no we don’t

28Oct08

we didn’t even know her until six months after the deed is done. and we still don’t know anything about the 18 year old girl shaped void in this universe other than that it was created by hungry dogs and evil men. and unfortunately, that’s not even near to being the limit of our apathy. no. we’ll look at her picture in the newspaper today, not beautiful and not ugly, noticeable only because of the semi-smile hinting at a life not ending at six acre plots but full of wider smiles and wetter eyes and sometime laughs and sometime cries and milk bottles and rattles and toys and first words and first steps and school and books and clothes and successes and failures and mehndi on chaandraat and bangles on eid and all the seconds that make the minutes that make the hours that make the days that make the weeks that make the months that make a lousy eighteen years a life – and we’ll sigh and shake our heads and talk about the brutality just below the smiling exteriors of the most hospitable race on the planet and then having registered our displeasure at the way things were carried out we will move on and perhaps the only abiding memory of today’s newspaper will be the bad grammar of the “let wind mill pay your electric bill” ad. yes, that’s what we do. like we did to a thousand other girls before her and like we’ll do to a thousand after her till the world will be full of nothing but eighteen year old girl shaped voids in the universe.

and maybe after the senate has strongly registered protest by the women members staging a walk out and then going on to get their hair permed or buying iphones or checking out the winter shawls in some rawalpindi bazaar, perhaps only the hungry dogs will throw up what they were forced to eat and after this act of contrition maybe the only nightmares that the eighteen year old girl shaped void in the universe still haunts will end. and maybe not.

milton was a moron. god damn those who only stand and wait.

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18 Responses to “no we don’t”

  1. the government will do nothing, the people will do nothing. Nothing will change until everything changes, and God knows how thats gonna happen…

    ‘god damn those who only stand and wait’
    god damn us all then, no???

  2. God damn us all then, yes.

  3. Hmm. Sad. Yet I wasn’t particularly crazy about your comment regarding the women protesters… at least they did something even if after they went back to their normal lives. Did you protest for example? In any way or form which would have drawn attention to this in the real world?

    Sorry not meaning to be rude… just… every little bit someone does counts as something irrespective of how they live their lives otherwise.

  4. yer acting like u care… or something…

  5. I agree with Hemlock. This is entirely too depressing.

  6. 6 silentmantra

    ….and nothing can be done about it. yehi toh afsos hai. in a few weeks…this too shall be forgotten – till the next case comes up.

  7. @ farooq & saadat: yes, that includes ua all.

    @ saira: while i admit that i have done nothing i think the responsibility of senators is slightly higher than mine. they are there to legislate. to make laws for our protection. to ensure that laws are adequate so that no criminals like these remain unpunished. thats why we call them lawmakers. protesting is what we should be doing. we includes me. those ladies though cannot register a protest and walk away with a clean conscience. they have to act. they have the power to do so but unfortunately they are products of the same desensitized society that i am and hence – completely apathetic. thats not an excuse. thats the problem.

    @ hemlock: i do care. maybe not in the way i should care. but i care that i don’t care. that we, as a race, don’t care. but yes i get your drift, i’m all talk and no action. i have no excuse for that.

    @ mahwash & mantis: exactly.

  8. what’s saddest is that this happened in march but came in the papers seven months later. there are probably hundreds of other girls who don’t have mothers screaming for justice, whose stories are simply buried with them.

    You can’t fight people who believe they’re Gods with logic or sentiment. From personal experience, i can tell you that the men of interior sindh are brought up with the belief that they own their women. Their wives and daughters work in the fields, but are rarely allowed outside the home for any other reason. You will never see a girl, even heavily vieled, in the streets of larkana. They sell off their daughters and suffocate their wives, and their mothers are so used to this life they feel it’s what they deserve.

    For what it’s worth, and i know this sounds horribly callous but it’s not, tasleem had a lot more than other girls do. A mother brave enough to protest.

  9. One day we hear the news of a bomb blast and wonder how to go about living normal lives when so many people are dying and/or dead. And the next day you hear this story – which, by the way, is only a small window to the feudal world that is our rural areas – and you wonder how can these people do such a thing in such a time!

    You guys r right, we are a desensitized nation. But dyu know why? Because nothing we say or do matters! The police system is not on our side, the feudals r not on our side, the law system is not on out side and the government is not on our side – So what do u do? I can protest all I want, and I can get depressed all I want, and yet, when I go back home, I have a family who needs me. Who needs to get out of depression, and needs me for support. They are expecting to be wowed by the rawalpindi shawl that Ive bought and for a second that iphone brings a smile on my husbands face…. what dyu suggest I do? As a female protestor? Do i break my home, the little comfort that I have in my home?

    I am not saying its all right, Im just saying its inevitable that we seem desensitized. Actually i see that we are not. We are all just trying to cover our depression in some way and committing freudian slips here and there. There is so much going wrong you need some solace somewhere.

    It isnt just us who can put a stop to this. We need support of atleast the police, the law or the govt or some sort of institution to protect us. In order for me to speak out, i need someone to hear me. Someone to wake up and throw the feudal system apart. Someone to get up and educate these ‘men’ who treat women like they are pieces of meat – to be given to dogs. I mean come on! We need radical changes!

  10. I think Ahmed Faraz summed it up perfectly:

    “Sitam ke ehed mein mein bhi shareek hun jaise

    Mera sakoot mujhe sakht mujrim-aana laga”

  11. you think laws will change things? or make things better?

    but in either case what you/we do or say can make a difference, but probably not in ways you/we think it will.

    it’s not an isolated incident that needs fixing here, the social fabric requires rewiring. this is a complex problem with no guaranteed solutions.

    the only way to get to a solution is to try /something/.

  12. 12 silentmantra

    damn! i completely forgot about the mantis! 🙂

  13. @ adnan.
    *you think laws will change things? or make things better?*

    Not just law Adnan, the proper implementation of it. Departments like police and education need to be taken care of. I’m sick of people who expect the nation to bring about changes.

    Todayz generation is what it is – the govt needs to take care of what the tomorrows generation should have. that means takin care of education system in a way that every child who grows up and gets out of them becomes a good, caring citizen who respect women. But rural schools r full of male chauvinitic teachers who fill their students brain with ‘aurat tou bas…” type shit. They r also full of teachers who endorse physical abuse supposedly ‘for the benefit of the student’ – wht kind of a psychotic nation can u raise from tht?

    We on Xillz blog r all raised on Barney sing-a-longs, Cambridge systems and MCQ-type-questions, BUT those MATRICULATE kids spent their entire student life WROTE-LEARNING 15 page descriptions on things no one in their right mind is concerned about.

    So yeah, everyone can make a difference, but that’s not enough and we need to stop living in tht oblivion.

    Our politicians r such idiots that they don’t bother thinking 2 days in future even! They think “AH! TODAY IS THE ELECTION AND I NEED TO WIN IT! SO I SHOULD GO DO SOMETHIN GOOD.”

  14. @cyma

    i’ll agree that my assessment here awfully armchair in it’s nature.

    yet at the same time, we’re expecting the same “idiot politicians” to bring about change?
    change is not guaranteed from anywhere. the best way to ensure that nothing changes is to do nothing.

    i think a nation often deserves the government they have. simply because they let it happen. so i suppose the problem is cyclical in nature.

    but i think it’s slightly naive to think that government “enforcement/implementation” will bring about any required change. isn’t change often brought about by those who care enough to bring it? i guess i’m not saying that we can’t expect government to bring about change. i’m trying to say that since change is not guaranteed from any one/single source. why count on that one single source?

  15. @Adnan
    “i think a nation often deserves the government they have.”

    I absolutely agree to u on tht wun! infact u and I can rest assured on this nation to bring about the same leaders time n time again!

    its the same with everything else. we few ‘thinkers’ r not representatives of this nation yet – no way.

    our nation is made up of corrupt ppl who support feudals, stubborn wannabez who support dictators, religious fanatics who support maulvis n criminals who support criminals.

    the rest who can, have flown abroad already (lucky them) and us who r left behind still r looking for the right opportunity so they can flee as well.

    u know whoz left? uneducated, lazy, male-chauvinistic, unconcerned, fanatic ppl who form the huger portion of this population. ppl who neither hav the ambition, nor opportunities to evolve.

    u know come to think of it, we r so doomed.

  16. I hate to sound like a blonde here… but is this about some Paki lady thingy? Coz I have noooo idea what you just said in this post. :/ Hem…HELP! :/

  17. yar SK, i dont read the papers. but apparently someone got raped and buried alive. or maybe there was 5 of them. and then in the national assembly an MNA asked what was wrong with that since it’s “our custom” – to bury women alive…
    blah blah blah blah, yada yada yada… nothing will ever change.

  18. 18 skzworldofdreams

    ok..so the blonde in me just died. I finally clicked on the ‘her’ thingy. Don’t know why I didn’t see it b4 This is so pathetic. 😦 But know what? Where I work, we used to see this sort of a thing everyday in the villages. Which is why we started what we did…trying to educate the people in the villages and eradicate this sort of a thing in the future. And though I can actually say today we have come a long way and have turned around the people in these villages and seen amazing changes in the thinking there, sadly sometimes I think this has gone too far…it might take ages b4 we make a big dent in Pak as a whole…and with Zardari ruling, god knows how long Pak will survive; forget us actually having a +ve effect on it. The parents are asking Zardari for protection? He won’t do anything..he’s amongst those who are part of this monstrosity. 😦


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