Monday, August 14

Happy Independence Day!

Yes ok, I admit it, I don't normally notice when it's the 14th of August. The only reason I remembered this morning was 'cos Geo was on the telly. I've written before (exactly a year ago, in fact) how I don't really feel the passion for Pakistan that some friends might, but I do see how it's important for some; especially when I have guests from Pakistan staying over.

I think it might be 'cos my family is of what some would call the mohajir (literally, refugee). I mean, technically, my family have now lived in the UK longer than they had done so in Pakistan so I don't think it's unreasonable not to feel connected. Not that I think I'm in a bad position 'cos of that: I reckon that not being "ethnically" from Pakistan helps give me and my family a kind of "balance" free from the more unnecessary parts of tradition and culture. On the other hand, I've never been to where my grandparents were born or where my roots truly lie. I've never been to my village or pind (innit).

Despite not really feeling Independence Day, I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like if partition hadn't occurred: I'd have never experienced Karachi for a start, and I'd have actually gone to Gujarat every couple of years instead (I've not yet in this reality). I may not even have made it to the UK.

The wider implications are more interesting though. The sub-continent would have been a massively different place. Better or worse than it is currently, I don't know. There'd be no Kashmir issue, sure, but partition happened for a reason so it's likely there would have been something else in its stead. But then perhaps we (that's a figurative "we" by the way) would have gotten over all that and spent time, effort and money becoming something pretty awesome. At the very least I wouldn't have had to spend 50 quid for a Visa to enter Bangladesh.

I'm rambling now; clearly I don't really know enough about the history and issues to write anything substantial. I do wonder though. Anyway, if you are celebrating today or tomorrow have a good 'un. And remember that although it's all good being independent and all, but it's even better working in a team. Oh my, I'm getting all teary now.