Ek Sarah sarhad paar, aur iss paar…..(A Sarah beyond the borders, and one within the borders)



My FB notification said that she had posted something on my timeline, so the first thing that I see in the morning on my timeline is someone writing to me that they miss me. It made me smile, smile and be filled with hope. A lot had been occupying my mind when I had to hear some another news, which stumped me. Knowing no other way to channel what I was feeling, I re-read the post by my friend, and I remembered the last time she had told me she wished I wrote about her on my blog. So there it goes Sarah, this one is especially for you. ❀

Did I ever tell you I have another friend named Sarah? That Sarah I had first encountered during admissions interview for Journalism at a DU college. She was sitting with her mother and I remember vividly her mother going on and on about how she was the humanities topper πŸ˜› (Sorry Sarah haha). I ultimately decided for another college to pursue my bachelors in Journalism, but little did I know that I would wound up with that Sarah there as well. And funnily enough, we wound up together during our masters as well. Yes, so 5 years I was stuck with her, had to bear with her haha. We had our ups and downs, there were times I hated her, and she too, yet truly time is a great teacher and a healer. Just the other day I was whatsapping with her. Her tremendous energy and zeal amazes me, do you know Sarah I have always thought what a great sense of comic timing you have? Yesterday my Brit friend remarked how funny I am, maybe that is because of you! Know that I love you and hold you dear, despite everything. πŸ™‚

But the above Sarah is not the Sarah of sarhad paar (beyond my country’s borders) Sarah. Perhaps this inextricable link meant I forged a unique friendship with another Sarah, born and brought up in a country beyond the enemy lines. I believe every kid in India grows up learning how Pakistan is India’s arch-enemy, and vice-versa. I have been very lucky, my father due to his official obligations had to make frequent trips to Pakistan, owing to which many of my pre-concieved notions and prejudices melted away. I can’t really recall how Sarah and I became friends. I tried scrolling back to our whatsapp and FB conversations, but there were far too many!!! We encountered each other while at a youth conference in Russia. We were at a camp near Lake Seliger, where youth from over 130 countries had participated. It was an exhilarating experience! And also my first encounter with many people from Pakistan. It was a sheer joy to meet them, why you might ask? Well my father had told me many tales from his time at Pakistan and their hospitality. Coupled with my penchant for Pakistani TV series and Fawad Khan, interacting with people from there was like rekindling long lost friendships. But that is not when Sarah and I became friends. We knew each other and had said hi maybe once or twice? There was an Indian guy we used to tease her with, jokingly singing Veer-Zaara (a Bollywood Indo-pak love story). But beyond that we never really interacted. I did think though that she was absolutely beautiful πŸ™‚ you still are Sarah haha (and you are NOT fat -_-)

Remember though the Sarah of iss paar? (within my country’s border?) and that we wound up with each other in our masters as well? It was during this masters that I had visited Russia. Perhaps at that time the Sarah of sarhad paar was not required. My mother has a strong faith in destiny, and I too have a strong belief in the same. It may sound irrational to many, but so many times in retrospect I have realised events have occurred or fallen into place when it was meant to be. Maybe that is why when the Sarah of sarhad paar and I were in Russia, we did not become friends. I physically parted with the Sarah of iss paar when I made a temporary move to the Netherlands for a double masters. I knew that by that time the Sarah of sarhad paar had gotten married. She looked gorgeous in all the pictures she had posted on FB. Have I told you I always thought you had an impeccable sense of style? haha, no do not think so. But I think it was my move to the Netherlands and her move to France that finally brought us together.

She would ask me about all the places I had visited, and I would help her in planning, especially when she and her husband decided to visit Amsterdam. We met in Amsterdam when she finally visited it. And it was the most natural thing, we just could not stop talking! Now as I have mentioned in my previous blogpost, I tend to talk, A LOT. And when I am super duper comfortable with someone, I talk even more. Accentuated by the fact that Sarah too is a veritable talker, I do not think we stopped talking even once!! Haha, I have a feeling her husband felt awfully trapped between our chappar, chappar!! But beyond our talkative nature, I think being on our own in an alien environment helped us connect. She and I would, and still discuss personal matters, family troubles, my guy troubles! When she decided to study for GRE and scored a high one! I was so proud. Honestly, I do not know how she manages it with incorrigible in-laws and duties of an ideal daughter-in-law! I have trouble here managing my study schedule, and there she is managing an entire house herself! Now she complains a LOT about how fat she is, I honestly wish I could slap her. You are gorgeous girl. Do not befall yourself in this mindless run for unattainable beauty (read: false) standards. For the longest time I was insecure about my nose, but I realise now, that it’s my nose which makes me cute hahaha!

I highly respect the relationship with your husband, it is adorable, and touchwood. Haha, I still remember how you dressed him up in matching sweaters and cap for Amsterdam and Switzerland πŸ˜› Hats off to him, he really does love you ❀ and you truly deserve it. I always feel you undermine yourself, but in my head you are this incredibly strong and intelligent woman. Think of all the jobs you did, your start up FB group. That requires some serious skills πŸ˜› Oh and the kids that you teach. I admire how you straddle your individuality in the wake of getting married. Many a times I make notes in my head, for when I get married in the future!

But did I forget about the Sarah of iss paar! Ofcourse not. This Sarah has her own wonderful superhuman abilities. She knows the Indian constitution by heart! By jove, the girl is just jaw-dropping! I met you recently in Delhi, my heart nearly broke on seeing you, but remember our talks on feminism, critical theory, Modinomics, complaining majorly about Jamia, trying to drive away Shubhra’s stalkers!! If you are perpetually late and just wing things at the moment, my nature of hyperventilating and submitting everything before time, I would say we as opposites attracted each other, and still do πŸ˜› Know that your knowledge and mind, are the strongest assets and weapons you have. I picture you as this hot-shot political analyst. I know times for you are hard right now, and I do not imagine even understanding what you are going through, but you have in you an incredible strength and the power of gab.

Even though I had started the blogpost thinking it will be solely about the Sarah of sarhad paar, in due process I realised that the two Sarah’s in my life entered when I needed them the most. Both managed to make their way into my everyday quotidian life, firmly entrenching themselves, becoming an important emotional and moral support. So much so that in my head, that the lines between sarhad paar and iss paar have all but blurred.

Painting: Two Little Girls by Vincent Van Gogh




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