he shot me down, bang bang.


not every thing that should happen should happen.

so yes, i, who have long since bemoaned the incomprehensible loyalty of the masses to one of the most corrupt, cruel and often criminal leaders in pakistani history – and we’ve had several, mind you – am now reduced to feeling an overwhelming sense of loss, even grief, at the tragic death of the same leader, undoubtedly the most popular politician in the country, daughter of the east, queen of sindh, princess of pakistan, one ms. benazir bhutto. and yes, i, who have been a constant detractor of the oxymoronically dynastic tendencies of democracy in pakistan suddenly realise what the helmsman who loses control of the rudder must feel like. that it takes one inconsequential man with a tube of iron to derail the democratic process in a nation of 160 million speaks volumes about how trivial a human life really is. that 160 million people can be shaken to the cores of their inner beings at the loss of one paltry citizen speaks volumes about how great the legacy of a human life can be.

this post was not supposed to be a eulogy. it was meant to commemorate not the death of benazir bhutto but the lives of all the unknown people who died in the backlash of emotion following her death. the people who innocently tried to make their respective ways home to their families. i wanted to talk of my own journey home, through burning tyres and cars and a stampede and gunshots and scenes from what looked like a spielberg war film. i wanted to talk about the suffering of women who walked miles with their children in their arms through the cold and violence. about the suffering of people who still haven’t made it home and wait hungry and thirsty for a lull in the looting and arson and fighting to try continue their journey. about the suffering people waiting for their family members to come home. about the people who will never make it home. for these are the people who count. the people who made benazir and all others like her what they are. the people benazir claimed to represent. but as their suffering, this widespread confusion, this mess, is just a reflection of what this great nation will now go through, any eulogy inscribed on her tombstone will speak as much about every pakistani as it will about her. ironic as it might be, in her death we see the ultimate democracy.

so the bhutto legacy continues. hanged, poisoned or shot, they all seem to go with a statement. and while the primary objective of terrorism – spreading terror – might seemingly have been achieved, terrorism has lost. because the fallout is not fuelled by fear its fuelled by rage. rage is good. al qaeda or the taliban or whoever it is that runs the extremist militant business in pakistan have just turned the war aginst terror into a vendetta. its no longer just business. for millions of people it is now very personal. and i feel the recruiters from the human resource division of the extremist business will probably be the first to highlight this.

what happens next is a very big question. one that everyone hopes will be answered sooner rather than later. but for now, let me ponder the irony of myself, a diehard supporter of military intervention in pakistani government, being reminded of the unforgettable party slogan the instant i heard of her death.

yeh baazi khoon ki baazi hai
yeh baazi tum hi haaro gay
har ghar se bhutto niklay ga
tum kitnay bhutto maaro gay?


15 Responses to “he shot me down, bang bang.”

  1. I don’t even know what to say to this. 😦 I was watching the news..the riots and all…and I was like “OMG!What are they doing?!” It’s just very unbelieveable..shocking…and what’s scary is that there’s just so much more to come now. 😦
    Glad you and your family are safe, though.

  2. 2 No One

    Whoa thats a chilling slogan…I wonder what will happen next in Pakistan…but yeah…its sad to see how the Pakistani society grieved her death…the Bhuttos have all gone down with a statement…her death came at a very vulnerable and crucial time…peace.

  3. 3 Saadat

    I wasn’t aware of the slogan that you mentioned in the end, but yes, I won’t be forgetting it.

    And no matter how inappropriate it may sound, I love the title of your post.

  4. @ bibi: it is a relife, definitely, to be home safe and sound.

    @ no one: peace is the operative word here. lets pray its the relevant one too.

    @ saadat: from the nancy sinatra track. 🙂

    bang bang, he shot me down
    bang bang,
    i hit the ground
    bang bang, that awful sound
    bang bang, my baby shot me down

  5. everyone knows about pakistan but sadly we are known for the things for we shouldnt

  6. 6 Saadat

    Yep. I knew that. 🙂

  7. Never a die-hard fan of Bhuttos for their politics but definitely for thei courage. Never known such fearless people … haan har ghar se Bhutto nikle ga. Reminds me of Faiz’s poetry.

  8. Its unbelievable..

  9. hoping things get on a normal-ler tone from tomorrow iA. what will happen! 😦 how much more will our country suffer… i hope ur point abt it being rage and not terror, is true. as a nation, v need to mend our ways, seriously.

  10. i is so angry. so i did updated.

  11. I regret that bhutto is dead,Iam sad,Iam angry,Iam demoralized but all this is not because I respected Bhutto as a leader.It is because she has gone without being held accountable for her actions,Many people died due to her greed and gluttony,Why don’t we lament those guys ? why dont we cry over the billions of tax payer money spent to buy the surrey castle ? why ?

    Its bout time that we stop romanticizing our dead and see things as they actually stand!

  12. 12 PsycheD

    what id like to read is ur musing (??) on that zardari chor!!! ggrrrr
    as i maintain…no matter how the woman was, u cant help but exalt her for her guts. i read in one of the pages upon pages of benazir related articles post her death – she had more balls than any of her male counterparts! indeed!
    our country is going to the dogs innit?? well, actually arent we already? just wanted to use that line 😛

  13. it was a very very bad day, a bad week and a bad end to an otherwise equally bad year…and god knows wot are we supposed to brace next….

  14. I love the first line of your post. “Not everything that should happen should happen”.

    You articulate my feelings in this post, and you do it so well. I was never a Bhutto fan, I would never be PPP person, and I will never understand how this clan after plundering the country for over a decade was still popular. I can understand how Bhutto senior might have been popular with the masses for having nationalized every institution in the country thereby ensuring that incompetence had nothing to worry about, that merit was no longer a threat to the incompetent, and that nepotism seeped though to the very roots of the social fibre – if a social fibre indeed does have roots. A largely illiterate nation is largely incompetent, and Nationalization was the easiest way of winning them over and damning them forever at the same time by taking away the motivation to excel. People were quick to forgive and forget the loss of half the country. That I could understand – not the forgetting but the factors resulting in it.

    What I could never understand was how could people be blind to the excesses of the next generation, their plundering of the country. Why was I the only one able to see that every statement emanating from this exiled ex PM of the country served to undermine the interests of the country? Why was she welcome back? Why were people prepared to accept someone who had to be pardoned her past sins to even enter the country? Why?

    I had no love lost for her, and certainly no respect for her (or any other political person or entity in the country), fact is all I had for her was disdain.

    Yet… her assassination left me numb with shock and sorrow. Her assassins succeeded where she had failed for all those years.

    But eventually I have come to agree with MAZ – her death, as wrong, criminal, cruel and sad it is, does not vindicate her or anyone else from what they have taken away from the country and its people for years and years.

  1. 1 he shot me down, bang bang. | Tea Break

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