Today's blog resembles the classic Shakespeare play Romeo & Juliet. Only instead of competing FAMILIES we have competitive NATIONS. On one side, we have the mighty Capulet family (INDIA) who dominate the region . On the other side, we find the rival Montegue family (PAKISTAN) who aspire to similar greatness. The two are not at war, but engage in constant skirmishes with each other.
In this version of the classic play, Juliet is represented by SANIA MIRZA. A famous tennis star, she is the FIRST INDIAN WOMAN to win a WTA title. However, she is also a constant source of controversy, as many conservatives disapprove of her short skirts. Our Romeo is SHOAIB MALIK. He's the former captain of the PAKISTANI CRICKET TEAM, which is by far the most popular sport in the former British colony. Both are tabloid favorites in their respective nations, as they are not only talented athletes but beautiful celebs as well.
Just as the Montegues and Capulets fought, so do India and Pakistan. The British Empire grouped them in the same colony. But when post-war independence came, it became apparant the two could never exist together. Just as in a fairy tale, when the clock struck midnight on August 14, 1947 things turned ugly. Two new and independent nations were created. Violent riots followed, with refugees scurrying across the new international borders. Diplomatic hatred has dominated relations between the two for the next sixty years.
But back to our play. The next scene is a sports award show, where our two famous athletes meet and fall in love. Both lovers know how they will be recieved at home...with hatred and animosity. Nonetheless, their love is too great and they announce their engagement to marry. For months, the TIMES OF INDIA and the KARACHI DAILY NEWS have run scandolous front-page stories about the two. HE has a former fiancee. HER family objects. Nevertheless, on Monday, in a lovely ceremony in Hyderabad, the two took their vows and became man and wife.
Wait a second! Romeo and Juliet never got married! Indeed, this version of Shakespeare is no tragedy. The two are now happily honeymooning. It seems love does conquer hate. And who knows? Maybe the Pakistanis who spend their days plotting to bomb famous Bombay hotels will see this and have second thoughts. Maybe those Indians who burn the homes of Islamic neighbors will as well. After all, we're all just people who can fall in love with anyone, regardless of what everyone else thinks.