When I left home in the morning yesterday, I had many plans… plans to attend office, get today’s assignment done, take a class, write a blog, share refreshment and lunch with colleagues and visit my tailor and market on my way back before finally reaching home in the evening…
However, by afternoon I was sitting at home just wondering how to utilize the day to its fullest… thanks to the fear and terror that surrounded the city of Karachi after killings and mourning call that led to arson, target killings and forceful shut down. This is not a new experience for any Karachiite, we get used to this uncertainty and sectarian killings and whenever it happens, we rushed back to our shelters for the sake of our lives and property and bear another forceful day off imposed on us by the Custodians of the City.
Apart from financial and economical lose the city and the country suffers because of these strikes and protest calls, what turns it rather more painful is the silence, fear, sense of helplessness, darkness and gloom that prevail on the streets and in localities and cause depression and frustration in public.
My daughter, 3 asked me yesterday why parks and shops were closed and why couldn’t she go out to have rides and buy a balloon. I found it really difficult to explain the situation without threaten her that there’re bad/angry people outside who are beating anyone going out. My elder son, 9 was rather worried about his next paper and kept asking if the schools were closed or opened… again uncertainty and delayed rather dubious announcements about educational institutions and offices bother everyone concerned.
I often think about emergencies especially how people manage to take their patients to hospitals, deceased to graveyard and travelers to destinations on such black days. And then the agony of those who schedule their weddings, engagements and other parties and plan them for months with hefty expenses and wide involvement.
I often feel sick finding myself switching TV channels relentlessly to satiate my curiosity with aggressive discussions and debates, visuals of agony, terror and vandalism and breaking news that aim to break viewers nerves if not the news at such occasions . These aimless talk shows and news bulletins contribute a great deal to urge me to migrate anywhere from Pakistan, The fighting politicians, angry hosts, sensationalized news and dramatized coverage snatched my last hope and belief in my homeland and its future.
I might cook Biryani, watch a movie, finish the half-read novel or rather opt to arange my scattered cupboards and do the household chores in absence of maids, however, such long, sad and empty days never cherish me or anyone sensible around. I feel like a house arrest in a city under riots that seize the humdrum of life in the metropolitan like Karachi. Often wonder, how the daily wedges earners dare such days in this inflation.
You might consider it the problem of the people in power and politicians, might be able to get momentary escape through a movie, book, sport, daily chore or pastime, but the fact of the matter is that it spoils the peace of mind and pace of work completely and it usually takes a day or two to come back to normal life.
There is no doubt that protest against atrocities, target killings and terrorism should be registered at every level irrespective of caste, class and racial difference but taking revenge from the city by shutting it down completely after any such incident is neither fair to Karachi nor to its residents. So let’s register your protest if you are against these wheel jams, shutter-downs and violent strikes. On the other hand, if you are in favour of it, share your logic to make us understand…