Monkey business

Sab pagal hain,aur mai sab se bara nahi hoon!

A long weekend I wish I never had

Posted by Alta on June 21, 2007

8410.jpg(picture: A view of Karachi from high up,coudnt find a picture that i liked for this,and am allowed only one pic)

A long weekend I wish I never had.

I went to work on Friday knowing full well that no customer was going to show up, and most of the other showrooms would be closed and that’s what it was like. Closed up at 4pm and I came home happy but I was worried about what was to happen on sat.

I love Karachi and I love my city, the city of lights, not so cold winters, the fast paced life which for most people doesn’t start till noon (at least for me) a city which is the life line of the country the city which pours blood into the country in more ways then one.

I went to sleep on early sat morning, knowing I had a day off, and that it would not be a peaceful day for Karachi and its citizens, but I had not imagined that it would be this bad. I wish I never had this long weekend and I hope Karachi never sees a day like it saw on sat.

When I woke up late afternoon on sat I had a feeling and knew full well that things in the city would be anything but normal, once again my Karachi was burning, karachites injured and many dead. I was very young when Karachi burned in the 80’s and I don’t remember much of what happened during the 90’s maybe its because I try and ignore the bad memories, I try to hide them away because I want to dream and feel that my there is nothing wrong with my city. Or more importantly I have never lost a loved one when something like this happens.

With more then 40 dead and over 150 injured Karachi after a few years of normality or was it abnormality? Was back to how it was in the mid 90’s. With the rangers out on the streets, with orders of shoot to kill. The citizens trapped inside their homes, businesses shut down with a public holiday announced for today. I knew I would have Monday of when I came home from work on Friday, I guess I know my city and the people who live in it all too well.

Why the rangers or the police didn’t do anything to stop the violence on sat? I think most karachites and Pakistani’s know the answer to that question. We are a country with a majority that supports peace, we have a majority which supports and are moderates. That’s what we and the world are told and I believe that we are, though my faith is being lost every time the mullahs come out on the streets when ever I hear the name of the lal masjid and when I read the paper every morning (yes I know its afternoon) I go to work. Every time they kill my city, poisoning it slowly and giving its citizens slow death.

Where is the majority we keep hearing about? Where are those who think like me? Hiding in their houses like I have for the past 3 days or when something like this is about to take place? Or is their no such majority? Maybe I am and people like me are truly the minority and we just lie to ourselves living in a dream land hoping that one day all of us will rise and take our city back. Make Karachi what it was once before, truly the city of lights. That we will too on a Friday march on the streets on shar e Faisal with banners and re claim our city.

But it’s all a dream and we are fools. It’s never going to happen. We are not the majority even if we are we don’t have the balls to stand up together nor are we organized. We karachites are lazy and we just like to complain, we never stand up and take responsibility we never have and we never will. We will be the pawns in this big chess game of politics and power which has taken away the soul of Karachi, the only city in the whole country which has life, has flavor a true metro.

The last few years have been good for Karachi, calm, peaceful. With new high rises, flyovers, parks, better roads, schools, the infrastructure has been worked on no doubt about it. But while all this was going on we forgot one thing, we forgot about the militants who used these last few years of relative calm in Karachi, they have re grouped and now they are more powerful and have a greater potential to paralyze Pakistan’s commercial hub in a matter of hours, and they showed their strength on sat while the so called majority slept or stayed home watching it on the TV.

Pres Mush was sad about the killings but happy with the show of people’s power, dude wake up and smell the coffee. You are the chief of army staff, have the balls to speak the truth. I like Mushy boy but I hate it when he tries being a politician and plays that game. Be a leader, you are a soldier act like one. Speak your mind and believe me the silent majority you speak off, people like me will wake up on a sat and come out in numbers. But not when you can’t control the mullahs or when we feel that our army chief our pres is playing games to make sure he stays in power. You are a karachite and shame on you Mr. Pres for being in your rally on sat when your city burned.

You talked about people power, was it the men we saw on TV with automatic guns attacking and killing others? Is that what people power is to you? And then blaming the CJ for all that happened in Karachi.

It’s just a reminder that there is peace in Karachi only when and if they want it, and we all know who they are. It doesn’t matter what the silent majority/minority want or dream off.

Many friends ask or advise me to leave Karachi, they say I have the means so why don’t I apply for a visa to some country and leave. I always joked that I am a lazy ass who needs a maid and a driver, that I have a good life here. When deep down the real answer always has been, why should I leave? It might not be perfect but it’s my country and it’s my city. The thought has never crossed my mind, I just cant imagine myself being any where other then Karachi, its in my blood, there is something about the polluted air and water of Karachi, once you get a taste of it you don’t want to leave.

I met a US national once in a snooker club, his name was Jon and he was from NC a frame or two of snooker with him, and I come to know he is here for 3 months and plans to leave as soon as he can, he doesn’t like the place and misses his wife and kids. I saw him a few times after that, then I saw him 2 years later and I went up to say hello he introduced me to his family. The city grew on him, the air and water got to him too, and he too fell in love with my Karachi and now lives here with his family.

One in a million? Yes maybe. One for every thousand that leave the city or the country? Yes prob so. Would be best to get out of a city with so much history of violence where you are not safe where your business is closed for days because of..What? You do not know. Where young men come to your work place and demand weekly pocket money for themselves and you can’t imagine going to the police over it let alone say no.

I don’t know, maybe I am just a fool which I am, or maybe I am scared to try something new I am not sure. I do know, but the thought of moving away did cross my mind when I sat in my room watching my city burn again, it hurt and it made me sick.

But I know one thing, I like to dream (of dirty laundry too now) and I love this country and this city. And if I go away things won’t get better, so I shall stay here and do what I do best like millions of other karachites, I shall keep in the background, keep a low profile and on days like sat stay in doors watch my Karachi burn and cry.

But when the day comes, and it will trust me. When the silent majority of this country and this great city rise and come out on the streets. when we have had enough and every single one of us has lost someone we love to violence (because this is what it might take) I shall not stay in, but ill be dressed in my Sunday best (shorts and T shirt ok?) and ill be on shar e faisal and then you will see the power of the people of this great city. A city filled with great history, just go to old Karachi and you will know what I am talking about.

Till then I am going to be here waiting for that day, till then I shall keep a low profile and go about my business, I shall be one of the few hundreds at Karachi national stadium on the first day of a test match, I shall enjoy the electricity breakdowns, the summer heat, take it all in like a Karachite is supposed to, call me a fool or a call me a dreamer, I am Alta and I am staying


2 Responses to “A long weekend I wish I never had”

  1. Imran said

    Nice thoughts Alta, perhaps something needs to be done to bring out the silent majority

  2. Alta said

    2 years later,i hope i do not wake up to something similar.But i will go to bed tonight with 1mil Pakistanis displaced from their homes and as far as i can tell not much is being done by anyone to help them out.And i am one of those who is not helping them,and so are you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: