Thursday, July 28, 2005
i don't understand when people go away to university and decide they never want to come back t0 pakistan. specially the ones who grew up here. so wait, let me get this straight. the county you grew up in, the country where you were educated good enough for you to go to university, the country that basically gave you pretty much everything you needed is now the backwater third-world hellhole you never want to return to because hmm. too many people. the traffic sucks. the water isn't clean enough. it's hot. the best one: i won't get a job. that's strange! did the heat bother you when you were playing cricket all afternoon on the street when you were sixteen? was the traffic a problem when you were learning to drive, trying to look nonchalant as you drove by a policeman? aww poor baby, did you feel terrible when you were taking your A levels on those rickety wood desks that collapsed if you kicked them right? each time you went to the beach, did you think you were in hell? did the flies bother you eating halwa poori at a roadside khoka with your cousins?
i think the main problem with people who don't want to come back is that they have no sense of history, or roots. oooh yeah, let's have a really great little debate about this now, but it's true. most of the people who stay back here for undergraduate studies are the ones who didn't get in anywhere abroad. i've really no issues with leaving here to study- as long as you come back. people lack the dard that our grandparents had, our parents have because we're the generation who got it all easy. we didn't have to run from murdering mobs. we didn't have to watch neighbours turning into strangers with guns, breaking into our homes, ready to kill our families. we didn't have to leave behind everything we knew and flee to a country that was just a dream, for all we knew. we didn't have to be wealthy, landed, royal even and leave it all willingly to be regular people in a new country. we weren't on the last bus to leave jullhandhar alive. we haven't ever had to hear a siren wail and run to huddle in ditches while planes whistled overhead in the dark, bombing our city. we didn't have to hug fathers, brothers goodbye, send them to war and wonder if we'd ever see them again. we didn't have our phones ring at breakfast and suddenly be half-orphaned. nope...we grew up safe, secure, swinging off trees and watching the transformers and thunder cats on NTM. we always had enough to eat, we went to the best schools our parents could afford, we sung the national anthem every day in assembly like robots, chewing up the words like they were homework, or brushing your teeth- a necessary appendage to your day. what would we know what patriotism is? we grew up taking our country for granted, all pakistan means for you is having a side to be on during the cricket world cup, or hockey if you watch it. let's not forget the passport that got you to wherever you are now and oh yeah, and it gives you an edge talking politics because you're pakistani so you must know all about dictators and IMF support and illegal nukes, and now Islamic extremists and madrassahs! bah! ungrateful larches! who says you're any better than what you diss? you are adrift, groundless! you will always, always be a stranger, an outsider! you will always be the paki (alarming, the way 'paki' sounds so much like 'jap' did), the brown 'Moslem' trying to make it big in a place s/he doesn't belong in! where will you be when your country needs you? you'll be sitting miles away dissing it out for being authoritarian, undemocratic, oppressive like a good little lap dog wagging its tail to make its master happy! but no, that's not bad, you're being objective, calling a spade a spade, using your wonderful impartiality to make yourself sound so wonderful and educated! fools! fools! how can you? how can you turn your back like that? how can you swallow whatever 'they' tell you just because they're richer? how easy....how easy to be bought by central air-conditioning and freeways and picturesque bike trails. of course nobody wants to live in pakistan where there are beggars and gypsies living in shanties on empty plots that remind you of how fortunate you are, where there are flies and bugs, where the monsoons come and flood the roads. no. everyone wants to live in their nice brainless tract home, drive their station wagon and shop at wal mart and feel that wonderful warm glow of being 'civilised' because you've got frozen fish-sticks in the freezer and you wear jeans all the time and nobody looks. i don't know what kind of life that is, a life where your kids don't speak a word of urdu or punjabi or whatever it was you grew up speaking, where they don't know their cousins or their aunts and uncles. where eid is a stupid little one-dish dinner at the local masjid where everyone wears their silk shalwar kameezes and feels all desi-cool for a while. where nobody can pronounce your name right- and you become fred or bob or mike to be one of the guys. where you will always be the brown paki moozlem stupid wannabe twerp, and rightfully so, because you are trying to be something you aren't, and forgetting who you are in the process, and it's SO obvious! why shouldn't people make fun of you? what difference does it make to you, whether there are floods in pakistan? whether we have to start importing vegetables from india, whether our elections are crapass shams? who cares if the people who make our laws are too busy having fistfights and cussing each other out while in session at the parliament? who cares, as long as i'm rich and successful and have a house on a goddamn hill with an automatic garage door opener and drive a jag, who the bloody hell cares about pakistan, where i could give something back, where i could make a desperately needed difference with what i've learnt from the west. they are good teachers, no doubt about that.
screw you all, you're pathetic and it's a damned shame that pakistan was made for people like you, so that you could be free to do whatever it is you want, so you wouldn't have to be a second-class citizen in your land. but no, you're a stupid sheep who wants to be one! you want to brown-nose someone! god! when i see men like my grandfather mourn this country i want to round up all of you and shoot you. you're a disgrace to this country and you should be ashamed. you never want to come back? fine by us. at least we're home, at least we will always know who we are. at least we still have enough patriotism left to stand by whatever we have- good or bad (and it's plenty of both), it's ours. people before us gave up everything they had for this little scrap of land and we will pull through, Inshallah. you can be a lapdog all you want, we don't want you and your fancy degrees and your disdain for your heritage, your culture, your roots, all forgotten when you come home to visit for two weeks and all you can do is whine about how hot it is and buy khussay not because you like them but because you want to show them off because they're so fashionable now. take it and stay away, if that's what being educated is to you- just a gateway to become rich instead of a step towards helping people who genuinely need it. use it and throw it away, and kick it for good measure because that's what everyone else is doing. how sickening. why don't you learn the pledge of allegiance while you're at it? it'll make more sense to you than hafeez jallandhri's farsi ever did.
Taken from Mina's blog