- Nikita- Hari (Crossing borders on gender and class)
“We always think of borders as those random undulating lines on the World Map. SamjhoToh Express broadened my understanding in this regard. It taught me that various social constructs, be they gender, caste, religion, or socio-economic background, are in a way ‘borders’ that can prevent a natural interaction between human beings.
As a part of the programme, I chose Hari as my friend. The reason was probably that I found his views honest and forthcoming during the activities. On interacting with him, I learnt that he was a social worker with a varied experience in on and off-the-field work. Because of my curiosity in knowing about various community welfare programmes, we found it easy to interact with each other. I was surprised to find that he was 36 years old, married, and had two children. My surprise was partly a result of the fact that programmes like SamjhoToh Express generally attract youth participation and partly because Hari looked very young!
Instead of ignoring our age and socio-economic differences, we tried to understand these and forged a friendship of which these were only a minor part. As we both like to write, we shared our poems with each other. He even invited me to his sister’s wedding and shared its pictures. Over time, discussed issues like our family, our dreams, our relationships etc.
Yes, there were challenges. One of them was because of our different genders. Hari always felt that he needed to draw a line in our discussions because of that. We are progressively working on getting around this issue. I hope that we are both able to positively influence each other in this regard.
All in all, I have been enriched by SamjhoToh Express and my friendship with Hari because they gave me an opportunity to gain an altogether new perspective on the idea of friendship”- Nikita.
“My friend Hari seemed to me 24 years old when I first met him. But, when we started having conversation, I came to know that he is 36 year old and have 2 children, this was really surprising. Hari always insist me to call him bhaiya. However, I address him as ‘Hari’. Because of his previous experience, he is taking extra precaution that the bond remains like this. There’s some challenge at my end to feel connected with him but, i’m sure together in this journey we’ll be able to break this seterotype of boys and girls can never be friends!”
–Poem by Hari.
- Ritika- Khusboo (Crossing borders on class)
“My friend in this journey is from a different class background. She is also a college student and I’m a full-time professional. Both of us don’t talk much on phone so, it was difficult to communicate intially. When both of us came for the wall painting activity last week and we had to ask 20 questions to each other as part of an activity; It was then I got to know her better. We found our common ground in terms of our love for dancing and that’s how we are connecting well.”
- Tanya- Bharati (Crossing borders on class)
“In this samjho toh express journey, I am very well connected to many people apart from my friend Bharti. In one of my conversation with her, I asked her about her father’s profession. She refused to answer and after I insisted she told me her father works as a gardener. She also said that other people’s parents work in much better place. I find it challenging to communicate with her as she is taking time to break borders of class in our friendship. So I have invited her to my home so that she can develop more trust in us, and I will also go to her place so that together we can cross the border of class”
~ Tanya, #SamjhoToh Express co-voyager with People for Parity crossing borders on class
- Kashif- Simant (Crossing borders on religion)
इस इवेन्ट मे बड़ा अच्छा मौका है अलग अलग घर्म के लोगो को और अलग अलग जाति के लोगो को समझने का..हिन्दु भाई क्या सोचता है मुस्लिम भाई के बारे मे, मुस्लिम भाई क्या सोचता है हिन्दु भाई के बारे मे..ईसाई भाई क्या सोचते है पजंाबी भाई के बारे मे..इसमे सबसे अच्छी बात है लोगो को आपस मे समझने का मौका मिलता है। इसका #Conclusionइतना मज़ेदार निकल के आता है, जो बिलकुल सोच के विपरीत होता है..और इसी जगह ग़लत चिज़ो को सही किया जा सकता है चाहे वो घर्म के आघार पे हो या जाति के आघार पे या जेंडर के आघार पे हो..
जो मेरा पर्सनल #Experience रहा है मै एक शब्दो मे बोलना चाहुंगा, #SamjhoToh Express एक मुहब्बत का पैग़ाम है, नफ़रतो को हटाने का पैग़ाम है, भाइचारे को #promoteकरता है..ये एक इन्सानियत का पैगाम है…#Humanity
4.Shivani- Mayank – (Crossing borders on gender)
“Shivani has a friendly nature. On the first day we met; Shivani not only was friendly to me but, was very humble to my other friends. When we met at the Wall Painting activity day and we did the activity of asking 20 questions to each other; it was then I felt very much connected to her. On looking at her first; I had this stereotype that she must be an arrogant typical girl but, surprisingly after knowing her for some time; my thinking has changed!”- Mayank
“It was during the 20 question activity on the wall painting activity day that I got to know about Mayank so much. I got to understand that he has struggled a lot in life. I too cried after hearing it and felt connected to him.”- Shivani
- Shivani- Shahzeb (Crossing borders on gender and religion)
“I went to Jamia Milia Islamia University today for their cultural night. I made a Muslim friend named Shahzeb. He is very good. It is 9pm at night now and he dropped me till my home. We spoke about each other’s culture. I told him about relevance of temple for us Hindus and he shared about the relevance of visiting dargah for Muslims. We also talk about famous cuisines of both religions. In the end, we watched “Qawwali” by Nizam brothers. I used to believe that Muslim community is bad but, because of my today’s experience I will change my perspective and I feel they are better than us, they are very kind hearted and just love them.
Next day, I visited Jama Masjid with my friend Shahzeb. I basically wanted to visit this place so, that I can understand the Muslim community. My friend helped me explore the community; we clicked pictures there with people, I observed women wearing burkha. After this, I took my friend to Gurudwara, we had food at lungar and then, we also visited temple. Today I understood that though all religions are different but, we are connected as humans. I feel proud of my nation with so much diversity.”- Shivani
- Shristi- Arham (Crossing borders on gender and religion)
“ Arham is a really nice person. He is a person with open mind, honest and introvert. Also, I think he is quite emotional. We also have lot of conversations on political issues and it is there we connect more.” – Shristi
“ We talk quite often over whatsaap and mostly connect on discussing political issues in our country”- Arham
- Nancy- Jay (Crossing borders on gender and college)
“It has been nice to be friends with her. We usually talk to each other over whatsaap. Also, by asking 20 questions to each other; we got to know each other well. And, if we do more of such activities we’ll get to know each other more.”- Jay
“We have been talking quite often to each other. While, doing the 20 question activity; we got to know each other better. And, I realized that both of us are quite similar.”- Nancy
- Heena- Oshin (Crossing borders on college)
“My friend Oshin is from Gargi College and I’m from Kamala Nehru College. And, there’s a strong stereotype that there’s a popular rivalry between both colleges. I really wish to break this by being good friends with Oshin. I plan to invite her at my Department festival and look forward to visiting her at an organization where she works”- Heena
9. Puja- Abrar- (Crossing borders on gender and religion)
“We have talking while, meeting at various events of this campaign. We are planning to meetup to know each other better”- Pooja
10. Rubeka- Simant-Graima- (Crossing borders on gender and religion)
“I have been in constant touch with Simant. We talk often and look forward to meeting each other soon.”- Rubeka