These are trying times for you if you happen to be a Pakistani. As always, Murphy got it spot on with his law of: ‘anything that can go, will go wrong’ and we’re the practical example for that. One thing is for certain though, when everyone talks about a series of unfortunate events, they don’t exactly have us in mind.
The latest in this tragedy, and let’s call it tragedy because that is exactly what I think it is, happens to be the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, who left a car full of explosive material in full view of the bustling streets of New York. For what really, I have to ask? There’s nothing Islamic about throwing bombs around. Neither is there anything honorable in doing something like this. I’m not sure Shahzad can claim a sudden attack of amnesia or split personality disorder and blame the turn of events on his ‘other’ self?
To say that Pakistan and by default Pakistanis are facing exacting times would certainly be an understatement. If you take a look at Pakistan’s internal misfortunes they just keep piling up. A military dictator, a coup, a frontline ally in Bush’s war on terror, economic woes, energy woes – you name it, we’ve been through every kind of up and down in just the past few decades alone (well, more down than up anyway).
In this day and time where things are moving at the speed of light – we’re well short of electricity to meet even our daily demands. We ask for democracy, for our rights – what we get is a certain Mr. 10 percent with a smile that can frighten young kids into sleeping early and reaching for their night lights. We ask for sporting gods, to see our sports men gracing the covers of magazines and newspapers all over the world – what we get is a ball-biting captain, a match fixing team, a flurry of ‘party pictures’ from another team and an ex-captain who is trying his hand at politics and failing miserably. We ask for simple answers, of things that are happening – what we get is an information minister who can spin tales like Scheherazade (and not make any sense while he’s at it).
So what can one do, short of driving oneself into a wall or reaching for some booze to make everything fade in the background? Oh wait, you can’t drink in Pakistan. But hold on again what are the two Presidents doing, enjoying them a glass of good bubbly? A smoke? They’re just fulfilling their ‘presidential’ duties, one supposes.
Of course what can serve a two-fold purpose is a game to alleviate our burdens and problems is nothing other than a drinking game. Something like this would definitely work out for us in drowning our sorrows. Knock back:
- A shot when you hear the word ‘Pakistani’ in the headline news
- Two shots when you hear ‘Pakistani’ and ‘terrorist’ together in the news
- Half a bottle of wine when you hear ‘explosives, Pakistan, man, captured’ together in a sentence
- Another two glasses of the same wine when you read ‘extremism, Pakistan, terrorism’ together
- A shot of whisky when the Interior Minister tries to ‘explain’ the situation to the world at large
- Two shots of whisky when the Interior Minister blames everything on ‘Non-state actors’
- A whole bottle when the Interior Minister vows to help the ‘son/daughter/granddaughter/daughter-in-law’ of Pakistan
I’m sure you’ll be seeing several of everything by the time you’re through this, if you live through this, that is – but well, at least you’ll be considerably buzzed and floating somewhere in the vicinity of cloud #7, if not #9.
We feel ‘wronged’ at every check post we have to get out of the car, on every strip search that we have to submit to, with every full-body-scan we’re asked to provide. But you know what, and it pains me to say this – but we deserve this. We deserve every body scan that the world asks us for, every strip search that they want and every sort of test imaginable to prove ourselves as innocents. We deserve this because we’re fast on our way to becoming the most disgraced nation ever. We’re beyond embarrassing now, even to ourselves. If we don’t exterminate the insects that are breeding on our grounds – we deserve every single thing the world throws at us. Living in Pakistan is a dangerous situation, as every one of the media outlets all over the world assures us. And who’ll know better than us, right?