Scepticism to bonhomie

india_pak_flag295x200Last November I was in Munich, Germany. It was a bright day after a series of gloomy rainy days but by the time I completed my work, the day was almost finished. Since the flight was next day, I decided to utilize some idle time for going around the city-who knows when will be the next time I come here. So I took some directions from concierge at hotel who handed me a subway map, I reached the subway station a five minute walk from hotel and reached the city centre in 20 minutes. It was five already, I thought the best thing to do would be to take a walking tour.  The tour finished by 7, I was planning to collect some souvenirs, have food and leave for the hotel.

Just then I heard a voice asking me “Can you please take a photograph” without waiting for my reply the person handed his cellphone in my hand. It was a blackberry, without much thought I said yes. He was a well built, tall man in his mid thirties, black hair and a well kempt beard, I was nearly certain this guy is an Indian. I took his photograph and out of courtesy told him to check if the photograph was fine. It wasn’t, I took another one but the dark of evening didn’t help matters. I apologized, asked him if he had switched on the flash in his cellphone. He said yes and then stared briefly at the cellphone rolling it in his hand as if he was unsure of what to do next, he muttered to himself “pata nahi kya masla hai” (Don’t know what the problem is?) a knowing smile flashed across my face. He noticed my smile and asked me where I was from, “India” I said, he smiled back and said “main Pakistan se hun“(I am from Pakistan) It was similar sounding Amritsari accent that I so often hear my in-laws break into. Continue reading

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