Friday, October 9, 2009
I held my daughter tight as the city shook with vehement force. Depilated buildings and mutilated bodies scattered across the open streets. Just minutes ago, there was a certain ambiance of speculated peace and tranquility. After all, Peshawar has been recently rocked by bullets, terrorism, sectarianism and violence. Innocent lives have been buried in the dusty graveyards and tears have still not stopped oozing out of red swollen eyes of loved ones. Is this the Peshawar that we recall of? Is this the face of the earth that is a glimmering and reflecting mirror of our own self destructive alliances?
I never did let go of my daughter. She kept on wondering how fright and despair embarked on her father’s superman eyes. To her I was her everything. A man who could make her smile on every rainy day and give to her flowers in the cold brazen nights of October. She insists that I have a superman cap and costume hidden away. She veneers my love with superhero talk. This time all superheroes are silent. Perturbed silence. If we stay ambushed like this, we will lose our voice forever.
To stay silent in times like these will mean that we accept and acknowledge the nemesis ahead of us. Memories of turmoil and desolation accentuate as we live off our lives second by second. Prayers breathe out with each passing of a breath and our heartbeats tremble when unknown noises occur. We live in a horror movie and do not know the outcome. This is the worst form of governance. The ultimate disaster of the human spirit. Now I know how the Jewish children felt as the lay aimlessly waiting for their execution. The nation of Pakistan is no different. Each day. Someone somewhere will be killed. There is a bullet that has your name on it. Time and speed are the only question marks.
I have dreamt a million times to devour myself into the political scene and become the hero that Pakistan badly needs. The political insignificance associated with an educated class is common ground. This is the country where false commitment and bogus votes are allocated to the government bodies. Elections are rigged and a fierce competition is associated amongst the mongrels. This is the only nation that has rapists, murders and people who have spent time in jail allowed to contest elections and further plunge this nation into darkness.
We are without electricity, water and opportunity. This is the world that has been carved after so many struggles and lives. I cannot allow this nation to be handed over to my generations without a fight. Another struggle remains. Gateways of hope will be built. Question is how. Will these words recall armies and multiply elements of good? Can I imagine that one day the people who have lost their lives can hail as one and communicate to the world that the real Pakistan remains silent? The world only knows of the bombarded Pakistan. My foreign friends have associated violence with my name and have marked me off of their listings. This is the price I pay for having this nation’s passport. I am humiliated at airports and struck off lines as I have a brownish skin tone.
Maybe someday my words will become a giant and take control over the despair and anarchy. But today, I write as my hands still tremble. My daughter is still close by. She is shocked at having witnessed such a massive explosion. Young children bodies lay ambushed in the fumes. She is only three. What would she think now? Can you imagine what would happen if it were your children? Is this not the end of innocence?
I met some of the men who lay crying on the streets and ready to forgive the men who have slaughtered these poor and innocent lives. Our mosques have not even been forgiven. Our streets have become grounds on which our bodies lay. These same grounds that were built for out pathways. Imagine a world that we live in.
Questions pound at the doors of the political system. Do these men not see the garbage on the streets and the empty factories and locked down furnaces? We should question everything from the contaminated rivers to the polluted cities? In the last 60 years, we were not able to build anything except our graves. This is not the Pakistan I intent to keep. This is not the Pakistan I have voted for.