It isn’t usually so complex a task, that of translating thoughts into words in print. What impedes the process however, is the distinct possibility of baring one’s soul to those not quite privy to it…
“What are they doing Asma? This country…they are going to kill everybody’s fathers and then what? Our school, they trained us so well Asma, dad wanted us to have the best…” She continued talking between sobs and I was struck speechless as always; silent and leaking.
What had started as a harmless protest against the privatisation of a government institution quickly turned ugly when the policing agencies did not stop at firing gas shells and water hosing the people, but went on to fire random shots amongst them too. Bodies went down and one was instantly pronounced dead – that one happened to be my friend’s wonderful-as-only-amazing-dads-can-be father.
It hits like a stunning blow to the head until disorientation and misery are your sole companions. Yes, life is temporary and living in Karachi never lets us forget it but maybe that is wherein the problem lies. One man down is merely all in a day’s work.
I am reminded of a distraught woman’s plea on national television once. She’d said, “What are you all waiting for? Will you get up when they get to your family, your children?!” And frankly, had it not been a personal tragedy, I would have preferred the escape route. It would have been filed away amongst the numerous tragedies already in store in a dark chamber of the mind. It would have hurt and clawed and bled on the inside, but disgustingly helpless, it would only have simmered until time healed the wound somewhat.
I don’t get it. What are we to do? Why did this happen? How is it that an intelligent person is wielding a dim-witted weapon, yet doesn’t honour the sanctity of human life? Our hands don’t shake anymore, our eyes have run themselves dry, our hearts have nary a care for honour…
You know how Allah says their hearts will be harder than stone for even stone gives way against a steady drip of water? God forbid if this were so, but could He have meant us? We are the ones who chose precisely these people to rule over us. Why don’t these chosen ones address the issue with the people- their own people? People make the institution after all.
And what do you say to the afflicted? Allah has sent in balming patience to run through their veins, yes. Couldn’t think at first, now coherent thoughts are forming…couldn’t eat but now the body rebels against the absence of food, the hypothalamus shall have the final say…couldn’t talk, but now you can make the effort slightly, as years of living with humans has conditioned you to…couldn’t stop weeping, but now you can at least steel yourself to hide them when you really wish to.
So what really do you have to say to such brave people? What can you say except maybe try to hide your face as you miserably go about your business..? We have failed you, ya Allah. We have failed your messenger. Please guide us, for we want to be united with your favourite people in Jannah. Please ya Allah!