The International Writers Magazine: Comment
Note : written '07 when newly moved to Pakistan and faced with many interesting events as mentioned such. This was the time of the reign of the Military that overthrew a democratic government that was met with either people's accordance or wrath - the latter for having being deprived of a democratic authority and as I recall most people state at the time 'tarnishing the country's image by self-imposed military'.
Addressing all comfortable politicians, with love.
The other day I chose to splash in splendor and took a taxi instead of the local bus or rickshaw to get to a meeting with somebody socially important. I wasn’t alone, commuting with my mother and two sisters.
We were quite unnaturally enjoying the one hour drive to the designated place, when the driver pierced fiercely into our solitary reveries by shouting obscenities at his assumed enemy. Curious [infamous as I am for being this way], I turned around to see who or what [on our roads we could hit into just about any unimaginable and amusing thing] would audaciously try manoeuvring against a chugging, collapsible, fragile piece of tin shaped into a car by any twelve year old's newly acquired engineering skills. And not worry about disconcerting the passengers, or worst the drunk driver [he does drive the nasty old thing, and I’d like to be understanding of his plight at having to steer left and right when he can go just straight down a road without much effort if only people or things made it possible!]!!
You must be wondering, why travel derelict to meet somebody “socially important”? Well, I guess I wanted to be less adventurous that day and take a decent taxi instead, this being my automobile handicap stance because I don’t drive or own a car.
Anyway, coming back to the point – the driver -, so conceded he wasn’t drunk that day. But, he must have chewed on an awful lot of raw, bitter tobacco to render him irate.
He grumbled and heaved heavily, and I was half petrified lest he hike up his charges for the ride. My mother took it upon herself to offer solace by joining in on his swearing at the invisible enemy who hindered him. To not my surprise, but my mother’s poor ill nerves, he brushed aside brusquely her magnanimous consolation and cursed the government of the country instead. This did silence my mother, but sparked a bizarre interest in me owing to his comment; I was opened to a whole new perception of the country and its government.
I have lived my life, if not indulgently, but as a spoilt brat, courtesy my imaginary parents and friends who have lathered me mercilessly with love, adoration and turned me into a narcissist. In the one year of residence in my native country, I have innocently blamed just about everyone in this world for my disposition and degenerated lifestyle that felt as if I was reduced from posh plump to plain emaciated in status, up until now, when the driver turned the focus of my wrath from the government to the people instead. Surged by an uncanny sympathy for the government, I realised the people of third world countries [a percentage significant of the population if not its entirety] were left bereft partially because they deserved it [judged not by the government, but the controversial paranormal forces of the metaphysical world as most claimed otherwise]. The explanation is mathematically simple. At one stage where they cried poverty, malnourishment, poor education, and the gamut of problems they could cook up in their minds, they cursed a government that for once was actually working towards their improvement rather than impoverishment! Such ingratitude did nip my skin into a blister, but I shamed at unknowingly being one of them during my time of troubles.
No, I haven’t completely turned over the new leaf I ought to [my imaginary family should be convicted for this], I still do place blame on the government for tolerating such low-class, illiterates and succumbing to their idiocy and strike calls. There are illiterates who could be forgiven for not knowing how to read and be ignorant, but never for their uncouthness that would directly harm another human emotionally or physically by words or action. I believe a person with a proper functioning mind, even if he cannot read to educate, can easily learn from experiences and decipher from verbal teachings the ethics, etiquette and mainly conduct towards fraternity.
The government is not the bad guy anymore; the people aren’t the bad guys either for destructing roads, buildings, and infrastructure in general when they deem a supremacy displeasing in accordance with their personal one-on-one requirements and devise to overthrow him/her/them to elect someone better suiting their moods. That someone would ofcourse be degree-less [no puns], knows how to sign a document or two, can read a speech, count money just enough to know the amount that’s filling the pockets, lead the country to depravation, humiliation, dilapidation, added deprivation, and humble debts. In a situation as this, people further frustrate, destroy roads, burn buildings, effigies of people not connected with the country in any way, and rally, once again, against the government.
People succumb to trivialities and holler helpless with an uncompromising and unrewarding supremacy.
So, who is the enemy?? There is no enemy; man-to-man, ideally, nobody should be anybody’s enemy. Protests, marches, rallies are some ways of expressing a democratic right to opinion but it does in no way permit for destruction of personal or public property to make a point or get noticed. The cost of lives is no opportunity of change in any country on the globe.
Education teaches a person the procedures of approaching problems; in a mad rampant of rage and ego it is surprising to watch the educated lot brush aside teachings of the law and forget the legal steps to undertake (even if against the government) in order to get their wants of change recognised.
The couch comfy politicians barely sit up through the day, so even if the responsibility if borne by the people, then, do it such so you can brag about your steps to change with pride and not remorse.
© Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani
Emancipation or entrapment?
“You should make quick decisions about marriage because you are a girl and you carry an expiry date on you.”