Will Badki and Chhutki (India and Pakistan) ever call a truce?

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“Panchi, nadiyaan, pawan ke jhoke…koi sarhad na inhe roke”…goes the soulful lyrics penned by Javed Akhtar saab. However, there’s one more thing which goes beyond the realms of boundaries and that is Arts.

I know what I am about to express is not anything new or unheard of, but I guess this is the right time to bring this subject back into our everyday conversations. Just a few days back we all saw the trailer of Vishal Bhardwaj’s (one of my favourite filmmaker) upcoming film ‘Pataakha’. In the trailer, the filmmaker has very amusingly summed up the relationship between India and Pakistan as two warring sisters who are “Ek maa ki aulaad..magar ek dusre ke khoon ke pyaase.”

This line, when heard in the trailer, evokes laughter…but in the hindsight when the reality sinks in, it kills that even after seven decades of independence, both the countries still continue to share a very tensed relationship.  (In case you haven’t watched the trailer yet then please do)

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The irony of the whole situation sinks in when at the end of the trailer; the narrator says “Atal Bihari Vajpayee ne Pervez Musharraf se sau takke ki baat kahi thi Agra mein. Hum apne dushman toh chunn sakte hai par padosi nahi…rishte toh chunn sakte hai, rishtedaar nahi.”

It’s disheartening that Atal Bihari ji is no more amongst us, but his words still hold true. I understand that both the countries sharing a cordial relationship on each and every front is too much to ask for or still a distant dream but why can’t we let art and culture flourish between the two?

Naysayers will always come up with various reasons for not entertaining the idea of nurturing arts and culture between these two countries. What good these cynics yield out of their pessimistic views is beyond me. Why aren’t we allowing music and arts to bridge the gap between the two nation? I wonder what great have we achieved by banning Pakistani shows or their artists in India?

I still remember the happiness I felt when our super awesome singer Shilpa Rao made her Coke Studio debut in the ninth season of the Pakistan edition. She was invited by Pakistan’s celebrated band Noori to perform for them. It was the same season when our entire nation fell in love with the ‘Afreen Afreen’ girl Momina Mustehsan. So on one side, Shilpa was being showered with love by people across the border and on another hand, we all wished that Momina came to India and be a part of our film industry.

Not many people know but Shilpa and Momina have formed a great friendship and are not being bogged down by the popular sentiment shared by their respective countries. They along with another singer Shruti Pathak recently went for a Road trip and treated their followers with glimpses of their fun-filled journey as they shared some amazing pictures of their trip. Momina being the youngest amongst them addresses Shilpa and Shruti as ‘Di’. Now, how sweet is that?

All I am trying to convey is that instead of using the two warring sisters Badki and Chutki as a metaphor for India and Pakistan, it would be so heartwarming if we start associating the idea of these two neighbouring countries with Shilpa and Momina’s friendship that is beyond borders! In the utopian world that I live in (obviously in my head) I can picture, India and Pakistan as two sisters Shilpa and Momina sneaking out of their houses and going for road trips instead of being ‘ek dusre ke khoon ke pyaase’.

Now back into the real world, I am sure that we all are tired of these constant fight between Badki and Chuttki…so when are we going to act like adults and change the scenario? If peace and harmony are all that both these countries wish for, then what’s stopping us from achieving that? If the situation cannot change entirely then lets at least take a small initiative. Let at least art and culture flourish between these nations.

Or else optimistic people will always end up wondering ‘Sarhadein insaano ke liye hai…socho tumne aur Maine kya paya insaan hoke?

Also Read: Instead of remaking films, why can’t Bollywood filmmakers adapt more novels?