistan', after just one visit to Pakistan. These girls are now
venturing into 'enemy territory' again, this time on an eight day visa.

Unfortunately, now that the hype is largely over, and the cricket crowds are
missing, they aren't allowing people to cross the border by foot as they did
for the ODI's. You have to pick your mode of transport and stick to it. I
choose the bus, which is expensive, and has limited tickets, but gets you to
Lahore in twelve hours, four days a week. On the train, two days a week, you
have to wait eight hours on either side of the border, and that's not an
experience i want to repeat, certianly not in the April heat. However, the
first availaible bus ticket, (which you only get post-visa, which already
mentions your mode of transport) is for the 7th, half way through the Lahore
test match...


U writes - "and after today's performance, i'm so not wiling to watch pak in
the second a sign of protest..."
I find myself praying once again for an Indian defeat. I'm afraid that if we
win as obscenely at Lahore as we did at Multan, the famed Pakistani
mehman-nawazi might just dry up.... Rahul Dravid obliges by choosing to open
and our top order getting creamed.

Can I get you something from Delhi?
really dont need anything (unless you can bring along DV8 - but i doubt
that's feasible).


Day Three of the Lahore Test

At 6.00 in the morning the PTDC bus leaves from Delhi. They have ash-trays
in the backs of the seats, something unthinkable on DTC buses, on which it
is illegal to smoke. On the bus are a Hindu couple from somewhere near
Peshawar, an old Sikh lady from Bhopal on the way to somehere near Multan to
mourn a brother's death. There are halves of cross border couples crossing
over. It's a much more complicated pattern of movements and memories than I
had thought possible.

I seem to be the only one crossing over with a cricket visa. The customs
officers on the Pakistani side laugh at it, tell me the cricket is nearly
over, India's lost five wickets in their second innings, and wave me through
without even opening my bag. I should have sneaked in some alcohol.

Five kilometres past the border, as the sun is setting, we travel to Lahore
on a road running along a tree lined canal, people lolling on its grassy
banks. I had missed all of this last time, coming by train, when the customs
checks enusred that we travelled long after darkness had fallen.
It'a beautiful, poetic way to enter a city, on a road along a tree-lined
canal, as the sun sets on a summer evening. Even the wailing sirens of the
pilot car guiding the bus seem musical.


I've never felt more comfortable being Indian than in Lahore. That was true
last time, when I came at a time of stress and tension, it was even truer
this time, when I came at time of peace and overt friendship.

After dinner at Cucoo's, the hip rooftop restaurant at Heera Mandi,
overlooking the beautifully lit skyline of the Old City, dominated by the
Badshahi Mosque and the Fort, F and I saunter into the mosque at nearly ten
o' clock, and at around ten thirty, we come to the Gurudwara.

At ten thirty at night, the sewadar of the gurudwara lets us in, long after
everything has shut down, to see the the gurudwara, and shows us the room
where the Guru Granth Sahib is put to bed, as it were, showed us the places
associated with Guru Arjun, and then shows us Ranjeet Singh's samadhi. He is
mildly amused that an Indian Hindu man and a Pakistani Muslim woman have
come together to see one of Lahore's Sikh gurudwaras. As we are leaving, he
asks us to wait another minute. 'You are from India', he says, 'you know
these things, but I have to show her something.' We are both curious. He
takes us into his room and then gives F a saropa, a robe of honour given to
esteemed visitors, and a pen, becuase she is a student. The pen is a cheap
ball-point, but what matters are the wishes that go with it.

F will never hesitate about going into a gurudwara again, though she was
slightly scared at first.
Both of us are profoundly moved by the gates that are opened for one in
Lahore by the accident of being born Indian.


The next morning, F and I entered Qadaffi Stadium without a single ticket
between us.

I had a photocopy email confirmation of my ticket which I waved at the
security guards, and they pointed to some other buliding where I needed to
go to get the actual ticket. - Buut the match will be over by then, I said.
So they let me in, and F along with me, who didn't have a ghost of a ticket.
On the way inside, we both noted these incredibly hot Pakistani police women
in salwar kameezes and visored caps, totally unlike the burqa clad machine
gun wielding aunties featured in Indian newspapers. Some of them even had
bright red lipstick on. Really hard to miss, but the media somehow did.

By then, India was pretty much out of the game. The Pakistanis needed to
score forty runs to win. But Indian supporters were still dancing in the
half-empty stands. Except that some of the Indians were in fact, Pakistani.
The most enthusiastic of the dancers in our enclosure, waving an Indian
tri-colour and dancing to peppy Punjabi bhangra numbers from that side of
the border (yes, there is!), being played on the stadium PA during the lunch
break, said he was from Lahore when I asked him. I wouldn't have believed
him, except his companions sitting behind us, were calling him a fraud
Hindustani. And a gentleman from Delhi was dancing with him, and this in the
middle of a fairly ignominous Indian defeat.

Perhaps our fraud Indian was doing it for the TV cameras, perhaps not.
Either ways, a Pakistani posing as an Indian at a India-Pakistan match in
Pakistan would have been considered impossible, if not insanely suicidal, a
few years back.

Now - "Students from Government College, Lahore are going around pretending
to be Indians. They get discounts on everything."


Being an Indian also gets me to meet the Indian cricket team which I don't
think I could ever pull of back in India. They've come to meet the students
at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. I'm hanging around LUMS,
gatecrashing a conference, becuase the match got over a day too early. It's
obviously been arranged at short notice, because it's officially the fifth
day of play. There'a huge crowd of people pushing and shoving to get into
the auditorium, an hour before the team arrives, and I don't think there is
any possibility of me getting in, as I stand far at the back of the pushing,
shoving crowd. Then F tells them that I'm Indian. And I'm there inside the
packed audi, waiting for my team to arrive, joining in the loud chants of
'Balaji, Balaji'. In my head i try to imagine IIM Ahmedabad(or even JNU for
that matter) crowds yelling 'Akhtar, Akhtar' if Shoaib ever hoicks Balaji
for an impudent six on an Indian ground. I give up.

I want to personally thank the Indian Cricket Team for not letting security
concerns bother them, and coming to Pakistan in spite of all the tremendous
pressure on them, and playing beautifully. On the field and off it. They
made it possible for me to be here without any agenda except meeting friends
and drinking beer, and visiting a city I love. Like people can do in other

I fall in love with Rahul Dravid. He's diplomatic, articulate, and tackles
the thorniest of questions with a sincerity and innate good humour that has
the student audience eating out of his hands.
I fall as much in love with Balaji as the Pakistanis have, with his
endearing grin and weirdly Tamil English, and his self-deprecating desire to
be a comedian.
I totally fall in love with Pathan, who handles dumb questions with an
effort, rather than just dismissing them. Someone asks him if Pathans get
girlfriends in India.
- ' What do you think, looking at me?' Claps and hoots from the audience.
A kid asks him a question which seems to wound him. Have you ever considered
playing for Pakistan? I don't know whether the audience cheers the question
or boos it. I can't quite figure out.
- 'I'm proud to be an Indian', he says softly. ' There's no chance of me
playing for Pakistan.'

Someone, somewhere in India, in a different form, at a different time, must
have asked him that question before.
Perhaps it's too much to hope that it will never be asked again.


Last time I was in Lahore, I was struck by the similarities with
Delhi/India. The image I used was that of a mirror. What I forgot then was
that mirror images mean lateral inversion. Inside outness, right side turned
to left side. This time I paid attention to the differences.

Qadaffi stadium is one of the most beautiful stadiums I've been to. Compared
to the general neglected shitiness of Firoz Shah Kotla, it positively

(Some) Public Transport Buses are air-conditioned, and for prices not much
higher (and lower in real terms as compared to India) than in Delhi. The
drivers drive safely, the conductors are unfailingly polite, and announce
advance stops gently over the PA rather than banging the side of the bus and
hollering. No one picks fights. People give their seats to older people
without being asked. The women sit in a separate section, unless they're too
many of them. I thought that all Punjabi cities were rough and ready and
full of attitude and braggadocio - apparently not. There is a long story
behind the only time I heard someone (apart from myself) say behen****. But
that's a story to be told later.

(Incidentally, behen****, or BC is the name of a commercially unreleased
song by this popular Paki band called Noori. It is available though on the
Internet, a recording made in a LUMS auditorium for a student crowd. My
reaction the first time I heard it - what a song!!! the sacred and profane,
the sad and the ironic, love and hate and amused, cynical despair coming
together in such a layer of meanings and possible interpretations ... and
the very daring of just using those words in a public performance... so who
is this guy, and where was this performance???? So yeah, Lahore also has a
booming young, quirky, creative music scene, where artistes and bands write
their own songs, perform them to widespread popular acclaim, and are even
discovering alternative distribution networks.)

Lahore, as compared to Delhi, seems to have an active, intelligent urban
conservation movement going. In Old Anarkali Bazaar, the famed Food Street,
house fronts have been restored by an initiative of the National College of
Art, with the active participation of the residents, and are lit up at night
by discreet moulded lighting. The effect, while strolling up and down the
pedestrian street with its outdoor tables, is indescribably beautiful. All
the monumental buildings, The Government College, Lahore the NCA, The
Badshahi Mosque are all lit up at night with soft, yet directional lighting,
which makes driving through Lahore at night a visual pleasure.

Also, you can actually go up close to the monuments in Lahore, which makes a
huge difference, since Lahore seems remarkably chilled out and non-anal
about security, especially for a town thirty kilometres from a very recently
hostile border, especially as compared to Delhi. In Defence, where I am
piling on at C's apartment, the door is constantly open, and people keep
coming and going till three in the morning. At LUMS, the first time i walk
in, the guard doesn't even stop me to take my name down in a register, he
just 'salaam aleikum's me in. And he doesn't even know I am Indian, which
generally excuses all Lahori lunacy. I enter the Punjab Civil Secretatiat on
the lame (but true) excuse of wanting to look at Anarkali's Tomb. The
security guard offers me some tea.

The houses in posh parts like Defence and Gulberg are most certainly not
Punjabi Baroque the way Def Col and GK are. They are tastefully designed and
graciously spread out, and low rise, with grassy broad pavments along the
roads, not yet inundated by endless tons of cars. (Possibly becuase of
military restrictions on house height, but still) And the Mall is one of the
most beautiful public thoroughfares in the world, with sections of its
central verge eighty feet wide, and covered with flowers.Now, if only the
auto-rickshaws converted to CNG...


On my first evening in L ahore, I went to take a leak in a loo in the
basement of the Islamic Summit Minar, a tall monumnetal tower, which marks
the 1974 Organisation Of Islmaic Countries Conference, and marks Pakistan's
turn towards Islamisation after the defeats and dismemberment of '71.

On my second evening, I am taken to Pappu Sain, a man/institution who playes
the dhol every Thursday, by the mazaar of Shah Jamal. Thousands of people
gather on Thursday nights to listen to the complex rhythm patterns he beats
out of the simple dhol for hours on end, with the help of a bit of bhang.
People dance in whirling dervish ecstacy to his rhythms, as the audience
around them, gathered in a circle, sways, entranced, and passes endless
joints of charas forward. This is working class religion, and the whole
connection with the higher beings is mediated through a frenzied bacchanalia
here, and one wonders about Islam making Pakistan a puritan, fundamentalist


- Indian boy, get your passport. We need to get some beer.

Beer is too bulky for the bootlegger to deliver, so my passport buys us a
crate from a permit room at the back of the Pearl Continental, where the
Indian team was staying. As a barbaad Hindustani kaafir, as i call myself, I
am free to drink myself to hell. Which rule applies to pakistani kaafirs
too, giving them a hell of a lot of economic opprtunity.

Murree Beer really rocks, and should definitely be imported to India very
soon in the future. Bolskaya Vodka, on the other hand, is strictly rot gut,
but effective.


I do more in Pakistan than just drinking my promised beer, though.
I wander the city, alone and with friends, and discover the little secrets
that make all the difference between home, and away.
Like the best roadside strawberry milkshake in Lahore. Like the best DVD
collection in Hall Road, like Pak Tea House where Faiz and his companions
used to sit back in those days.

I attend a class on 'Faiz and Ghalib, Poetry of Protest', in chaste Urdu, at
the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Possibilties of this happening
in any of the IIM's? I don't think so. Possibility of a course like this
happening as part of the curriculum offered by Delhi University for a
liberal arts degree? I still don't think so. But, of course, the LUMS fee is
insanely expensive, compared to all but our IIM's.

I feel so at home here that I know that I'm in a foreign country.
I feel more comfortable, more secure, more wanted, more privileged, in
Lahore than I feel in any Indian city, even in Delhi.

It's my second last night in Lahore.
The auto rickshaw driver and I spend half an hour looking for a house
becuase I remember the address but have forgotten the directions. By now
he's discovered that I'mIndian, so doesn't mind the search, and even refuses
to charge extra money. Then, even though I have told him to leave if it's
getting too late, he waits for me past midnight. Then on the way back, as
we're speeding down an empty road, a car emerges as if from nowhere, the
driver swerves to avoid it, and the auto crashes into a road side
construction at high speed, and its front is completely smashed. In the
back seat, I am almost completely unhurt, even calamities being generous to
Indian vistors in Lahore. But the drivers' face is bleeding profusely from
cuts from the flying glass of the broken windshield. (That's the only time I
hear behen**** in Lahore as he curses at the car's driver.) A guy on a
motorcycle comes and picks up the driver and takes him to a nearby hospital
while I walk there. I'm with him as he gets stitched up, and till I'm sure
he's out of danger. I call on the contact number he's given me. Then, as I'm
about to leave, I try and give him money to pay for some of his medical
treatment. Even in pain as he is, lying there, getting stitched up, the
first thing he says, refusing the money, is 'Aap mujhe sharminda na karein.'


On my last day in Lahore, the bruises hurt, and I can understand a bit of
Muhammad Sami's pain as he regulalrly gets hit by the Indian bowlers while
playing his gritty knock.
The cricket has acquired strange shades of the mirror-world similarities
that Indians see while visiting Pakistan and vice versa. In Lahore, bowler
Irfan Pathan had played a gritty knock of forty nine. In Rawalpindi,
Muhammad Sami, playing a gritty knock, is run out on forty nine, by Irfan
pathan. In Multan, Inzamam was run out without scoring a single run. The
same happened to Rahul Dravid in Lahore.

Mirror world - Like being hit clean over the top for an exhilirating Sehwag
six over the boundary, the geo-strategic Indo-Pakistan gret game has seen
thousands of Indians cross the border in what can only be called in
retrospect, a superb statesmanly stroke. Though many thought that it was too
fanastic an idea to work, a reverse sweep of the Mike Gatting variety.

And now fiteen thousand(?) Indians have visited Pakistan, in Karachi,
Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar, and they have discovered that it's
not such a bad place to be. I wonder, at four in the morning, as U and C
drop me off at Faletti's Hotel to catch my bus back, whether I'm the only
one feeling sad about leaving, sad about saying goodbye...


Mirror world - lateral inversion. The Indian team may have won the test and
one day series. The Pakistanis won our hearts.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a farther shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

Even if the miracle is sponsored by Samsung, and the forces behind the sea
change are a military dictator, a right wing nationalist government, and
American geo-strategic visions of the future...

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