Sitting silently in a cozy room on a comfy settee as I imbibed well-brewed coffee, the thought of all the comfort and opulence kept lingering within me. I could not grasp the heart wrenching conversation I had with a debile, young woman. Her eyes were numb with pain and she spoke in her tender voice, “A beloved friend from my war torn hometown carrying her ninth month old baby was brutally shot dead by her callous husband because she made a mistake of experiencing delivery pain in the absence of a health facility.” She paused, looked at me with an expressionless face and continued, “Her husband couldn’t deal with the situation and found taking two destitute lives the easiest way to escape the scenario.” Her words kept echoing in my head as I switched through television channels but they were suddenly overshadowed by the headlines on the television. The massacre just continued. Hundreds of Shia’s killed in a bomb blast, Christian and Hindus faced draconian trials under blasphemy law, schools blasted to rubble, children slaughtered like animals, girls molested for stepping out of their house—and affluent people just stated condolences. Ah! What a world I live in. My heart sank as I tried to clinch my fists, I felt almost paralyzed.
I was trying to understand the dynamics, divisions, and classifications of our species when suddenly I shocked by a deafening sound that boomed through the neighborhood. Our house and furniture shook as if it had experienced a magnitude 7 earthquake. The windows juggled to keep the glass intact. While, I was trying to recover from the jolt another fierce roar shook the neighborhood. Two rockets had just hit a house located a minute walk from my house. But luck was on our side today–the neighborhood was protected from causality as the rockets did not explode.
The next thing I could hear was the siren of military vehicles. As usual men left the house and gathered in the streets. They comforted each other, ensured that everything was alright in the neighborhood and no one got hurt. Meanwhile, the females remained in the house and prayed to God eagerly for the long, peaceful, and healthy life of their beloved families. The children were frightened but the parents and community guaranteed them that they will always take care of them and God will protect them. Military personnel once again played their role by disposing and clearing an area affected by a deadly weapon attack. This day ended with a deep realization that life really is uncertain and short—everyone has to die but at their own time.
As we move forward in time, this is not the environment that the next generations should experience. The carefree childhood of youth cannot be robbed and sweet memories cannot be replaced by violent memories. Every child, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, race, or religion, has the right to live their dream and feel safe and happy in the society. Let not human beings resemble felines, bear, canines that fight their own young. Human beings were made superior to all species. So show superiority, respect humanity and play your positive role in building a constructive society. Just like a drop of water in the ocean, even the smallest effort has a significant contribution.
I am glad and honoured to have met wonderful people in my life, and to see them make tremendous effort to uplift the society. Pakistan’s youth bulge is creatively coming forward and tapping all areas be it health, education, water and sanitation, women empowerment, environment, climate change, good governance, youth development, disability, minority rights, social activism, entrepreneurship, tackling extremism, and more. Likewise, our ELP family is an amalgation of all this and has never failed to inspire me. Their work and stories are a source of motivation.
I end this note by holding my head up high and saying: I am a proud Pakistani. I am in love with my own country, its scenic beauty, rich culture, and hospitable people. My hope for betterment and peace will always thrive and efforts on my behalf shall never be stopped because in the end it is every single little effort that counts.