It felt uneasy in my stomach when I got up this morning. The overwhelming contentment which I used to have 20 years ago as a child was not there.
I am still struggling intellectually on both fronts. Past and Present.
My frequent visits to history are making it further obscure. The constant search of ideology keeps me dangling between the likes of Ayesha Jalal and Mukhtar Masood. Knowing is afflictive if you have no clue how to deconstruct.
Present is not animating either. As Ayaz Amir puts it, these are not very proud days to be a Pakistani.
And if all this was not enough, it was advised not to visit public places on 14th as it is not safe out there. We are not as grievously affected as Faiz when he wrote this; but most of it is still valid:
Nisar mein teri galion peh ai watan, keh jahan
Chali hai rasm keh koi na sar utha keh chale
Jo koi chahane wala tawaaf ko nikle
Nazar chura keh chale, Jismo-jan bacha keh chale Hai ahl-e-dil ke liye ab yeh nazm-e-bast-o-kushaad
Keh sang-o-khisht muqayyad hain aur sag aazad
Bahut hain zulm keh dast-e-bahana-ju keh liye
Jo chund ahl-e-junoon tere naam leva hain
Baney hain ahl-e-hawas muddai bhi, munsif bhi
Kisey wakil karein, kis sey munsifi chahen
Magar Guzaarane walon ke din guzarate hain
Tere firaq mein yun subh-o-shaam kartey hain
Bujha jo rozan-e-zindan to dil yeh samjha hai
Keh teri maang sitaron se bhar gai hogi
Chamak uthe hain salasil to humne jaana hai
Keh ab sahar tere rukh par bikhar gai hogi
Gharaz tasawwur-e-shaam-o-sahar mein jeete hai
Giraft-e-saaya-e-diwaar-o-dar mein jeete hain
Yuhin hamesha ulajhti rahi hai zulm se khalq
Na unki rasm nai hai, na apni reet nai
Yuhin hamesha khilaye hain humne aag mein phool
Na unki haar nai hai, na apni jeet nai
Isi sabab se falak ka gilaa nahin karate
Tere firaq mein hum dil bura nahin karate
Gar aaj tujhse juda hain to kal baham hongey
Yeh raat bhar ki judai to koi baat nahin
Gar aaj auj peh hai taal’a-e-raqeeb to kya
Yeh chaar din ki khudai to koi baat nahin
Jo tujhse ahd-o-wafa ustuvaar rakhtey hain
Ilaaj-e-gardishe lailo-nihaar rakhate hain
One year from now, probably in the midst of another discontented summer, I have to start narrating my boys the story of Pakistan. I know they would hear with interest and believe all of it just like I believed it when it was first narrated to me.
I make a resolve to myself this August. I would not pass on this story as it was recounted to me. I would just give them enough to ask new questions. I would take them to the past and let them unfold it all their lives. This might be a first firm step towards disenchantment and collective contentment of the present.
Long live Pakistan.