I was coming from a Holi celebration, and I decided to take a public bus despite the arguments of my friends. They were concerned about my safety and insisted that I should just take a rickshaw because people might react harshly to all the colour they will see.
However, I wanted to see people’s reaction and more than that I wanted to use public space to celebrate diversity and to let people think about it. I came across many people while traveling on the bus home and everyone perceived that I am a Hindu. They kept telling me how they know “people of my community”. This was the most interesting conversation on the bus.
I sat next to an uncle.
Uncle: Why are you working at such a young age?
Me: Sorry, what do you mean?
Uncle: You are a colour worker right?
Me: No uncle, actually I am coming from a Holi celebration.
Uncle: Oh, Hindu brother!
Me: No, I am from a Muslim family.
Uncle: what you celebrated Holi? Were rest of them Muslims as well?
Me: Yes, and some of our friends were Hindus, and we celebrated Holi in a church.
Uncle: Beta, you are a Muslim.
There was another uncle sitting in the seat behind us, he interrupted and said Oh bhai, if colours bring these kids together, and they can celebrate it with the minority, why do you have to bring in religion?
Uncle: Well, we were raised with a mindset that Hindus and Muslims can not be together.
(The other uncle shakes his head)
Me: That is where everything went wrong. Happy Holi!
It was a beautiful day to witness Pakistanis accepting different cultures and religions.