ESSAYS: Chasing Fireflies

About what Punjabis on either side of the international border share

(Seminar / April 2012)

Pervaiz Elahi, Chief Minister of Pakistani Punjab, gave Capt. Amarinder Singh, his sarhad-paar counterpart, a horse. The good Captain reciprocated a few months later with a tractor. In the interim, a World Punjabi Conference was held, East and West Punjab games announced and a general atmosphere of cordiality and bonhomie prevailed. A reporter asked the Pakistani CM whether he felt he’d been one-upped by the Indian; if the eighty horses the tractor packed under its hood in effect trumped Pakistan’s solitary ghodi. Elahi laughed it off and said, ‘Muqabala mohabbat ka hai’, that the competition was one of love. The audience roared, the cameras clicked, the premises were awash in esprit de Kaur. Read more…

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