June 20, 2010


It was July of 2006 when my dad bought a new car. What a day it was. And I being the crazy car buff that I am, the day was doubly exciting. I couldn’t wait to see it. The car. Silver in colour, shiny all over, brand new and what not. I’d been waiting for this day for over two years. Ever since my dad first said he’d like to buy a new car.

My happiness knew no bounds. I was ecstatic. I was laughing and high-fiving and imagining what the car would feel like when I got my hands on it. How it’ll drive and how good it’ll look. I was so engrossed in my own thoughts that I never really cared about what that little boy said back then. Until today. Today, it makes my heart sad to know what that little boy’s heart’s desires are and who knows he’ll ever fulfill them. It pains me to see that there is not that one boy alone but countless others like him everywhere I look. Its heart wrenching to know that somehow they go on about their daily lives with nothing more than hope that someday they’ll make it big enough to fulfill that one desire that has been burning in their hearts for all their lives.

While I was hoopa-looping  with joy, that little boy came with his father to see my dad. The little boy’s father was a “Molvi Sahib”, the “Khateeb” of the local mosque where we lived. His salary in those days was a mere Rs. 4000. He had a cycle. He asked my father whether we were going somewhere and my father told him we were going to pick up our new car.

And that’s when he said it. The little boy asked his father when he’ll buy a car. I could see the tears welling up in Molvi Sahib’s eyes and I could hear his murmur when he said: “Someday son…someday.”

I never really thought about this incident until today and it’s made me sad. Sad because just like on that fateful day, my sense of charity has numbed completely; while today, my sense of helplessness has compounded manifolds. While I sit in my house in relative ease and comfort, there are many out there in the real world who are forced to toil unlike us just to eat two meals a day. I look at myself and I think how blessed I am while in my mind I can imagine the pain and misery through which so many of us are going through. Not saying anything, never cursing anyone. Just plowing on to fulfill their fantasy of getting that meal that awaits them if they can earn enough.

I guess people call this life. But if this is life, then it’ not a very good one. We, the Pakistani nation have gone into a deep slumber. Bombings, suicides, mass hysteria, depression, lawlessness and intolerance is simply not enough to wake us up from our reprieve. Gone are the days when people used to ask roadside travelers for a cup of tea. And that was a mere ten years ago. Gone are the days when people were tolerant and courteous. Gone are the days when we were un-selfish and uncouth.

I wish those days would come back. I wish we could be happy once again. For now this is it.