This incident happened last week in GermanyÂ when I was traveling in a train. A youngÂ man (in his early 30s) was sitting 2-3 rows behind me, talking on his phone in Punjabi. The accent was a bit different – not the usual Punjabi which I heard while I was in Mohali for 5 years.
After some time, I overhear a conversation between him and another gentleman, a German. The German asks him – “Where are you from“ ?
The guy says he is from India. On further questions, I hear him answering heÂ is from Punjab and then they talk about jobs/families and general topics, the details of which are irrelevant here.Â All this while, he was oblivious of the fact that one more Indian (that is me) was in the train because we were sitting 2 rows apart with backs facing towards each other as none of us could see each other.
After 20 minutes, when the German left (as he had to get down at his destination)…I changed my seat and went to the row where this Punjabi was sitting. I asked him, “Aap kahan se ho ?” pretending I didn’t overhear his previous conversation with the German. He replied in a confident voice “PUNJAB“. When I asked him, “Punjab mein kahan se ho aap, main bhi Chandigarh mein 5 saal rha hun…..”
He said, “Uss paar ke punjab se hun“. (I am from Punjab on the other side of the border ,i.e Pakistan)
I did not talk anything more about his nationality, nor did I nail his lie by saying I heard you saying to the German you were Indian. I thought it will create a bad scene and I was in no mood to enter into any argument. I did not touchÂ this topic and talked to him on various general topics for 5 – 10 mins after which IÂ had to get down.
But the question is : Are some of our brothers from the other side of the border so ashamed of telling people here that they are from PAKISTAN ? Why do they have to say they are from India ?? Just because foreigners cannot distinguish between two ?Â IÂ also talked to many of my friends living in various countries of Europe, USA and Canada. They also said that most of the Pakistanis call themselves as ‘Indians‘, ‘South Asians‘ etc. when they are asked about their country.Â It is high time these Pakistanis do some self-introspection. Are you afraid to associate yourself with Pakistan ?? If yes, you yourself very well know the answer behind it.
My dear Indian friends who have so much love for Pakistan and hatred for India, please open up your eyes.Â The world today holds India in much higher esteem than ever. Every country recognises India as the hub of Information-technology, space science, spiritual icon, fastest developing nation in the world,Â the landÂ which has given Yoga to the world and so on..
PS – On a short note, I really felt happy that at least my brothers from Pakistan also understand and acknowledge indirectly what the difference is between being recognised as an Indian and a Pakistani on a foreign soil. 🙂