It’s been such a bad couple of weeks for poor old Paki-land. As if we didn’t have a whole boatload of backlog issues to sort out, in the last 10 days, we saw a a rise in what are still not being called targeted killings, a terrible terrible plane crash, the worst floods in many decades, and MQM killing that literally ground Karachi to a halt for the last 3 days. And just as we took a breather of a day, a couple fo idiots went and blew themselves up to add to the massive unrest already plaguing this country. The word dire doesn’t even begin to cover the scenario. I reel at the fact that we manage to lead even somewhat ordinary lives here.
Strangely enough the fact is that we do. Yes I agree, it is a strange unsettled kind of existence in phases- the kind that brings reality slamming into ones face- but for me, its this very face to face with mortality that I feel has started keeping me on track. I find myself living more fully in some ways- telling those people who I love that I love them, appreciating the things we always think we will get around to appreciating one day in our lives. My fights with my siblings and my differences with my peers are shorter and less potent somehow- because in the unpredictable scheme of life, really, what is more important- an ego or a relationship?
I am quite sure there is something very skewed and very wrong with this kind of living- where the edge dominates the way you live. Perhaps one day a shrink will sit back and try to figure it out in my head- and Ill be termed a victim of trauma or war in its passive sense. I realize I sound quite content with this state. I assure you I am not. I would jump at the chance to be oblivious to this kind of raw awareness of danger- I would love to be disconnected enough to be just tut tut and feel sad for Pakistan while watching news only to go update my status about how awful things are and wtf- but the truth is I am not- and I have to live with that. I have to still plan my sisters baby shower and the brunch on the Sunday before. And yes, I am very excited about those and all the bad things that happen around me have not managed to dim my sense of excitement of the upcoming get togethers. If anything, those seems more a necessity than ever before- because, again, hasnt what is happening around us shown us how short life is, and how important people are?
I get a lot of flak from people for my positive attitude- because they possibly don’t get it where it comes from. Truth is I dont either. I dont know why I believe in this country- maybe because again and I have said it in many a post before- I keep seeing this country for what i can be- not what it is- and for me then, this whole period of strife and turmoil becomes a process- call it labour if you must- and I try to focus on the result- which will be worth it in every sense of the word. Perhaps I am positive simply because I am an idealist and in denial and my ability to block out what many people regard as the truth is superhuman. Currently that works for me too because atleast in my bubble, I am able to grow my children the way I want them to be one day, if lucky- hopeful, believing in the best and cherishing the rest.
Agreed being an optimist in these times in Pakistan is hard- but I tried being a realist last week and it was harder. All I ended up doing was raising my blood pressure to 140/100 (which earned me some bed rest- blah!) and obsessively googling about plane crashes and floods. By the end of the day, my firm resolution was to hide all those newsmongers on facebook who post news articles with titles “Oh God what next?” and not read the paper or watch tv. Like I said, currently denial works best. In the following week, all readings and mental stress counts were back to normal. There are times when one chooses inward over the outward and thanks to the Higher Power for the ability to do so when required. Lastly I finally acquiesce to Hussy that yes, ostriches are smart birds and sometimes, for the sake of sanity prevailing, it just is better to stick your head in the cool sand till the worst is over.