For seven decades, the egos of the people of India and Pakistan have fed each other on hate! Like every year, I chose not to watch the world cup cricket yesterday. While on the face people may say ‘Cricket is just a game’, if observed from expressions, it has actually become a sub-conscious manifestation of war!

I therefore prefer arts, music and literary pursuits as through these, both nations can win in the process!

In 2014, during a visit to the site of the beautiful building of the erstwhile gurdwara at Mansehra in Pakistan, which now serves as the Municipal Library, I was welcomed by Mr. Abbasi Sahib, the librarian. He had hosted me with love, taking keen interest to decipher the Gurmukhi writings on the premises that were abandoned in the partition of 1947. When I again drove through the city of Mansehra in 2017, I felt a magnetic pull to meet Mr. Abbasi. I guess our embrace at the entrance of the erstwhile gurdwara says it all!

Now that the ‘fever of cricket’ has subsided, having only served to further strengthen the sub-conscious of hate towards one another, I am reminded of Guru Nanak’s words,

Jo Tu Prem Khelan Kaa Chhau, Sir Dhar Talee Galee Meri Aao,
Eit Maarag Paer Dhareejai, Sir Deejai Kaan Na Keejai.

If you desire to play the ‘game of love’, step forward having banished your ego,
Stepping on this path, having submitted the ego, do not ever whimper!

Photographed in Jan 2017, during the research for the book “THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”