Blog: Let’s Have Chai and Samosas

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Nasir Raza is a Pakistani-American professional based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

NASIR RAZA — Let’s have our chai and samosas …let’s sing and dance … the world around us can burn … thousands of people will die though… some who deserve to … others as collateral damage … this is all about politics … we love each other … let’s have our chai and samosas … …who will listen to us anyway… let’s have our chai and samosas therefore…. let’s sing and dance.

I, stupid me, I call myself a human … my liberal friend in whose blog I have now started writing my stories, says Nasir your soul is still Pakistani .. I say NO… We are human… my friend says NO… my wife also says why can’t you be a little nationalistic… defend the country you were born and raised in … I say NO… We are human… my Indian sister friend says she wants peace but when war begins she is Indian … I say NO … We are human …I will not be a Pakistani, I will not be an Indian .. my humanity does not permit me to take sides … i will stand for what is right … I will fight injustice …I will march for humanity … i will walk alone if need be … I will be human

In a chat group, I suggest to my Indo-Pakistani American friends that we write to the leaders of India and Pakistan …

“Hey guys … just a thought … only if everyone is agreeable … is to send something similar to the following draft to the New York Times Op-Ed or wherever.

Dear prime ministers Narendra Modi and Imran Khan. We implore both of you to take immediate steps to:
1. Deescalate the conflict between the two countries
2. Avoid the loss of any life
3. Discuss and resolve all outstanding issues including terrorism through dialogue and peaceful means”

Usually someone responds quickly and then others follow. Hours go by … the silence is deafening … it actually speaks volumes.

I ask three friends (of Pakistani and Indian origins) separately about their views … these are people I have known for sometime … one supports, one demurs and the third is silent.

An art project involving artists from both India and Pakistan displayed similarities in thought and inspiration [Photo courtesy: Pind Collective]
So what are the sentiments…here’s what I figured:

– Pakistan harbors terrorists who killed Indian soldiers … Pakistan must be punished .. war and strikes is the only response they’ll understand … the time for talks is over … (my impression of a common Indian view point).
– India tried to annex Kashmir as the Hindu maharaja of Kashmir requested, and has suppressed and tortured the majority Muslim population denying them a plebiscite for self-determination as per UN Resolution of 1948… some of the so called terrorists who resist Indian army’s atrocities are actually freedom fighters … Pakistan will defend itself and respond in kind … (my impression of a common Pakistani viewpoint).

Drums of war beat .. drums of war pound … nationalists thump their chests.

People will die though… the countries will burn … the back-breaking poverty will increase … millions rely to survive on daily wages … these countries will be further impoverished … if it goes nuclear millions could die and many more will be starved all around the world due to contamination of the atmosphere.

Oh, but this is all about politics… let’s love each other instead… let’s have our chai and samosas … let’s sing and dance.

I cry inside … I cry.

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