Divided by beliefs 

​A Pakistani Sindhi and a Sikh Punjabi strike an interesting conversation living in a student accommodation in Australia. 

Sindhi: So what are you studying and where?

Punjabi: I’m studying at University of South Australia and doing a Masters by Research. And you?

Sindhi: I’m also studying at UniSA and doing my Masters in Engineering. So what are you researching?

Punjabi: I’m researching Australia India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

Sindhi: What’s that?

Punjabi: Australia and India are trying to negotiate a free trade agreement between themselves. This will help in abolishing a lot of trade barriers like customs, duties, taxes, legal impediments, bureaucratic red tape, corruption, non-commercial barriers, etc.

Sindhi: Hang on! Isn’t India a great country and doing great under Modi’s leadership? Didn’t that demonetisation thingy and IT help India cut back on corruption?

Punjabi: Great country my foot! In India a cow’s life is better than a woman’s life. People get killed if they kill a cow and nobody does anything to stop such murders. But if women get raped the conviction rate is less than ten percent.

Sindhi: I thought Pakistan was much worse. 

Punjabi: Ha…religion is irrelevant when you have the same blood, culture and values.

Sindhi: Oh yes! When intent is same, religion is irrelevant. But isn’t India going to overtake China in the near future? You guys have such a big consumer market and been to the Moon and Mars. 

Punjabi: Never! Indian economy is more internal because of it’s size. It’s never going to be like China. Moreover, in order to marginalise and breakup Pakistan India is going to break itself up. China is investing more than fifty billion dollars in that corridor up to Gwaadar port. China and Pakistan will destabilise Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab if Chinese investment is threatened. War will pull the whole region backward.

Sindhi: Oh yes! You guys have problems in the North and North East. I’m aware about that.

Punjabi: Most of the people living beyond Delhi are cowards. It’s only Punjabis living in both countries that are the real deal. Rest are just sheeps. 

Sindhi: I agree. Punjabis are very dominant in Pakistan too. I am also a Punjabi but my family lives in Karachi. We have our business there. Anyways, it was nice meeting you. I got to go. See you soon.

They meet again the next day in the living room and watch TV together. While they are chatting, it comes up in the news that Pakistani army has killed two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies and militants have shot five policemen in Kashmir Valley. 

And a strange silence prevails between them. But then they both laugh it away knowing fully well of the stupid intentions behind the border skirmishes. While their soldiers are involved in tit for tat at the borders they live in the same building as good neighbours. They meet every day, share smiles and ask about each other’s welfare as culturally good brothers ought too. But behind their smiles they hide their pain and feel sorry at the stupidity of their leaders. They are divided by faith but united by same skin, culture, blood and values in a foreign land.

Wretched lonely night 

My night is wretched and lonely,

Waiting for my one and only,

Who will cherish my days,

Who will ravish my nights,

I see your shimmering light,

On the horizon of my mind,

Although it’s middle of my night,

The hope of your dawn’s hour,

Makes me feel so very near,

And I see it all very clear,

That your love is so very kind,

That it’s breaking all my traps behind,

And keeping me two steps ahead,

Of all that is viciously wretched,

Just by meditating upon you O’ my beloved,

And forgiving all that is done and dead,

I thank you my wretched loneliness,

For making me worthy of holiness,

And uniting my heart and intelligence, 

Which were otherwise filled with darkness,

In the absence of your benevolence.







 

Crushing the devil 

Today in my la-la land,

I found few serpents,

Creeping and coiling around,

My mind’s court yard,

I crushed them all,

With my spade,

But one of them,

Was too adamant,

Before it could bite,

And poison my soul,

I caught hold of it,

By it’s cervix,

And it tightly coiled,

Around my hand,

And showed it’s fangs,

Before it could,

Break my wrist,

I loosened it’s grip,

And tied it in a knot,

But then my dream broke,

And I woke up distraught, 

I thought and thought,

And tried to interpret,

The meaning of my nightmare,

Only to become aware,

That it was the devil,

Himself in this upheaval, 

And I was about to crush him,

Just like the lion crushed him,

Under his feet,

Before he was crucified. 





Lighthouse 

​It’s only because of your light,

That I am not yet lost,

In this treacherous stormy night,

Otherwise the winds are heavy,

Enough to break my lifeboat,

And the waters are thirsty, 

Enough to drink my lifeblood,

Please keep the light burning,

Until the storm is churning, 

My yearning soul, 

Until I’m ashore,

Out of harm, 

And in your arms. 

Desires and shadows 

​You are the source,

Of all my troubles,

The mother of,

My overwhelming impulses,

One who helps,

To satisfy them,

Is a friend, 

The one who,

Obstructs is a foe,

Luckily-unluckily,

I have many foes,

And my desires,

Have many shadows,

Like anger, greed, attachment, hubris,

Fear, criticism, cynicism, and praise,

Together they have conquered,

My crazy heart and mind,

They have destroyed my peace,

And imprisoned my lovesick seele (German for soul),

I am so sad now,

That I want to,

End my life,

But what if,

There’s no peace,

If I die?

ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਨਾਰ 

​ਮੈਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਵਿਚਾਰੀ ਅਬਲਾ ਨਾਰੀ,

ਬਲਕਿ ਤਲਵਾਰ ਹਾਂ ਦੋ ਧਾਰੀ,

ਉਹ ਖਸਮੁ ਹੀ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਰਦ,

ਦਿਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਜਿਸਦੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਦਰਦ,

ਮੇਰੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਨੂੰ,

ਯਾਦ ਰੱਖੋ ਇਸ ਗੱਲ ਨੂੰ,

ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਉਹ ਹੈ ਅੰਦਰੋਂ ਥੋਥਾ,

ਬਾਹਰੋਂ ਲੱਗਦਾ ਜੋ ਡਾਢਾ ਚੋਖਾ, 

ਪਰ ਮੈਂ ਹਾਂ ਅੰਦਰੋਂ ਮਜ਼ਬੂਤ,

ਪਿਆਰ ਨਾਲ ਰੱਖਾਂ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਸੂਤ,

ਉਹ ਹੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਹੀ ਪੁੱਤ,

ਰੱਖਾਂ ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਸਦਾ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੁੱਖ,

ਸੁਣਾਂ ਉਸਦੇ ਦੁੱਖ-ਸੁੱਖ,

ਕਰਾਂ ਜਿਸਦਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਟੁੱਕ, 

ਤਲਵਾਰ ਬਣ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਬਚਾਵਾਂ,

ਨਾਰ ਬਣ ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਰਿਝਾਵਾਂ,

ਪਰ ਮੈਂ ਭੁੱਲ ਕੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਔਕਾਤ, 

ਕਈ ਵਾਰੀ ਕਰਦੀ ਹਾਂ ਬਕਵਾਸ, 

ਫਿਰ ਮੈਂ ਕਰਾਂ ਖਸਮ ਉਜਾੜਾ,

ਪਾ ਕੇ ਨਿੱਤ ਨਵਾਂ ਪੁਆੜਾ,

ਸਮਝੇ ਮੈਂਨੂੰ ਜਦੋਂ ਮੇਰਾ ਭਗਵਾਨ,

ਤਾਂ ਚੁੱਪ ਦਾ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ਾਂ ਦਾਨ,

ਮੇਰੇ ਪਿੱਛੇ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਨਰਾਇਣ,

ਪੜ੍ਹੋ ਮਹਾਂਭਾਰਤ ਜਾਂ ਰਮਾਇਣ,

ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਹਾਂ ਆਦਿ ਸ਼ਕਤੀ,

ਮੈਂਥੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ ਅਧੂਰੀ ਹੈ ਭਗਤੀ।