The neighbor we never knew


As the war cries arise back home, I meet a man who is probably in his late 50s. Originally from Haryana, came here a long time back, went back home and then came back again about three years back. His parents were migrated from Pakistan before partition. During the chat he talks about the current neighborhood. “There are about 4-5 Indian families living in the same apartment complex”. And then he starts to talk about where in India they originally came from. Haryana, Himachal, Delhi. “And Pakistan”.

I was curious. Because he made it seem like Pakistan is yet another state in India. And his parents were, well, ‘Pakistanis’. I ask him about it. “Well, its not much different. The people of Pakistani Punjab speaks Punjabi and we get along well”. And no enmity in between at all? “We’re all struggling working class people, no? The politics does not affect us”.

Back at the hotel, men in glowing jackets gather for breakfast. White, Black, Hispanic and Asian even. Old and young. Chatting, laughing and in good company. Again, working class.

What would business men in politics, or politicians whose best friends are businessmen know about this?