Ink and tears

Putting a pen tip to paper as tears fall, smudging the ink, spreading the pain. That’s what I want to see as I pour out my feelings. That is what I realised as I clicked the little pencil icon to start a new post. So here, I go. I’ll put away the laptop and pull out the notebook I barely ever write in, that I almost never remember exists in moments like these, even though moments like these are what that mostly blank notebook is reserved for. Ofcourse, I only have a ball point or so nearby, so I doubt the ink will spread from my tears. Maybe writing will stem my tears anyway, give my pain a different outlet. Off to get that notebook now.

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On Awareness and Udaari

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WARNING: SPOILER ALERT, but important highlights of what the show brings up, if you want to know what it’s about…

In only 5 episodes so far, the drama serial Udaari  (on Hum TV) has very tastefully highlighted major issues plaguing our society:

  • Started off by showing that men shouldn’t care what people think, that there shouldn’t be stigma attached to marrying a widowed woman with children, and that it’s okay for a widow to remarry.  (Though that didn’t exactly turn out well, because the guy was worse than a major creep.)
  • Showed that just because a women uses singing/dancing as a source of income, doesn’t automatically mean she’s welcoming your indecent advances, or that it is okay to disrespect her, or to force yourself on her.
  • It showed a mother believing her daughter, when she rightfully accused a ‘trusted’ neighbor of attempted rape. There was no victim blaming.When it came to this, the girl was not judged and blamed based on her past record of being in a relationship (despite society often doing such unfair things). Her family didn’t tell her she was ‘Asking for it.’ Which is how it should be. Victims are never asking for it.
  • It shows that a predator can be anyone. Even someone who pretends to be kind and loving, someone who has gained your trust. Just because they’re monsters, doesn’t mean they have to look the part. You need to watch out for those sick people.

And one of the most important things: 

  • It highlights and creates awareness about the issue of Child Sexual Abuse. This is super important, because this crime is facilitated by lack of awareness, or ‘innocence’. Kids don’t understand what is happening to them, they often don’t realize it’s bad, they don’t know they’re supposed to report it. And that’s why the predators mostly get away with it. Parents need to take this show as a reminder to educate their children, and I assure you, that can be done without ruining their innocence. They don’t need to know the details. They need to know what kind of touching is inappropriate. Tell them to let you know if anyone ever makes you uncomfortable. Kids have intuition too. (Baat Karo is another project creating awareness, and the stories there show how important it is for kids to be protected and how important awareness is and how victim blaming needs to stop.)

 

Why would people report it? Why would PEMRA send a notice? There has been stuff on television that has been much more inappropriate and graphic. If these issues; especially the child abuse, makes you uncomfortable, it’s because it’s a bitter truth, and something rampant in our society. It needs to be stopped. Not ignored. Quit being in denial. Remember Kasur. Watch Udaari. Baat Karo.

An Open Letter to Terrorists Who Claim to be Islamic

You’re definitely not dear or respected so I’m going to get right into this. I get that the entire purpose of your existence is to spread terror. But you see, your atrocities have not caused this nation to be consumed by fear. When you attacked a school, we didn’t stop going to ours. When you attacked a university, we didn’t drop out. You attacked a park, but that won’t stop us from going to parks. Terrified? We’re angry and absolutely appalled. We are sickened that you targeted a school in Peshawar, that you targeted children. And then Bacha Khan happened. And now a park in Lahore. Yes. We are at war. But children aren’t even supposed to be collateral damage, let alone the actual targets of armed attacks. Schools and parks were never meant to be battle fields. And nations weren’t supposed to be so used to loss that they only mourn like this when the worst happens; when children are killed. You’ve caused our mourning to have degrees. We, as a nation, seem to be subconsciously controlling the amount of pain we let ourselves feel, based on the nature and degree of the transgression against humanity.

People were never meant to be maps or places. But I am Peshawar (though we didn’t quite say it like that then), I am Paris, I am Ankara, I am Lahore. Am. Not Was.

And the pain reduces to a dull ache. Until the next attack. It consumes us, but we get more and more desensitized to the pain. I grew up in this war. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t being told to pray for my country.

You know, I’ve been told to pray for Pakistan all my life. And I did and do with all my heart. But in a different way than I’ve prayed for Palestine all these years. Palestine is wrongfully occupied. Pakistan has been free. Terrorists like you, well, you’re diseases and pests. Something we need to get rid of. You’re leeching off of us but it’s not the same kind of war as in Palestine. But a couple of years ago, I read with horror that Israeli bombs or missiles or something had been dropped on a park on Eid. Children died for being outside playing, and celebrating. That was so terrible. I’d never thought that would ever happen here. You murdered kids and families who were out celebrating their religious festival. How dare you? Just because they followed a different religion than the one you claim to?

You give Muslims a violent image. You are the reason that Muslims have to be apologetic for murders and massacres they did not cause. They aren’t allowed to mourn the loss of human lives because they need to be defensive first.

I don’t know why you call yourselves Muslim. Islam condemns murder and suicide and harming people. The orders for war were to fight BACK. Muslim armies weren’t allowed to attack first, even if two armies stood face to face in a battle field. And children. The Prophet (PBUH) loved them. How could you harm beings so innocent?

We have vowed to bring you down. And we win against you every day. We win with every smile. We win with every child who goes to school. We win with every person who lives. We win every time a Muslim and a Non-Muslim share a kind word. We win whenever a doctor, with the help of Allah, saves a life. With every life you take, you kill all of mankind. It’s in the Quran. And with every life we save, we save them all. We’re winning all the battles, so how can you even begin to think you’ll win the war?