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Much a do about nothing
An article by Prof. Nasreen Waheed

I still remember the day a family friend came to my mother for condolence of my younger brother who died when a friend pushed him off his bike. All my mother said,"My son's life was wasted, yours wasn't". My young mind couldn't comprehend her statement. I found it quaint,
queer. The lady had lost her army commando son in action before the war. He had received 26 bullets right on his face and chest. I know the exact number, because at the funeral she kept pointing towards her son and repeating it. He was laid to rest still attired in his dusty, bloodstained uniform. Later he was awarded Sitara Jurat for doing something beyond the call of duty. Coming from a filthy rich background, the mother separated his entire share and made a bridge roads in his native village but nothing seemed to pacify and fill the chasm in life. She wouldn't say anything but then unsaid things are more painful.
Then came the war, and P.O.Ws, so many that we knew were taken prisoners. Some children grew up in captivity. There was one such child when came back to Pakistan, for some period of time, he couldn't differentiate between cows and dogs. He had never seen one behind barded wires.
Days passed, some of our friends got engaged, but then there would be news so and so fell down into crack and was devoured by snow in Siachen, frostbite, limbs being amputated. My brother's best friend, a helicopters pilot an extremely lively, happy go lucky sort of person had a
massive heart attack, as he couldn't forebear the tensions of flying to and from Siachen. Grounded for ever, with shattered dreams of future but his conquerable iron will still keep him going.There were most disquieting news from Kashmir, poor helpless civilians were being victimized.
Sanctity of human life was at stake. Sometime I'd go to the living room to and watch news and would find girls watching film bison Amritsar T.V. Unaware of the aftermath of this T.V. booster. I'd join my hostel fellows. Soon bindyas, anklets were in fashion. I got married and came to
Saudi Arabia. Indian thing had always been and are a taboo my family. Coming from an army background my father on said," Whenever you buy something from the enemy, you buy a bullet for yourself, take care".
Last summer in Pakistan, I went to the market to buy dopattas. The shopkeeper showed me muslin from India. "How do you have it?" "Well, we have a trade pact now", he said smiling at my ignorance. Why are we meeting trouble half way down is all I could think of. Now there are cricket matches, cultural shows and what not. The other day somebody told me that Indian Embassy is holding Sa-Ray Ga Ma, and some of our eminent friends are regularly buying ticket and participation, singing in unison with Hindus. I'm conscious of the fact that we do need recreation, but not at the cost of our self respect. I tried to talk to one of my friends,
who pointed her index finger towards me and bulging out her beady eyes all she said was," I'll go to the Indian embassy, nobody can stop me". Right you are? Nobody can stop you but you yourself. Tell me how should I react.This year when I leave for my annual vacation, should I'll tell the lady " Not only my brother's but your son's life was wasted too". Should I or shouldn't I, I think I shouldn't, that I often see these
heroes in my dreams with starved lips, gaped with horrid warning ??

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