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.
After leaving the hostel, I went back one day. It was deserted. Due to a holiday I was able to find a chance of going to Lahore. I hoped to see and feel all that used to give pleasure. And bits of pain too. As that pleasure and pain were so abundant back in the day, I thought that they would never end. Death is, therefore, the ultimate reality that was specifically designed to not let man become God. It makes him understand the ephemeral nature of his own self, his life, and everything that makes the life beautiful. The staff of the hostel knew me, so even being an outsider, technically, I was still able to reach my old room. It was locked. Obviously it meant that I could not meet the one soul I had come to meet. A few hours were at my disposal as I had to pack and catch the flight and head home. I wanted to live that years of happiness I experienced in the earlier days in a few minutes of reality. The door always had a paper plastered on it which we used to convey messages to the guests and the delivery guys. Thought some of them did containing an “assumed” artistic beauty, some were outright nasty, obscene and classless. Some were life lessons and enlightenments. After I left, a few more words were added.
Scrolling through the pictures yesterday, I came across the photograph from that day. That locked door with the message was a turning point of life. Or maybe the turning point of life became a door itself. Even today I seek the answer.
A man in my neighborhood just divorced his wife. That is not a new thing. It’s not the first time somebody has divorced his wife and certainly it’s not the last time either. The term divorce and the whole dilemma that surrounds it is our social stigma. People are happily accepting bigger monsters yet this word frightens many. It is not just the act that is scary. The repercussions are what go deeper. When one faces a similar situation they don’t want anybody else to talk about it as it pertains to them. But when they listen about someone else getting divorced, this talk becomes a favourite topic for them. It itself is the evil polarity that will destroy the society in the end. Polarity will kill as many as global warming would.
My next door neighbour is a very polite and a humble man. I’ve not heard any negative air about him which partly is because he does not interfere in the works of either the union or anybody else in the neighborhood. He limits to himself. That is why when I heard that he had divorced his wife after a night of long, loud and scary arguments which started after midnight, I took some time to believe in what the people were talking about. The very next day when I was going for work, I saw that man with a burqa clad woman. Right at the entrance of the building, two old ladies were whispering something to each other and pointing towards my neighbour. I knew that it could not be something good or positive. Obviously the biggest monster in our society is not the vampire who can walk on walls and can suck all the blood out of you in a minute. The biggest monster is not the one who becomes a wolf when the first ray of moonlight hits him. It is not even that unstable mind who would pick up a gun and without a second thought kill the innocents. You guessed it right! It is that man who divorces his wife even if the bridge of the marriage started to collapse at the end of the wife. At the time of this writing, I came to know that he divorced his wife for another woman. Nothing new. It happens. It can happen. That is how humans are. Nobody likes to eat the same thing at dinner for the rest of his life. But my neighbour’s new dinner came from the same restaurant. He married the sister of his wife. The size of the monster grew in the eyes of the society when the people came to know that both of his wives are living in the same apartment and he has not formally divorced the first wife before marrying the second one. It is a twisted society perhaps. I was hungry at the start of day and decided to eat something fancy. However at this moment I am feeling that no restaurant can serve me good. I would skip dinner.
Everyone at old age wants to become young again. There is a price of being young. The price of experiencing the same things including troubles and pain and learning from these experiences. After realizing the actual price of starting life over again, many might not want to press the reset button. It is not easy to give everything up and face the same tortures and the same monsters for another time. Nobody wants to die twice just to be in the same heaven. Changing one’s primary method of communication to a newer bridge is not comfortable. It surely has the same price. Without a doubt, the advantage is as enormous as the hardship. I waited for almost 15 minutes in the hall before this realization hit me. I gave up the idea of creating a new Rome. I can live with the monster but I don’t have both the stamina and the courage to get a new number again and start the communication of life from the beginning. I cannot press the reset button. I guess that’s why a lot of men do not develop the same spark once they get married. The newer attractions live only in the cages of flings and attractions. They opt for such comforting and easier adventures instead of falling into a pit that has fewer chances of coming out ever again. So let’s not press that button. Let’s never press that button.
I peeled the skin of a woman out of curiosity. Under the layer was a truer being. The monster who used to looked good. Undoubtedly, with the charms of those appearances, there would be many fools of men the monster would have pulled and swallowed. A monster, however, lives inside me too. It is neither as charming nor as ugly as hers. It’s the monster under my skin who saw her broken skin. Curiosity made him have a peek. In the end, it was frightened but content. Its hunch was right. The ugly monster is still alive. I guess it takes a monster to know a monster.
July 1st, 2018 / 4:24 AM It’s someone’s birthday. Every day is someone’s birthday. So is today. We spent a good time together. A golden time perhaps. Only if that could be re-lived. I cannot overlook a question. Will any of us forget and forgive if we relive it? I fail to reach any answer when I realize that I have not forgotten anything even today. It is being very unwise of me. A fool here. I have no idea of the other side. If anyone comes to see my end, they will find my side of the bridge intact. Maybe the other end is intact too. Yet the bridge fell. It is another question that keeps peaceful sleep and harmony at bay. We once talked about life and the afterlife and decided that the one who outlives the other should tell the next generation of ours about how many years we stayed in each other’s lives. I believe that silence is not absence. It never is. Has God ever talked to us? Yet when we pray, we believe that he is there. This example does not apply to those who don’t believe in a God. The number of years we talked is now less than the number of years we haven’t. I wish the wiser of us was more wiser. It is the first of July. I wish happiness for the other end of the bridge, even if it has fallen.