Stuff that Resilience is made of

Dec 7, 2012 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Non-Fiction

I woke up to the incessant ringing of my phone. While still in the process of coming back to reality, I am informed of a movie plan for the following evening. There’s no way my friends are missing out on the latest Bollywood blockbuster. As the day progress, I can sense optimism all around me. The fruit and vegetable vendors take up their usual spot on the roadside. Every now and then, a car with songs blaring out of the stereo passes by. I can see a tough young man walking his dog while two little girls dressed up in an impeccable school uniform, hop along hand in hand. Even though, some depressing news, a strange new political development or an unlikely event might be right around the corner but I see no sign of distress on the outside world. The eyes of an untrained amateur, could never guess that a society so nonchalant, would be trapped in a multitude of problems. What resilience!

None of us are blind to the daily troubles that surround us. The personal security and liberty of every Pakistani citizen is in shambles. Our economy is in doldrums, half of the population remains illiterate, poverty is on the rise, and as if all of that wasn’t enough; the public is fed-up of the government’s inefficiencies. Every other day we hear of events that shake up the country but we stand firm, facing the challenges with a brave outlook. Instead of cowering down and cursing our fate, we have learned to not just weather the storm but keep on living strong.

Our foundation is based on hope. Our cricket team may be losing the most crucial match, but we’d still be glued to our TV screens till the very end, because it isn’t over till the fat lady sings. Even tennis has now an audience and we swoon to the thought of Aisam-ul-Haq cruising to the Grand Slams Final. Hope is contagious. We’d hoot with joy at Pakistan making eight world records in a day and we’d rush in hordes to buy the latest lawn print that is all the rage! And when all else would fail, we’d turn to food for consolation; a plate of steaming Chicken Biryani or a dose of Halwapuri would get us through the day. No matter what the state of the country is, nothing would stop us from enjoying a hot cup of coffee at one of the busiest commercial hubs. It’s the little things that count, and we’re a living testament of that.

We, as a nation, have so subtly adapted to the environment around us that we don’t let pain conquer us for long. We’re neither insensitive nor immune to the atrocities being committed on a daily basis but rather, we have let the hope in our hearts triumph all the negativity. In spite of the constant threats, our journalists and social activists do not stop raising their voices for the victims of injustice. Sectarian violence has become a norm but there still remain many amongst us who do not hesitate to speak up against this unfair condemnation of the minorities by the society. Just last month, the Sunni community of Gilgit-Baltistan awed the world by their act of gallantry; providing a human shield for the highly persecuted Shia community during one of the 10th Muharram processions. We have the worst law and order situation, with the crime rate at its highest and frequent bomb blasts tearing through the cities, yet our Police Force stands united in protecting the citizens even at the cost of their own lives. The media, both national and international, may portray Pakistan to be on the verge of failure but the citizens have learnt to brush off the allegations and not let despair get to them.

A nation that knows no fear, living under the constant threat of unknown diseases has also become a way of life for us Pakistanis. From the outbreak of bird flu, to the dengue menace stretching for months, the fake medicines and now the poisoned cough syrup scam, we have had it all. Once paranoia gets set in a society, it can shake it up to the very core. However, we have stood against all odds by first suffering, then recovering and finally working to uproot the problem. While the world expects us to break down and crumble, we show them that we’re here to stay.

It comes as little surprise that, according to the Happy Planet Index (HPT) 2012, Pakistan was termed the 16th happiest country out of 151 countries of the world. Many would scoff at the findings but we just need to look at the people around us, smiling at and appreciating the little things in life. It’s not always about how wealthy a country is or how it’s waging in the global scenario; sometimes it’s just about a citizen’s simplistic approach towards life. So the next time someone tells you that Pakistan is going down, you tell them that we are Pakistanis and we are going nowhere!

Image Thumbnail Rights Reserved to Jiah’s Photography.

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Bravo!!! I second your every thought….

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