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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MY PAKISTAN

MY PAKISTAN
 This is a letter to my unborn child…

Dear Child,

I want to apologize to you for bringing you into this world as a citizen of this country because of all that is going around.  In its defense I have the following to say so please bear with me as it was not always this way…  In my time Color Television / Penicillin / Polio shots / Frozen foods / Xerox Contact lenses / Frisbees and The pill were something very new and no one knew if they would catch on.

We were innocent because there were no Credit cards / Laser beams or Ball-point pens.  Man had just invented Air conditioners & Dishwashers / Clothes dryers were unheard of and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man had just taken his first footsteps on the moon.  

In Karachi when I was a child the entire family lived together. Every family had a father and a mother.   As a kid, I called every man older than me, "uncle" & every woman older than me “aunty”.  As a teenager I respected policemen and this was before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.  In my time if you had a problem you talked it out with your family who supported you by giving you all the time you needed. 

From what I learnt as kids our lives were governed by the basic Islamic principles and we were always told to avoid the seven deadly sins, in school we respected our teachers & we were taught good judgment, and common sense.   Our parents did not leave our upbringing to the teachers and at home we were taught to know the difference between Right and Wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

14th August parades were so much fun.  Serving your country was a privilege; living in Pakistan was A bigger privilege.  We thought fast food was what people ate in America.  In my time having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins and class fellows where a birthday party was something where everyone would forgive and forget and rejoice together and it cost nothing compared to today.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the Evenings and weekends — not purchasing gift vouchers of dealtoday or on olx.  We never heard of MP3s, google glasses, drones, frozen yogurt, or tongue piercings or guys wearing earrings.  We listened to real music that consisted of guitars and drums and actual singing and Tannhaiyan and Fifty / Fifty when on air cleared the roads.  When the street lights came on we came home and our parents always had dinners that included their friends and families.  On the weekends we went to the beaches and we did not know that there was a beach with a foreign country’s name to it.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan ' on it, it was junk.  The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.  Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of on the streets of Karachi.  Our lives were in and around the clubs where there was no politics and no radical school of though was pressed upon you.

When we went out Tung Fong or Bundu Khan was the place to go if not Spinzer for its club sandwiches or Mujeebs for its burgers & Kaybees Ice-cream cones were 5 rupees, if you wanted to talk to anyone you had to use a land phone line and Coke & Pepsi were only 3 rupees a bottle which we thought was expensive.  In my time life was honest and food tasted good. And if you really wanted to you could send a letter or a post card to someone you knew in another country or city for 50 paisa.

My father was a taxi driver at one point and actually got married in a cab,  the big cars were expensive but who could Afford one?  I remember Petrol not having an octane rating but being for 16 rupees a liter and now how I wish we had one of those 8 cylinder monsters on the road.   In my day "coke" was a cold drink,  "pot" was something my mother cooked in and  "Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office,  "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store and "software" wasn't even a word.  We were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. 

We volunteered to protect this precious country unlike today where we stand in line to run away.  There was a sense of freedom on the streets and corruption did not run through the country’s veins.  My generation has complicated so much by trying to simplify things to an extent where the simplicity is complicated to a point of no return.  Today we believe in one God in this country yet we fight over the correct way to worship Allah. We slaughter our Muslim brothers and sisters and we terrorize our women.  In a religion that we follow which forbids idol worship we have created demi-Gods who not only have monetary reasons to pretend piety rather they have vested political interest that go against patriotism.

The reason I write this apology to you is also to ask you to be the last ray of hope that exists to make a difference and stand up for what is right.  Fight what you do not believe in and do not let your soul get corrupted to a point of no return where your child will have resentment for being born in this world.  I am confident that you will make the right choice!

Your Dad!


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