India to Pakistan: Telling sore losers they’re beautiful

Published: February 20, 2015
Email

Almost 68 years of living in this complex and we finally won. We had lost in cricket but who cares; we won in the game and race of beauty. PHOTO: AFP/REUTERS

While it’s true that we Pakistanis are robustly enthusiastic about cricket and winning, it is also true that we are sour losers. A loss in cricket makes us sulk. A loss in cricket against India makes us downright treacherous to our own country.

While we licked our wounds after the match on Sunday, we looked around social media for any glimpse of hope that could redeem our burnt self-esteems.

The Indian cricket team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said,

“We should not forget that Pakistan has a better overall record than us. They are a fantastic side and it is never easy to beat them.”

Thanks Dhoni. We hate you, but it helped that you said that.

But this wasn’t enough was it? While hating on our beloved Pakistan, at the same time we needed someone to tell us that Pakistanis aren’t so bad; we needed to be reassured that it was okay to be Indian-defeated Pakistanis.

Basically, we needed yet another Indian to tell us we’re good at something.

Along came Rega Jha, editor of BuzzFeed India. She said something that we clung to like our lives depended on it. She said:

Thanks Ms Jha, we needed this. We have never heard of you before, didn’t know who you are, but we needed this from YOU.

This was music to our self-demeaning ears. Someone was telling us we’re good looking, that we’re hotter than Indians. An INDIAN was telling us that we’re hotter than INDIANS. Almost 68 years of living in this complex and we finally won. We had lost in cricket but who cares; we won in the game and race of beauty.

The India-Pakistan relationship always intrigues me. We’re like a divorced couple still obsessed with each other with a past of unfaithfulness, cheating, extreme insecurity and still battling over who gets the custody of our baby, Kashmir. I am not even going to try to question why everything with India and Pakistan has to become a competition and why each side wants to be better than the other. From advertisements, visits by foreign dignitaries, politics, borders, scandals, celebrities, sports, movies, dramas, culture, religion, GDP, employment, education, beauty, skin complexion, festivities, fashion, all the way to dealing with terrorism – we need to be better than our dear neighbours.

It’s like our forefathers separated us only to pit us together in everything. It’s almost as if Gandhi said,

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes. If we think we are better than Pakistan, we will become better than Pakistan.”

And if Jinnah said,

“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve…And your achievement will only be worthwhile if you beat the Indians at it”

Before and after the Pakistan and India match, we came across some interesting comments:

There were even more interesting replies to Rega Jha’s tweet:

How do we so easily forget that we were once the same country? If someone is calling Indians ugly, my dear Pakistanis, we were once Indian too. Someone in the previous generations of your family lived in India and was called an Indian. We are the same race, the same people.

On my visits abroad, people sometimes assume I am Indian. I can be all snobby about it and say,

“Uhhh no I am Pakistani, we look like Arabs not Indians.”

But what good would that do me? There are some incredibly beautiful Indians in this world, just as there are incredibly beautiful Pakistanis. Everything does not have to be a competition; despite what our politicians and the media say, we don’t always have to better and different.

There are enough differences between us as it is.

Sonal Arshad Siraj

Sonal Arshad Siraj

A student of psychology and social sciences, who likes to eat and write in that order. She tweets @Sonal_arshad (twitter.com/Sonal_arshad?lang=en)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.