They say so. What they say is quite believable. They created cures, better transport, camera, electricity, the internet and all the woes that come with it. That’s what makes this claim of theirs very believable. The sayings of the philosophers and cult leaders on the other hand remain without tangible reasoning. Nonetheless, they too have claimed the same. Growing up believing water holds the key to life got embedded into the subconscious. That’s a plus with science. Coincidentally a book written by an atheist reached my shelf. It spoke of a map. There’s a water well on the route mentioned in the map. The story grew from a well and spread uncontrollably, often accompanied by greed, war and death. You are likely to invite the wrath of good men if you want to reach the same conclusion after seeing the map. Relax and grab yourself a glass of water. It still holds life.
You are the passenger. Memories are the baggage you carry. You are headed to the destination. Some will hop down at their stops. On yours, you too would leave and become a baggage for someone who too is destined for the same. Some would find the ride getting a little boring and try to open something to read and this is what a few came across.
سردیوں کی دھند اور رات کے اندھیرے میں لپٹی اس کے گھر کو جانے والی سنسان سڑک پر یادوں کا ہجوم تھا. گہرے سناٹوں میں قائم اس میلے میں کتنے آشناء دیکھے. وہ ابتداء کے بھیجے ہوئے پیغامات، خط اور تصاویر قہقہوں میں مصروف تھے. رات بھر ہونے والی فون کالز بھی موجود تھیں. روشنی بکھیرتے تحائف پہلے روز سے روشن تھے اور شام کی رونق کے فریب کا سبب تھے. وہ پہلی ملاقات اس رونق کی جان بنے ہجوم کے بیچ تھی. اس کے گرد قول و قرار کی بھیڑ تھی. جن سے آج بھی لوگ بے خبر ہیں وہ لمحات وصل محفل میں باحجاب تھے. حالیہ مباحثے کو بھی ایک کونے میں پرانے اختلافات کے ساتھ پایا. ایک طرف سب تلخیاں بھی یکجا نظرآئیں. آخرمیں کھڑی جدائی کا حسن سحر انگیز تھا. میں اس چوک تک پہنچ چکا تھا جس کے قریب اس کا گھر تھا. دھند گہری ہو چکی تھی.
No two worshippers get the same reward even when performing the same ritual in the same amount. No two lovers get the same return even when loving the same focus with the same intensity. No two readers would come to the same meanings when reading the same lines. I don’t know what meanings would you draw after reading these words. Just like you don’t know mine. Or do you?
Is love in the air? Maybe. Or perhaps it isn’t. All elements including that of air and the others have been known to carry this emotion. Time, as ruthless as it can be, transforms the shade and the intensity of it making it invisible at certain turns pushing mortals to believe that it might have ended. These mortals then conclude that there is no love in the air. Some who were lucky enough to gather a following decided to summon it up on one day for expressing or for escape but they overlooked the fact that it’s one of those things that can never be bound to a moment. An entire life seems to be too little for it, let alone a day that comes every year. It is not just the air that has carried it. Ghalib mentions the faces of love that gave meaning to life vanishing into the earth. Time proves him timeless and right. There would always be love in and on earth. And as one version of the story goes, there lived two energies in a place called paradise who were madly in love with each other. The balance was disturbed when a third one was introduced resulting in the fire getting expelled. It was love that could not be ended. So the fire carried it along seeking vengeance. Rest assured, if you carry any or all of the elements, it’s already there contaminating the remotest ends of your soul and your life. But hey, just don’t buy flowers today, they are selling them at inflated rates.
Afghanistan. A bad neighbor? A thankless country? Maybe both. Maybe not. Griefs deform our minds forever and that land has suffered from grief. That too for a very long time. It has distorted the minds, permanently. It would take a long time to heal any, if that ever becomes a possibility. The same actors that were ousted are in power again. Those actors had supporters on this side of the porous border as well. When a superpower invaded those supporters went into hiding but now they too are out in the open. I came across a mass of those cheering supporters online. In the 80’s when the bad and thankless neighbor celebrated the kicking out of another superpower, a crowd of supporters existed even then. History, which loves to repeat itself, knows that the stash of human-killing weapons these superpowers leave behind when running away eventually end up in places where they shouldn’t. That is exactly how unregistered Soviet weapons ended up on the streets of Karachi and contributed to the creation of evils of street crime, target killings and political assassinations. Some of those who celebrated in the 80’s lost loved ones later at the hands of the weapons left behind. Their reason to live ended. There are fools who are rejoicing now not knowing that years later this laughter might be paid with a heavy price – the price of heavy funerals. History repeats itself. Only the fools don’t ever want to learn from it.
I have never liked policemen. Somehow the law enforcement agencies in my country represent evil. If one half of law is the intricate system of judiciary, the other without a doubt is the system of police and other law enforcing institutes.No one can pinpoint to how a crime comes to being or how a criminal is made in the first place. There are examples of people who went to the wrong side just because they were never treated well on the right side. Look at the example of what happened in Sahiwal. What would happen to the minds of a youngster when he sees his parents shot to death in broad daylight by none other than the people who were supposed to protect them. The print and the electronic media are the two main sources which are keeping me updated on the incident and how it is unfolding in front of our eyes. Shock and grief are the two emotions which have spread throughout the country but we as a nation have weaker memories and tomorrow we will forget what happened. The tragedy of a dying breed whether it is a dying breed of an animal or an art or a nation is that they never remember those tragedies which happened to others but they only remember the ones that affect them and those too on an individual level. It is our personal interests over the national interest which has divided us to a level that now there is no going back unless we cut back on our greed. This very greed of us is what has us divided in the first place. It is our greed of life which makes us afraid of these monsters in uniforms. We see everyday the policeman searching civilians in the name of law the so-called snip checking. Still the crime rate is high and people are afraid more from these traders of law who were supposed to be protectors. I still remember the man who used to sell fruit-juice in my neighborhood. Because he was too friendly with a policeman he had to suffer a fatal wound when that policeman was attacked in a targeted attack.
Just imagine witnessing a car travelling on the motorway carrying a family with women and children in it. Suddenly you see a police car chasing them and then blocking their way. Out jump those masked policemen who would shoot a spray of bullets on that car killing the members of the family instantly without the intervention or thought of law, logic or humanity. There are no external reason why other nations fear and scorn us. It is our own hypocrisy whether it comes to the system of law or the system of justice or the system of religious equality and social justice. We are hypocrites. You can never argue with a bearded trader of religion because there are so many educated and cultured blind following are crippled wheelchair wala who easily label you as a blessed famous and then send you to a harsh end. Luckily the bastard is behind bars as of this writing. But every monster comes out in a weaker system. It is so easy to just blame someone of a serious charge like blasphemy and then settle personal scores. The tragedy is that in a country of God, I found no God. You never know when some mullah might blame God for blasphemy or when a policewala shoot him.
How many times do you realise that few moments do exist when you wish for a thing and it comes true. A few weeks back the itch to quit everything and visit the mountains or go to Lahore or to do both took a hold of me. Life gets strenuous and grey yet here I am sitting at the very same table in the same restaurant from where we used to have our breakfast. I cannot find any familiar face so far. Maybe somebody is searching for me and cannot find a familiar face either.
Yes, a new year demands a new flow. But every time I move the current year to an archive, I start feeling like an old ghost. Or maybe is it a ghost haunting me. A chudail perhaps. No, the chudails could never be one. Never.