With the 2010 Commonwealth Games getting our spirits down for some time now, most of us long for something familiar and comfortable to fall back on. And what better to take our minds off whether everything will hold up till the Games begin than that good old India-Pakistan dance on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York? This is always a therapeutic way to vent our frustrations over the myriad problems that both nations have. In normal times, we just take up the dance where we left off. But this time around we have started from step one.
It is called the ‘gimme’ pas de deux in which each wants the whole stage which, for the sake of the argument, we will call Kashmir, for himself. In the days ahead, we can hope to have more variations of the dance form with the Pakistani foreign minister performing Mikhail Baryshnikov-like leaps on the world stage while our own gentle S.M. Krishna will probably content himself with a few mudras in the background.
S.M. Qureshi will, of course, ask that other UN members join him on the stage while he turns operatic and sings a throaty lament, while Mr Krishna may prefer a solo rendition of a midsummer ditty to keep temperatures down. This has given us the idea that instead of improvising while in the UN, we could perhaps write an Andrew Lloyd Webber sort of production called Border Dreams for both sides to act, sing and dance out.
This might require a few props, which neither side is short of. Why, if things go well we might even get the Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) to do a chorus in tights. That should lighten things up for a while. But nothing comes for free and unless we get a bit of the loot, maybe from the $5.5 billion missing from the ISI’s coffers, our services might not be on offer. And let us assure you, that unlike A.R. Rahman, we really are cut-rate. Let’s hope the two sides think about this; it’s well worth making a song and dance about.