The next genre of the week focuses on a key theme: Reunion. Most of us have people whom we lost contact for many years (even decades), only to find them again through chance, sometimes through social networking and other contacts. The people we lose are our childhood friends, family members and colleagues. But sometimes we are in contact with people we had hurt in the past, only to be forgiven for the crimes and we eventually forget and start again. Sometimes we end up searching for the people we lose but want to know how they are, only to end up with a surprise of our own.
And this is where this commercial comes in. Produced by Google in 2013, the commercial goes by the logo “Partitions Divide Countries; Friendships find a Way.” Two childhood friends are separated by the infamous Partition of 1947 which created India and Pakistan. The event cost the lives of up to 1 million people through bloodshed, suicides and even exhaustion, much of which can be seen in the film Ghandi, filmed 35 years later. One of the friends resides in Delhi, the other in Lahore. After 60 years, the grand-daughter of the one in Delhi decides to reunite them with a few minutes of Google searching and a phone call. What happens next will bring any viewer and reader to tears…..
The commercial received mixed reviews with one side criticizing Google for its propaganda and marketing tactics. The main goal was to try and bring Pakistan and India together, which no thanks to the countless terror attacks and nuclear threats, has never happened. They have become disrespected neighbors which live together in “cold peace.”
Yet by the same token, this commercial serves as a reminder of how important friends and families are. Granted when we wanted to look for lost friends, we had to travel across the rough and dry terraine in order to find the person, like in this picture below:
We still risk our lives to travel to the far ends of Earth to be with our lost friends, it just makes things easier nowadays, thanks to the technology that has been developed and advanced, not just through Google, but other forms. It worked with TV documentaries when Europe was split into two during the Cold War. It worked with letters and research when loved ones looked for ones missing in action during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And someday, the use of technology like Google will not only help reunite loved ones affected by the Partition but also those affected by the ongoing conflicts in places, such as the Middle East.
As mentioned at the beginning, friends and families find a way to reconnect, no matter how big the challenge is and no matter how painful the past was to them.