14th August… Another Day

Due to a strange fluke of history and single-minded effort of a few million delusional people, we celebrate the 14th of August 2007 as the 60th birth anniversary of the state of Pakistan.

Odd that our Pakistaniat is there just for a day, manifest in flags dyed green in a pigment that runs as the sky cries for what should have been and what is, staining the white just like the strains of blood that remain in this country’s skyline long after days like May 12 2007 and the siege of the Lal Masjid have gone by.  We scream our joy in our freedom by putting up paper flags that are not the right green and at the end of the day are just pieces of paper that will float down when left to the elements for days to come and trodden under the feet of those who return to normalcy as the day sets.   We await the month of August with glee waiting for another day off where we shall kick up our heels and dance the jig to Indian songs blaring out of our music systems, cars and television sets or if nothing else to return to the bosoms of our extended families to bitch, gripe, whine and otherwise complain about all the nothing that this worthless country has given us.

But hang on a minute, that doesn’t sound too different from what I do anyway.  Except for the green flag thing but then, I don’t do that on the 14th either.  There were days when my papa used to put us in a car and drive us around Islamabad to see the Parliament House and the Presidency glittering with ‘soobat’ lights and this was when these were the only two buildings worth mentioning.  It was in the days when Islamabad was more than just a network of dug ups, dug outs and otherwise in process developments for collecting rain water in ditches.  Damn creative way of doing it right in the middle of the road too.

I’ve been dragged over a cheese grater by a lot of people over the last couple of weeks over my lack of show of patriotism and love for my country.  And as I’ve felt myself break into a drizzle of salty sweet parmesan, I have also tried to rack my brain to think of something good to say.  I came up with a truth which can be a starting point.  I suck as a Pakistani.  I have no right to call myself that.  I deserve the misleading, confused title of a non-pashto speaking pathan, who is a quarter Iranian, belonging to Kohat, living in Islamabad which was eons away from Pakistan till this year but had an identity crisis at last and collapsed on its big, fat bureaucratic ass ripping off its marble mask and revealing the torn, scarred face that matches the ripped apart countenance of the country it represents.

But I regress.  I am not a Pakistani because I don’t give a damn.  Of all the countries my parents could have chosen for me to be born in, they choose this place.  For me, being a Pakistani is a slight on my good name.  I am a terrorist, an Islamic fundamentalist, a fanatic, a goon or at the very least, I am a cheating, thieving Paki which is what all the news channels and all the Western countries that I travel to, say I am.   So, it has to be true.  Which means that being all I am I don’t quite do all that.  Instead, I’m a hypocrite of the nth degree, all for shooting my mouth off about the system, and its deficiencies and then ensuring that I don’t get kicked out of it either.  I break traffic rules.  I throw trash on the streets.  I would go kiss an American’s feet if I thought it would get me a seat on the next plane out of this hell hole.   I categorize all Pakistanis as cheating, lying,thieving, bribing, murderous thugs forgetting that I’m at least as big as any in the league because hey, this system allowed me to flourish.  Let it be said that I admit I am a part of this system and I herby solemnly swear to deny all this in a court of law, under duress, and with the damnation of an affidavit behind me so there!

 And this rant ends in tears…  And the sky cries along with me, at this time of the night as it always does when the 14th of August arrives.  Happy Birthday Pakistan.  This game to you.  You played well enough, through no real talent of your own and simply for the sake of Lady Fortune’s one kind smile and actually live to die another day.  And you will die, won’t you?  Every time, one of us stands in front of the world and begs for money to feed you but actually goes for a holiday to the States.   You will die Lé Pétité morté  every time one of us ensures our own safety at the expense of another, regardless on how many paper laws we trample in the process. 

And ultimately, you will be nothing more than the earth and sand and stone we say you are.  Nothingness!!  Shall we see how long you prevail in spite of our efforts to do otherwise…  I do not claim to be strong, moral character because I don’t know what that means but in the spirit of a fair fight, I offer a prayer today for you.  If nothing else, let the Almighty ensure that the people you give your name to, understand what the word means!

Happy Independence Day Everyone!


4 Responses to “14th August… Another Day”

  1. Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 21:17

    Very well written. Bitter and daring. I can specially relate to the “I suck as a Pakistani” part. But then, most of us will.

    Happy Independence Day!

  2. 2 hera*
    Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 12:20

    Nice blog and an extremely well written post. All I can say is that Pakistan was the bestest country ever but it had to face the worst circumstances and the worst citizens. Now its all a washed out dream. Its been shredded to pieces and not much of it remains now. Not that people around here care about it. They would go around driving bikes with zero trace of a silencer and wave flags as if for them Pakistan was everything but thats all that there is to their patriotism. They will happily break the walls of a park so that they could get in easily without paying the entrance fee, steal the telephone from the telephone booth, never stop at a signal and of course throw every single piece of trash on the street. We are the people of this nation. We are Pakistanis infact.

  3. 3 PsycheD
    Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 11:07

    good to have u back jaded! now stay put!!

    and i choose not to comment on ‘the day’……. loved the post though – very well written

  4. Friday, August 17, 2007 at 21:15

    It is rare pleasure to read such an honest opinion on the 60th independence day of Pakistan. Ultimately and ironically, it is apt because such an opinion could only come from a Pakistani.

    Sorry to be away so long Sarah, hope to read more of your wonderful posts now that I’ve returned to the blogging world.

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