AMY SINGH, a young poet and teacher from Chandigarh, received a pleasant surprise when Najam Sethi, founder of The Friday Times and former chief minister of Punjab in Pakistan, shared her oral rendition of a letter to Lahore on Twitter.
The two-part video received a warm response from across the border. “Fantastic. We two countries can proceed progressively even if we continue wishing for one another,’’ said one twitterati, while another wrote, “Lahore welcomes sweet words from Chandigarh.’’
“Dear Lahore, how are you? Let’s trip in time, shall we,” starts Amy, recounting how she was all of 14, with her mother at a hospital in Amritsar when she first stumbled upon the “fearless, seditious radio waves” of Pakistan that could not be contained by the border.
She tells how upon hearing a tribute to Mehdi Hasan on a Pakistan radio station, she scribbled a letter and addressed it to general post office, Lahore. ‘’I am extending my hand of friendship, will you hold it, Lahore,’’ asks Amy. “Lahore, will you come and dine with me. Ye jo saari lakeerein hai, un ko mita lein...’’
The video concludes with the lines, “In the hope of a day when this letter will no longer need an international postal stamp, Chandigarh ton Lahore waali Amy.’’
It was in August that Amy started her project “Daak - To Lahore with Love’’ in which she and many others, including schoolchildren, send letters addressed to the General Post Office, Lahore. Amy says she wrote her first letter in 2016 when a local eatery changed its name from Lahore Chowk to Lucknow Chowk.