September 2, 2010
And there we go again. Two processions, two attacks. Gunshots in Karachi, not sure how many died. Three bomb blasts in Lahore, 33 killed, scores injured, countless traumatized. It's difficult to believe, sometimes, that Pakistan is not - in fact - cursed. I don't know how to describe what I felt when I heard of the attacks. There is grief, I know, hidden underneath all the numbness, but on the surface its difficult to register anything. There is just too much happening. Too many things going wrong. I wondered if anyone I knew had been hurt, but I couldn't bring myself to type out the obligatory sms asking people if they - and their families - are safe. At the back of my head, I think I've reached the conclusion that I'd rather not know. I don't want to look at pictures of the blast, or to see all the survivors beating-their-chests and wailing over their loss. I don't want to see the pained helplessness in grieving eyes because I'm afraid they'll see the same sort of helplessness in mine. I'm afraid they'll see that I've given up hope now. Given up hope that it's going to get better. Given up hope that somehow we'll manage to sort it out. Given up hope that the menace of the taliban will somehow confine itself to that-side-of-the-border. Given up hope that when the flood waters will recede life will go back to normal. Every day, in so many ways, I mourn the loss of the country I grew up in. The country I used to love. Once upon a time when I applauded my parent's decision to stay in Pakistan and not migrate to Canada like the rest of their flock. When I left for my masters, I signed the Fulbright stay-at-home-for-two-years clause happily, I had absolutely no intentions of settling anywhere else but here. Today, I'm no longer sure I can survive in Pakistan. Truth be told, I'm not sure anyone can.