PUNE: A bit of shopping, a touch of laughter -- some good food
-- and a whole lot of bonhomie made for a day well-spent on Wednesday when the wives of the IT committee members from Pakistan, in Pune under the Aman ki Asha initiative, were given a flavour of what the city has to offer.
"Coming to India as part of the Aman ki Asha initiative is one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I was here last year as well (in New Delhi) and the love and hospitality showered on us is simply overwhelming," said Naeema Humayun Bashir, wife of Humayun Bashir, country head, IBM, Pakistan. "One was a little apprehensive before coming here, but you (Indians) are amongst the finest people. Everywhere we have been, we have been received with warmth and humility," she added.
First stop. A private clothing cum accessories boutique in Aundh, where the ladies checked out the styles on offer. "It's a lovely change to shop here," said Saima Salman, wife of Salman Akhtar, CEO of the Pakistan-based software company, Techlogix. "The karigari and cuts are different, so is the work on the jewellery. I am also looking forward to going to Mumbai, where my chacha resides. I believe that is also a nice shopping hub."
Looking through the reams of saris and ethnic fabric, Saima said: "India and Pakistan both have such a proud heritage to look up to. Be it terms of clothing or our respect for the institution of family, we have our own value system and culture, and that is something we must work hard to preserve. Westernisation is fine in its place, but not at the cost of our own identity."
For Rubina Naseer Akhtar, wife of Infotech CEO Naseer Akhtar, coming to India was the fulfilment a long-standing wish. "It has totally lived upto my expectations. The people, the hospitality, the warmth, there is so much that is common between us. We enjoy Hindi movies and music in Pakistan, and while the latest musical hits include Munni Badnaam Hui and Sheila Ki Jawaani - we, the older generation love the old Hindi songs of Rafi and Mukesh," she said. Watching the Pune traffic - to say nothing of women passing by on two-wheelers-kids in tow - was another enjoyable sight. "It is just great to see so many ladies on the roads - working, shopping, running errands," said Naeema. While Rubina added: "Increasingly, women in Pakistan, too are contributing to the workforce in various sectors, and that's a great thing."
So be it shopping for Lucknawi Chikan kurtas, or savouring a variety of dosas -- from masala to rava to Mysore - or nibbling typical Puneri savouries like bakarwadi and amba burfi - or browsing through the gems and stones at the Kashmiri boutiques in Koregaon Park, the ladies said they loved every moment of their day. "Dilon mein to basay ho hi, ab ghar pe aao," rounded off Saima Salman.
Now that's one invitation straight from the heart.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Ironically, it was the words of the Indian Army Chief that made many journalists covering the tensions at LoC take the first pause in the ba .....more
When it comes to democracy in Pakistan and the Indo-Pak peace process, the use of the word 'irreversible' is akin to tempting fate and worse. .....more
The presence of United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) is once again in the limelight in the backdrop of tensio .....more
The recent bloody violations across LoC have proved that the project peace between India and Pakistan remains fragile as ever. Such is the baggage .....more
Page 116 of 174
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw