Camera charged, new memory card with added space inserted. Even dressed in green, I was literally jumping with excitement on our way to Wagah to witness the daily border parade.
The adrenaline at the venue was mind blowing but more fantastical was the show of unity amongst the Pakistani stands. Forgotten were the differences between Punjabis and Pathans, Urdu speaking and Sindhis as they all stood shoulder to shoulder, hearts swelling with pride at the sight of their army jawans. Like a single loud roar, the Takbeers and Zindabads of the Pakistani audience resonated through and beyond the human, walled borders.
However, as iconic as Wagah is for both Pakistani’s and Indians the sad part was that for most zealots there, the nationalistic pride came at the expense of an exhibition of hostility towards the neighboring country. I myself, at the point was no different. Had anyone given me a bomb and asked to go running through the gates if my country needed it, I wouldn’t have had a second thought.
But post ceremony, as the over whelming emotion ebbed to everyday practicality, I wondered why we have not been able to extend our patriotism beyond dramatized chanting, why does our heart not beat to the anthem without the stomping salutes of the soldiers’ feet?
While exiting the ceremony area and driving back into the city, I quietly wished to see unity like this not just during patriotic ceremonies or jalsa’s but in every walk of life. To rise together against the oppressors and corruption that assails our nation.
I wished that fellow Pakistani’s would not look for opportunities to leave the country but instead recreate it, to be the masters of our own future rather than be puppet audiences who can do no more than to sit and watch outsiders pull the strings of our tomorrow
I hoped that we realize the siren’s call of false promises or getting stabbed knowingly in the back by trickery and torment. We have been killed enough, looted enough, fooled enough. I hope that within us, the capability of being our own leaders is still alive.
I hope that beyond events and ceremonies, WE are still alive!
(Trigger your patriotism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT-brnE7ZWo)