Love for Indian-Pakistani couple means moving across borders – to UAE

The Indian and Pakistani cricket rivalry has been on display at the Asia Cup 2018 in the United Arab Emirates. While the focus is on cricket, it is also highlighting another aspect of UAE as a home to many cross-border couples from India and Pakistan.

Couples who find love across the bitterly divided border in the subcontinent find it easier to live in UAE than in India or Pakistan. Pakistanis have trouble getting visas for India, and vice versa; and it gets harder every time there is a spurt in violence and upheaval across the border.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence; and relations soured further after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

High-profile couples like the Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star  Sania Mirza have a home in Dubai. An Agence France-Presse (APF) interview also featured couples like Kasim Vakkil, an Indian and his Pakistani wife Ghazala who are part of the UAE’s large South Asian community.  “My marriage would not have been possible if we were not living in UAE. Ghazala is from Lahore and I am from Mumbai but living at this neutral venue made our marriage possible.” Kasim told AFP.

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Dubai taxi driver Sunil Manohar, from India’s Karnataka state, married Nunda from Pakistan’s Sindh province after their families met in the UAE. “UAE is a nice place for cross-border families,” he said. “In the past, a few couples were stuck in Pakistan because they were not getting an Indian visa.”

An interesting video article in Khaleej Times also features the lives of such couple:

Many tech savvy couple also converge in popular facebook groups like IndoPakFamiles 

 

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Trudeau in India: Are traditional Indian attires ‘too Indian’ for modern Indians ?

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family, during a recent visit  to India made headlines with their flashy ‘Indian attire’ that got media and digirati debating.

One was the picture of Trudeau family in Sherwani and Sarees with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan

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And then the Trudeaus were spotted at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in a spiffy Punjabi attire

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And the visit to Sabarmati in somber Reds

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with his wife, Sophie, prays at the Sabarmati Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ahmadabad, India, on Monday, Feb 19, 2018. ─ AP

And at Akshardham like a newly wed Gujju couple

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O Canada: Perhaps the only exception to the desi-photo-op,  was the Trudeau family visit to Taj Mahal where they managed to look ‘naturally Canadian’ 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, their daughter Ella Grace and sons Hadrien and Xavier pose in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra

Why is this making headlines?

All this left many Indians wondering if the Trudeau family in ‘traditional Indian attires’ were trying to be a bit too Indian. 

In case you are wondering: Contemporary Indians, especially in urban cities are more comfortable in t-shirts and jeans.

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Perhaps the only time one sees young men awkwardly milling about in Sherwanis or silk Kurtas are at weddings and melas. Same goes for the globalized bharitya nari, who is more comfortable in pants and jeans and not Sarees and Bindis.

 

images collated from published sources in the media:

Book Review: Transit Lounge

Here we present a review of new book ‘Transit Lounge’ by Sunil Mishra.

Transit Lounge by [Mishra, Sunil ] Transit Lounge is a contemporary book consisting of short incidents, observations and reflections while travelling to 30 countries across six different continents during the last 15 years.

The book is a personal account of travels to places in Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Mauritius), South America (Venezuela and Argentina), Asia (China, Iran, Kuwait, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka,Malaysia and Thailand), Europe (UK, France, Italy,Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Georgia,Turkey, Croatia and Romania), USA, Australia and New Zealand.

It was interesting to observe all these different cultures and people from an Indian perspective. The book is a compilation of small incidents and events during such travels; it includes losing an air ticket, dealing with difficult custom officials or getting mugged in a prime location in a foreign country.”

Review by our Editor on Amazon:  “An entertaining and readable travelogue”

An adage – join the navy and see the world – applies in equal measure to this generation of Indian IT professionals who have gone global. Sunil Mishra has leveraged such an opportunity to capture the essence of his travels in the newly published book in which he collates his observations of cultures and people from a distinctly Indian perspective.

The fast-paced narrative is sprinkled with anecdotes and humor that seamlessly ties together his views into a readable book. He shrugs at incidents where he had to bribe customs officials and security guards, turning to humor; perhaps reflecting on his Indian background where such incidents are par for the course. In his narrative, the author also attempts to review the geopolitical and economic aspects of the countries he visited.

Sunil makes a point of ‘cookie cutter’ customer service he experiences at hotels and airlines, a fact that intrigues the frequent traveler in me. With all the choices of airlines, he continues to patronize Indian national carrier, Air India, more than a few times while observing its ‘declining ranking.’ Equally intriguing is the fact that Sunil, the frequent-traveler didn’t get to an ‘elite’ status with his preferred airline or hotel, which would have afforded him the “personal touch” he yearns for. (Perhaps add those tips to the next edition of the book?)

Bottomline: Transit Lounge is a nice, entertaining and readable travelogue.

[Review from a complimentary copy of the book received from the publisher.]

Questions on Adoption from the Gut-wrenching end to the Sherin Mathews saga

Americans and Indian Americans alike have been following the saga of Sherin Mathews, the sweet baby girl, that went missing from the home of her adopted parents in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Today, the media is reporting that

Police have found a body in the search for a three-year-old girl who went missing after her father reportedly sent her out of the house at 3am as a punishment.

Sherin Mathews has been missing since October 7 after being left in an alley by her home in Dallas, Texas, for refusing to finish her milk.

Police said the remains of a child had been found yesterday in a tunnel around half a mile from the family’s home. Officers said the body was “most likely” that of the missing toddler and efforts to officially identify it are underway today.

Sherin Mathews, who has been missing since October 7 CREDIT: RICHARDSON TEXAS POLICE DEPARTMENT

Wesley Mathews a native of Kerala in India and his wife Sini adopted the toddler’s from India. She was reportedly malnourished when the Mathews adopted her and police suspect that the little girl also had disabilities, which made it difficult for her to communicate. The three-year-old was last seen when her father reportedly took her outside at 3 AM and made her stand near a tree behind the family’s house as a type of punishment for not drinking milk.

Sherin Mathews saga does not end here, but rather raises more questions:

  • About parenting: The area behind the house is wooded and infested with wild coyotes.  What would possess a parent to leave a three-year-old near the house at 3 AM “as a type of punishment for not drinking milk” ?
  • About adoption: Adopting a child is hard enough (link). Will stories like this make it harder for innocent parents to adopt children from abroad?
  • About Indian-Americans: Incidents like these throw a spotlight on the South-Asian, Indian-American and NRI community. Not all the media attention will be positive.

 

Links:

Check out our earlier blog  NRIs have a hard time adopting a child. Maybe this is why

GaramChai.com – Adoption, Adopting, children and Indian Social Links

Dallas News: Missing Richardson girl was dumped in bushes before adoption brought orphan to U.S.

Indian Express: Adopted Indian girl missing in US: Police recovers a body in tunnel, ‘most likely’ to be of Sherin Mathews

Blasting news: Grandparents, adoption agency in India speak of Texas toddler Sherin Mathews

 

Picture of the day: Public Toilets for Transgenders #LGBT

India is a country of contradictions and diversity. The title of a Washington Post article sums it up best: India has outlawed homosexuality. But it’s better to be transgender there than in the U.S. (link)

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Picture of Toilet for Transgenders in a Public Bus stand in Bangalore

 

Indian Festival of Ganesha Chathurthi

The festival of Ganesha Chathurthi is being celebrated across India with a lot of fervor and devotion. GaramChai.com team invokes the blessings of lord Ganesha

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DJ SHEIZWOOD BIDS FAREWELL TO LORD GANESHA

You know that Ganeshotsav is here when the chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya fills the air, and there is a festive fervour where ever you look. Baarish Ke Bahane star bid farewell to Bappa with much grandeur

DJ Sheizwood happily posed for the camera as he bid farewell to Ganpati. While most immersed Ganesha idol in water bodies found around the city, he decided to go eco-friendly this time.

Dj Sheizwood danced his heart out and joined the procession up until the visarjan spot “Crowded, noisy yet full of life – with order in the chaos, the Ganesh Visarjan is quintessentially what Mumbai is all about” says DJ Sheizwood who gears up for his next single composition “Teri Yaad”sung by Babbu Maan

Independence Day: India celebrates 71st Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from Red Fort in Delhi

 

Interesting tweets

And Goole’s special doodle

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