India has found itself in deep, unfamiliar waters, and its citizens are on their knees, gasping for air at unforgiving hospital gates. In this time of great hardship, something good has emerged. Well wishes from across the border in Pakistan, whether from fear of a similar fate or sheer humanness, have been pouring in to great reception in India.
It is refreshing to see how crises unite traditional rivals.
Well wishes came out of every quarter in Pakistan, from the grassroots of civil society, who the horrors have reached through the internet and neighbourhood gossip, to the very top, integral members of the state and influential civil society members. It is perhaps easier to sympathise because the videos that have come out of the country have been truly nerve-wracking.
In addition to the intangible wishes, support was also offered by the Pakistani state. Civilian harmony would mean little without state level cooperation, and we are proud that the state did step up. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that the government would help with relief and medical equipment, saying it believes in a policy of humanity.
Twitter trends reflected Pakistanis flocking to the internet in support and these trends did not go unnoticed in India.
Actor and regular headline Kangana Ranaut noted the trend in Pakistan and expressed her delight.
Veere di Wedding actor Swara Bhasker also noted the support from this side of the border. She confessed the treatment of Pakistan has not been fair in their media or otherwise, and yet getting such a response melted her heart.
Comedian Anshu Mor was left joining his hands at the 'love and concern'.
Shoaib Akhtar was one of the noteworthy Pakistanis who sent in their well wishes, and we already know how much love and respect the Rawalpindi Express receives from his Indian fans. Indian National Congress politician Salman Nizami personally thanked him for his sentiment.
The world is truly united in this cause. It's not just Pakistan, countries from across the world have stood in solidarity with India. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai too was lit in Indian colours in a show of solidarity.
As for Pakistan, while it is a time of great pride for how we have put aside our differences when the time asked for it, it is simultaneously time for great precaution. In our concern for India hides our fear of the same thing happening to us. Since reports started flooding in from India, social media has been asking questions about Pakistan's readiness for such a crisis.
We too have weak healthcare infrastructure, we too can very easily run out of oxygen if a crisis rises — two of our provinces are not even capable of producing their own oxygen — so we absolutely must be careful, now more than ever. Wear your masks, and take care Pakistan.