Hormones are surely stronger than man-made borders between countries. Examples abound of couples tying the knot across the Indo-Pakistan border. Celebrity tennis ace Sania Mirza and cricket player Shoaib Malik did so a few years back. Several other couples have found true love across the borders – some have met with success, some with disappointment.
Bollywood has capitalized on enmity between India and Pakistan in several of its movies. However, several directors have been bold enough to send out a message of peace and unity by depicting movies depicting the trials and tribulations of lovers from across the border. Of late, the imagination of script writers has become more vivid, what with RAW and ISI agents falling in love with each other, inviting the wrath of their respective bosses!
Movies like Henna and Veer-Zaara had no violent scenes and conveyed the message of love between India and Pakistan in a very mature and sensible manner. In Veer-Zaara, the spirit of sacrifice made by Veer (Shahrukh Khan) to protect the family honor of Zara (Preity Zinta) tugged at one’s heart-strings. A surprise twist in the tale lay in the subsequent revelation that Zara had crossed over to Veer’s village in India and was running a school in the memory of Veer’s foster parents.
Actresses from across the border have often found meaty roles in Bollywood movies. Nikaah (B R Chopra, 1982) featured Salma Agha. Henna used the talent of Zeba Bakhtiyar. Recently, Meesa Shafi played a role in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, 2013).
Bollywood has also captured the pangs of partition in various movies. Garam Hawa (M S Sathyu, 1973), Earth 1947 (Deepa Mehta, 1998), Hey Ram (Kamal Haasan, 2000) and Pinjar (Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, 2003) were well crafted. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag also made an effective portrayal of the pain, suffering and trauma associated with the holocaust.
The coming generations in both the countries are bound to be smarter than we are. They would also have the advantage of being free of our earlier generation’s emotional baggage. Time is a great healer, it is said. Hopefully, a day will dawn when the two countries would stop being pawns in the hands of other countries. Powers that be in both countries would one day realize that part of their massive military budgets can instead be used to fight their common war against hunger, poverty, malnutrition and education!