[dropcap]I[/dropcap]SLAMABAD – A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made headlines by paying a surprise two-hour visit to Pakistan. According to CNN, this visit was not only a “significant sign that the icy relationship between the two neighbours was thawing, but the two leaders discussed how they can increase ‘people to people contacts’ between their nations”.
Who knows when they’ll get to their goals, but maybe we should begin by looking at five things you probably didn’t know Indians and Pakistanis have in common.
3 of Pakistan’s most Googled personalities in 2015 were Bigg Boss contestants
While the kids continue their fascination with Chhota Bheem, the adults remain transfixed by desi reality show Bigg Boss. Last year’s contestant Karishma Tanna took the number four spot on the top ten list for most Googled personalities in 2015, followed closely by Mandana Karimi and Gautam Gulati.
Bollywood Obsessed People
Pakistan’s passion for Bollywood gossip is renown. The online version of Dawn, Pakistan’s largest newspaper, churns out celebrity stories daily. “On any given day, a Bollywood piece will be one of our top read stories, with tens of thousands of hits, if not more,” says Hamna Zubair, culture editor of Dawn.com. According to Zubair, some of 2015’s most popular stories were Bollywood related, including a story on Shah Rukh Khan’s statement, “There is extreme intolerance in India,” and a comment piece that was ran in September 2015 titled ‘Sorry to break it to you, Priyanka Chopra, but you’re a feminist. “Other stories that people love to click on are often about how much actors earn, what they wore and who they’re dating,” explains Zubair. In 2015, Pakistan’s top Bollywood obsession was Shahid Kapoor’s pretty new wife Mira Rajput.
Both Have Love For Truck Art Too
If there is any place in the world where truck art is taken more seriously than in Pakistan, it’s India. Contrary to what the news and Homeland might have you believe, India is a nation full of hopeless romantics with a quirky sense of humour, and nowhere else is this better depicted than on the local trucks. In the India goods-transportation world, every truck driver wears his heart on his vehicle for which they pay local artisans a pretty penny to transform ugly steel lorries into an explosion of neon colour.
kids love Chhota Bheem
When Chhota Bheem first started airing on a local TV channel a couple of years ago, Pakistani kids had seen nothing like it before. They were always exposed to cartoons, but none with a shared skin colour or cultural values. Bheem ate laddoos and tried hard to please his mom just like most Pakistani kids. The animated series became an overnight sensation and is showing no signs of dying down, despite opposition from some parents and members of parliament. “During the December exam period, I received 3,60,000 requests from parents begging me to shut down Pogo temporarily,” claims Karachi-based cable operator Azeem Shabbir, who works for one of the largest cable providers in the city. The show still airs on cable, and is available on DVD in three languages.