From Gurgaon With Love Jinne L’hore Nahi Takya, O Jamya Nahi

  • Abhishek Behl
  • India
  • Dec 23, 2011
Ammad Aziz, Omair Shabbir, and Sabahuddin Sulaiman – students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences, popularly known as LUMS. The trio had come to MDI Gurgaon on a student exchange programme.



They had come from Pakistan, with a lot of apprehensions and misgivings about India. But a three months stay in Gurgaon proved otherwise — for Ammad Aziz, Omair Shabbir, and Sabahuddin Sulaiman. Students of the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences, popularly known as LUMS, the trio had come to MDI Gurgaon on a student exchange programme. LUMS is also the alma mater of the current Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Ammad, the most vocal of the three, says that when they had left Lahore, they were very scared—because of the bad vibes between the two countries. “But when we reached here, we realised that there was no difference between the two countries. We are the same people, with the same land and culture”, says Aziz, who was particularly impressed by the Delhi-Lahore Bus service. The motor-cyle escort given to this bus particularly impressed the trio, who also forged a friendship with one of the helpers on board. “Amar Singh was our first friends in India. He is a great guy, and we appreciate his friendship”, says Omair, who is from Toba Tek Singh.

Speaking Punjabi, and taller than the others, Omair says that his forefathers migrated from India; and whenever people from India visit them, they are treated as ‘Biradari’. “The people in Pakistan watch Indian movies and television shows, and there is no hostility at the ground level. If people-to-people interaction is improved, then peace can certainly dawn”, he says.

The Pakistani students are also impressed by the diversity that India has, and particularly at the MDI Gurgaon. “We were pleasantly surprised by the different cultures and regional variations in India. This diversity certainly adds to the charm of a nation”, they say. 

They are surprised by the open sale and consumption of liqour in Gurgaon, and ask whether this happens every where in India. They are also inquisitive about consumption of liquor by the Muslims in India, and whether there are taboos or not.

When asked about their experience at MDI, they describe it as exceptional. “MDI teachers are among the best, and the manner in which they teach is brilliant. Prof Atmanand, and Prof Vinod Kalia were brilliant in the class, and the manner in which they take up case studies is exceptional”, says Aziz.

The trio even invited Prof Kalia for a short term course, to be taught at LUMS. The students at MDI, they say, are confident, and have good communication skills; but they consider their own counterparts in LUMS to be more hardworking and bright. “Pakistani students are more hardworking”, asserts Aziz.

The trio also regret not being able to visit Delhi and nearby Indian cities, as their visa does not allow free movement. But they were happy with the Indian Consulate for efficiently processing their visa applications; and they had to pay just Rs 15 as fees.

“We want both the countries to open up trade and business. The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status Pakistan has bestowed on India will prove to be a game changer”, says Omair. He reminisces of pre-independence days, when the people had united to push the British out of India.

India and Pakistan, if they work together, can become a formidable force, they aver. They will certainly take the message of love and affection to their country. They even invite us to Lahore and challenge us, “Sir Jinne L’hore nahi takya, o jamya nahi” (One who has not seen
Lahore, was never born


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