So I have been having a chat with friends why I am not feeling the love when it comes to the Fair and Lovely-isation of partition memories, of history, of closure. There is a problem when one comes up with naive approaches to what vexes us. Don’t go into a gendered, class, colour inquiry into why Preeto from next door didn’t cut it for that high flying job—slap on some fairness lotion and it will all be OK.
I wish I knew why I was so angry. Is it because like everything else, an angst that has plagued my generation, is now up for “commodification” too? Forget problematic ideas of nationalism, bureaucracy, foreign policy, visa regimes, the military industrial complex—all that we needed was a better search engine.
Am I exhausted with more of this It Aint Getting Fixed Until YOU Come Over And Make Up. This, this subtext...we left and I am not coming back, even if I miss you so. That the “happily every afters” can only happen recreating a bit of Lahore in Delhi. For you know who watches cricket, flies kites, fumbles with biryani IN A LAHORE KITCHEN. Civilization, culture, humour tou him is paar le aaye. For across Wagah is where the Wild Things Are.
Or am I amused with how Dadaji ki mithai ki dukaan tou hadap hi li paying for that overpriced air ticket..For let us just sanitise any mention of crossing on foot, trains; lest Train to Pakistan starts coming up in their Google search results.
Or is it because I cannot take any more of this “baat nikli tou har ek baat pe rona aaya” approach towards our lives here, memories of there. That you have a good cry, vent and then make peace with status quo. Forever conflict avoidance, never conflict resolution. Having these Hallmark, ah! I have something in my eye episodes just reminds me of how Merinissi has referred to women and shrine/sanctuary culture. It is therapeutic for them as they could then openly give vent to their emotions: grief, frustration et al—but then it also robs them of the ability and energy to bring about any change. For surprise, surprise there is no anger left in them anymore. And until there is anger, dear Google there can be no change. I would have rather the ad agency had been given a different brief, get them angry enough to change the way things are for them, help them search for a way that friends do not keep pining for each other in different ISD codes.
Throw that up for me in my search results, please, for I am done crying.