This Indian and Pakistani showed how borders can never divide people


It’s been 69 years since the partition of India and Pakistan uprooted people from their homes overnight. An entire generation of that time live with scars they’d rather forget. Scars that speak more of despair than hate. Today, young generations on either sides are growing up judging and rejecting each other without really ‘knowing’ each other. In a very original way, two girls-complete strangers from either sides, have shown both nations that ‘we’ are not so different after all.

In a report by The Indian Express, in February, Delhi Poetry Slam published a video of Shivani Gupta’s poem addressed to an unnamed girl in Pakistan titled ‘Dear girl from Pakistan’ where she poured her heart out in a monologue mentioning how she would like to know about just another girl from the neighbouring country without any pre-conceived notions that are otherwise attached to citizens from the two countries. The poem reached thousands in Pakistan and a Lahore-based writer named Luavut Zahid wrote an article, after personally connecting with Shivani, on how the poem moved her.

“Dear girl from Pakistan,

I know it has taken me 69 long years but I hope it is not too late for me to say,

Forget about what’s in the news,

Tell me, how was your day?”

The poem, which flows like a conversation with a girl from the ‘other side’, drives home the point that communication between the two can be and must be divorced from what’s happened in the past; from the time they haven’t lived in. In her poem, Shivani asks the girl about her favourite songs and movies, just like two strangers would in real life.

“I know nothing about you except that we’re separated by a border not created by us

A bus goes from my country to yours

That’s how close we are

A bus goes from my country to yours


And that’s how far,”

In a poetic response, a young girl from across the border recited a poem titled ‘Dear girl from India’ answering a few questions Shivani had asked, and resonating her emotions on the prejudices and presumptions the two countries hold silently, but explicitly.

She wrote:

“Hearts are never separated by borders,

come let’s create a vision much broader

where there are no feelings of enmity,

where there are no feelings so gritty

Yes I am a girl, a human just like you

whose heart dances when her mother kisses her goodnight

whose heart disgusts at violence with all her might

whose favourite movie is the one with a happy ending

whose scared of hatred still pending…”

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