With a variety of shows, written by award-winning novelists, literary stalwarts and adapted from famous novels and books, Zindagi aims to showcase stories of those from across the world that share similar cultural backgrounds, morals and values that are also intrinsic to India.
Indo Pak relations, for me, was a topic that belonged to the textbooks. I never gave any thought to it, apart from rolling my eyes when there were any talks of “peace”. Why? I guess it was because I was told terrible stories about the Partition. My relatives had suffered during those days. Mention Pakistan and they would either get nostalgic and start telling me wonderful stories of their childhood in Sindh or would get anguished, with tears in their eyes.
I remember once as a part of my college project, I had spoken to my aunt about Pakistan. She started off with a smile describing their house, the fruits that grew in the garden, the weather, the kulfi wala who would give them extra malai and so many wonderful things. But soon, I could see anger flashing in her eyes. She was just 12 when Partition took place and within a week, she had to run away from her house in the middle of the night with a few possessions that she could hold in her tiny hands. She still regrets the fact that she did not get a chance to say goodbye to her friends. Life in India for refugees was difficult, but slowly things started changing for the better and my aunt and her family managed to settle down in Mumbai.
These stories and little nuggets of information that I came across throughout the years actually shaped my outlook towards our neighborus. I looked upon them with suspicion, convinced that they were all the “bad guys” and we, i.e. India were the “good guys’.
It is funny how little things can completely change your perspective. For me, it was the Zindagi Indiblogger meet.
I had come across the channel before when it was running test signals and the content seemed interesting. The language, surprisingly was beautiful. It was only when I got an email from Indiblogger that I realized that Zindagi was a new channel that would air Pakistani content. I must admit I was intrigued.
And it was this curiousity that made me cancel my tickets, beg the travel agency to give me tickets for the 21st (yes, the day of the meet) after 8 in the evening and convince my parents to let me attend it. Did I regret my decision? You will find out soon enough.
On 21st, I left for The Leela with my pretty friend Nithya (You will see her photo soon enough) in the Metro. Boy was I excited.
After filling our tummies with wonderful food, Nithya and I, along with our new blogger friends entered the ballroom, waiting in anticipation for the meet to begin.
To my delight, I realized that the Indiblogger team had done something magical. The Mumbai and Delhi meets were going to be hosted live and we could see and hear each other. Truly a #JodeyDilonKo idea!
These are the awesome technicians who made this possible!
As excited I was about the meet, let me be truthful. I wasn’t going to forgive Pakistan so easily. I still had a little bit of hatred in me. It was in this meet that I began my 10 step journey from hatred to love.
Step 1: Making an attempt to hear the other side
I had taken a small step towards trying to understand Pakistan’s culture by attending this meet.
Step 2: Keeping an open mind
Hatred won’t get you anywhere, an open mind and willing ears will take on a true part of self discovery
Step 3: No scoffing
The minute I saw Imran Abbas enter, I thought, ‘Here’s another pretty boy trying to promote his films” But I was so wrong!
Step 4: Admitting that you could be wrong
When I heard Imran talk so passionately about his country, patiently answering all the questions and trying hard to make us realize that there was no difference between us really, I realized that my hatred was unfounded.
Step 5: Opening up to new ideas
A close mind can only increase hatred, an open mind can bring in some wonderful ideas; like what Zindagi is doing. They are trying to bring two countries together through the medium of television.
Step 6: Taking baby steps
A problem as complex as Indo Pak relations can hardly be solved over a blogging meet. However, taking baby steps in the right direction is essential in the hope that one day, all will be well.
Step 7: Embracing each other’s thoughts, values and culture
The TVC’s of the shows made me realize how similar and how different our cultures are! It was an eye opener. The forum discussion towards the end was wonderful and I got to know many new things.
Step 8: Letting love germinate
Once I was past my silly hatred, I could not help but admire Pakistan’s beauty, its language and its culture.
Step 9: Realizing that we are just separated by an imaginary line
When a few bloggers got up to speak about their experiences in Lahore and Karachi, I was touched. Their stories made me realize that the two countries don’t hate each other. They are just separated because of the selfish political interests.
Step 10: Love can conquer all
At the end of the meet, I was brimming with joy. I could now finally love my neighbours, without feeling guilty. This meet proved that love can truly conquer all.
I forgot tell you about my most favourite moment! All the bloggers singing Happy Birthday for our blogger friend! You can look at her beaming face on the screen. 🙂
If I have to sum up my entire experience, I would probably depict it this way J
Here’s a little information about them.
Starting June 23, Zindagi will bring viewers in India stories from across the border, starting with stories from Pakistan that embrace universal emotion.
Entertainment is seamless as it cuts across boundaries and across all strata of society. With the message of ‘Jodey Dilon Ko’, Zindagi will touch hearts and break barriers to relate with people living across borders.
Its philosophy is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam- The World is my Family” and aims to united people in India and across the world with shows produced overseas.
This post has been written as a part of a contest hosted by Indiblogger and Zindagi. For more information, you can check out zindagitv.in