Refugees: who to support?

Pakistan vs. Afghanistan- I did not know who to support?

Even if Pakistan had lost – I would have still not cursed the Pakistan cricket team. Maybe I would have cheered them for letting Afghanistan win.

Pakistan won yesterday. It is a team on the go. What a change in fortunes?

It was not long ago it was the shame of cricketing community.

The day Salman Butt episode happened – something within every Pakistani died.

As a nation Pakistan has endured adversities of magnitude at time unbearable to think of. They kept hope. Cricket provided an escape. A victory was an opportunity to laugh and dance.  A defeat was an opportunity to vent out the pent-up frustrations.

Salman Butt and Company ruined it all.

As a nation we have our flaws but not even in our wildest dreams we could have thought of the humiliation that we suffered.

They stabbed us in the back. A large majority of Pakistanis work hard to build an image that Pakistan has problems but then Pakistan has a large number of hardworking sincere ethical people. Salman Butt and Company poured cold water on the image building work.

But that was past. The present Pakistan cricket team is marvelous. It is homeless and lives out of suitcases. It wins frequently but cannot hear the cheering of its own people.

It is however a team that has proved that just like the nation called Pakistani – we have our flaws but when we are determined, when we are focused and where there are no egos we can rise from ashes to attain fortunes unknown and unheard of.

Yesterday the Pakistan cricket team defeated Afghanistan. It was not the match I enjoyed. It was the electrifying atmosphere. Two nations who together have faced common misfortunes were together on the cricket ground.

A predominantly Pathan crowd danced and cheered and my heart went out to them. Their eyes have seen enough tears.

Yesterday however was common celebration for the two nations who are refugees of the cricket world.

As I watched the match – I made a small prayer – in my life time I may watch Pakistan and Afghanistan play a test match in Kabul or Peshawar.

Whom will I support – none – the spirit of resilience will be supported though!


Lahore: Aspired?

  • February 3, 2012
  • Blogs

Absence makes the heart fonder. Not true!

Fondness is unlimited, unconditional, unquestioned and thus usually blind….like my love for you is Lahore!

Separated from you, your memories come rushing randomly so that not a second goes by when I do not think of you.

Ironically the memory that persistently floats around is of that sunny morning….the security guard telling me not to leave home….there was firing going on….. I replying all is always fine in Lahore …he urging…I persisting…getting near Liberty…. seeing people running screaming panicking….still persisting…getting to the office… the Sri Lankan cricket team had been attacked….!

Wrecked – for minutes numbed!

Denial….my senses had been blown away.

When senses prevailed the first question was WHY?

Lahore- why did you snatch me of my belief in your infinite capacity to protect your inhabitants and guests?

There were many pleasant memories I had of you but all have been overshadowed by the memory of that unforgettable anarchic sunny morning.

Yes – there is another memory that does come raging too!

The night of 27th December 2007 – the day of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination!

Calamitous the killing was but Lahore – you exhibited benevolent motherly characteristics traits to protect its people. The streets were deserted-gloom prevailed but that was your characteristic  – a momentous tragedy had stuck and mourning was observed peacefully and respectfully.

Lahore – you know for your inhabitants there is no other city like you.

Away from you they compare you to wherever they are and you always win. London or New York can be like Lahore but not better than Lahore!

Lahore – these days I am in Colombo. Whenever I step out all I can think is that this city has defeated death to be a living city. I grew up listening to tales of hardships of Sri Lanka- I see today an extremely vibrant city.

Shunned by tourists -foreigners queue today to get residents visas. What a change in fortune?
Lahore-my day goes by asking in my life time will I see a similar change in Lahore.  Will I see a Lahore free of barricades; free of fear- will I see a cricket match played between Pakistan and SriLanka in Lahore?

Lahore – you know I hate Pakistan losing but for that day let Sri Lanka win – that would be your formal apology to Sri Lanka.

The spirit of Lahore will be at rest that day!

Lahore: Are you aspired to be like Colombo?

How can be I like Colombo – a good question Lahore – maybe it is for us the inhabitants to make you like Colombo- maybe we need to think, plan and act the plan!