Days ago the water was still. Yesterday I saw some ripples. Today there are waves in it. And tomorrow it’s getting ready to turn into a whirl pool. The whirl pool which will suck with it the very cause of it.
I sit half way accross the globe from 9 pm tp 2 am glued to my TV watching the channel whose name rhymes with the name of our favourite enemy. The news ,the news analysis, the debate, the talk show—all one after the other, with a burning desire in the heart that today will give a pleasant surprise .For months on, each time I switched the TV off at 2 am-dejected and disappointed.
However, yesterday night was different. Somewhat different.
Though the opening news of the Lahore carnage was as painful as the numerous other such news we have been hearing and watching for the past few years. The scenes of incident couldn’t be watched with a dry eye. They were soul shaking. Each time one hears such blasts, one goes through the de ja vu feeling one got on losing a family member. And am not exaggerating.
Initially, program after program I felt the same monotonous rut until came the music of the last talk show at 1 am. It changed my day. The anchor was going through a camp at the suburb of our largest port city where IDPs from the Shaheed Bhutto’s home town are settled. A beautifully organised tent city is lined up. Each settler interviewed showered prayers and no complaints on our “Billo’s” philanthropist cum singer cum ex lecturer. They hug him, embrace him, bless him for making them live a dignified life in this tent city. When asked repeatedly whether they would want to go back home after the floods recede—majority refuse without a pause. Not because they got spoilt by the luxuries of a tent house and two decent meals ,but because they feel home here. They feel they have found a saviour in him.Their dignities restored. Their being a “human being” feeling restored.
Not one but all of them one after the other utter,”Why should we go back? What do we have there? As we go empty handed into the ruins, the Wadera will load us with the loans bonding our subsequent generations repay it forever. We feel safe and cared here.” It’s sad they are rejoicing the displacement from their homes, from their fields where they ploughed. They have lost all in kind only to get their dignities back which had been missing since their time immemorial. And remember they came from the land of the current rulers.
Its touching to see the humility with which their new wadera goes from tent to tent ,dawn till dusk asking them if they were fine. I have failed to find an appropriate adjective to the humility with which he was accompanying the anchor. Avoiding to look up to the camera hiding his wet eyes. The gentility personified. I salute this man!
I also salute all those other known or not so known “humans” who are turning their nights into days to help the humanity –here as well as anywhere on the globe. The hour flies away and the anchor bids “Khuda Hafiz”.
I turn to my laptop to check the status and to shut it down and sleep. My eye catches a glimpse of a video link. It says” Must watch this video clip”.It is barely a 54 seconds video but it beautifully sums up the history of 64 years of a Feudal Nation:
Pet bhar amir shadbad,
Bhal maran ghareeb kanda yaad.
Asif nu bangle aali shan,
Pak sar zameen ka nizaam,
Amir tar amir ,mui awam.
And it goes on……………..
Unfortunate! It is a parody of our National Anthem, but not even one word of it is a lie or an exaggeration. I click it neither once nor twice, but again and again till I lose the count. Each time I hear, it rings bells in my ears.
I can smell it .Yes I can smell the change coming.
It isn’t too far. We don’t have to wait another life to see it.
We don’t even have to wait another year to see it, I am sure.
We are starting to wake up. We are standing up.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Lets all see the light getting brighter each second.
Lets not sleep until we exit the tunnel.
We don’t have miles to go –it’s just round the corner.
Yes, FEUDALISM is getting ready to be caught out at the slips, let not any bookie, “in here” or “out there” fix the game to drop the catch. Let no “Butts” amongst us get sold out.
Beware and stay awake…….
3 September 2010