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I vouch for India-Pakistan peace!

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Following is my testimony for India-Pakistan peace published in Pakistani newspaper 'The News International' on October 24, 2012 under the Aman ki Asha campaign, in which 'The News' partners The Times of India. It can also be read on the following link:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-14-139286-Let-us-be-friends-who-respect-each-others-differences


Testimonials

I believe in Romancing The India-Pakistan Border
“Namaste! I am Nidhi from India. The idea of Pakistan was always alien to me until I actually started exploring the detailed aspects of my doctoral thesis. I could not think of Pakistan as a ‘friend’ or a ‘brother’. Encounters with Pakistan happened only while cheering for India during cricket matches. These were full of jingoism, national pride and a hatred for the ‘other’.
My perspective changed drastically through the topic I selected for my academic thesis. As I began to explore the different facets of Pakistan and had the privilege of interacting with Pak…

Kevi Rite Jaish

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A Gujarati movie 'Kevi Rite Jaish' has just released and its been a long time since Gujarati movies have attracted audiences. I had never seen a Gujarati movie though I have been an avid follower of Marathi films which have taken a big leap in the last few years. If I understood the language, I would also have watched Bengali and Malayalam films which are known to produce the best regional films in India. Being brought up in Gujarat and having considered myself a Gujarati first, I was keen to watch the movie, more so when I came to know that it talked about the American obsession of the Patel community. 
Now about the movie. The movie is no doubt a fine attempt at transforming the canvas of Gujarati cinema. The last well made Gujarati film that you heard about was 'Des re joya pardes re joya'. Since then, there has been a dearth of good movies in Gujarati language. I wonder why? Gujaratis are a business community, but then they are well attuned to the arts and literat…

The Obsession with Food

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India's national obsession is food. Notwithstanding the fact that the country has a large population living below the poverty line, where the Prime Minister gleefully condemns malnutrition as a "national shame" but does not possess the guts to do anything about it. Not considering the fact that Indian weddings are more about food than about two souls taking lifetime vows. There is no region in the country where food is not loved. You go to the northern part and they will stuff you with food claiming that you should look like you have stayed there for sometime. Come to the western part and food, especially sweet and farsan are a must. We in fact love to shower love through food. The rule is if you love someone, just force him/her to gulp down food that he/she doesn't want to eat ... it is the best way to prove your love. So, mothers spoil children when they throw tantrums about food, we are happy to waste food in restaurants, a wife's love for her husband and her…

Satyamev Jayate

I wasn't quite attuned to the promos of Satyamev Jayate. Of course any venture of Aamir Khan has always make me sit up and notice! But this time, I am more than impressed! Satyamev Jayate is a show that is one of its kind. It is very creditable of a mainstream film artist, a popular hero to take up and discuss affront social and political issues that still plague our country. Not to say that we don't know about these issue. Of course we do and we lament over them day and night. But it is very rare that mainstream media talks about such serious issues and opens the forum for discussion. We need the media to talk about these issues and not shy away from them. So despite all the criticism and flak that the show is receiving, I salute Aamir for giving this show to India. Have ever since been hooked to the song "Mujhe kya bechaga rupaiya" from the third episode. Such a poignant way to tell the girls of India that don't care for anybody, just stand on your own feet an…

Dreamland Switzerland - II

This post is in continuation to the previous one about my experiences in the heaven called 'Switzerland'. From among all the places that we visited in this small but beautiful country, Interlaken was the most beautiful. It was a small yet charming town divided into East and West. You could almost walk through East and West and observe the natural beauty that made this country even more magnificent. The receptionist at the hotel which we were staying was a sweet and helpful lady who had a particular expression on her face when we returned after sight seeing. She used to forget that we had deposited the room keys with her. On asking for the room keys after our return to the hotel, she used to say, "Awmmmmmm...I forgot!!" These words, I shall never forget because even today as we remind ourselves of the joyous memories of our journey, remembering her words make us laugh. I vividly remembered her name, until I left Switzerland.

Travel in Switzerland is the most tourist …

Dreamland ... Switzerland - I

I don't know what took me so long to write this post. May be I was trying to refresh memories of our honeymoon to Switzerland. The point is I will never forget this trip and there are many reasons for it. It is very rare that you see someone describing their honeymoon but how to resist when the place you have visited is the most beautiful one in the world, a perfect destination for romantic souls, love-birds. There could have not been a better place to visit and make the trip a memorable one so much so that memories still keep lingering in my mind of those 7 days which I spent along with my hubby in this beautiful, peaceful, scenic and quiet nation.

What is so peculiar about Switzerland that many call it 'heaven on earth'? I remember that as a young child I had visited this awesome place but back then I was not so mesmerized by it as I am now. I was not able to understand and appreciate its calmness and beauty. This time I looked and viewed it not only from the eyes of a t…

निराकरण की खोज में "युगांतर"!

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"Yugaantar" signifies the transition from one era to the other. A situation that is desirable, sustainable and progressive. We all would wish to undertake such a journey and achieve this transition to something that is better than the current state we are in. Not only individuals, but nations across the world are trying to enter into such a progressive state of affairs. Who is supposed to play a role in this transition? Who will lead this change? Is it possible to attain such a model era of governance and prosperity in India? What is the role that youth of the country will play in such a mode of transformation? These and some other pertinent questions and curiosities gave birth to the idea of "Yugaantar" which culminated into a National Youth Conference on "Youth for Socio-Political Changes in India" at the M.S.University of Baroda. I was privileged to be a part of this conference right from the very beginning when the seed of thought for the event was so…

Lake City - Bhopal

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It is always a different feeling to be in a city other than yours ... a city so much like your own...A week ago I was in Bhopal to attend a conference on media diversity and plurality. I have always had some strange kind of affection and attachment towards Bhopal. The reason being ... it is my father's home-town. He spent his childhood there and gained his higher education in that city. He always had special memories associated with it. He used to fondly recall to me the time he spent there, how he and his friends went to watch movies on his scooter, his days at the Gandhi medical college. It felt good to hear from him about the city ...it was as if the city came alive in front of me when he talked about it. For me it was a treat to be in Bhopal for a few days, meet relatives and friends who received me very warmly ... as if I was one of them and meet a friend whom I had not seen in years.


Bhopal, being the capital of Madhya Pradesh (M.P) has all the grandeur that a capital city …