Our lives are dependent upon the time we have been given to spend in this world. What makes us different from most of the living things here is that, through time, as our bodies grow old, we gain experience and a better perception. Unlike the apple that starts to decay, the ‘change’ in us is one that leaves us as an improved individual. Or in the present state, we can only wish that it is supposed to do so.
In the circuit of the recent turn-over, the change that is visible is only one that has left us divided rather than united, which later was actually required. Ironically, as a nation, we understand that the only gaping hole within us is the fact that we aren’t unified against one enemy, and still we try to prove our points by insisting upon the worst of them all. To each, the enemies are the same; but to each, they hold a different threat-level. There are the terrorists; there are the Islamists, the liberalists, the Army, the Government; and to some extent, the media; and in some dark alley of a dark mind, the different sects.
Sadly, while several of us wait for a change to arise, we all fail to comprehend the usual pattern in the change of events. We need to understand that as the saying goes, ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’,’ our enemies are friends among one another, and united against us. We’re the ones to be enslaved by perception once the time comes.
Now let me elaborate, or in something like a case, illustrate this. Let’s start with a breaking news that hits our channels, while we were watching a harmless family drama on a poor woman being mistreated by her in-laws; so wait-. Let’s move ahead later, just note the current theme of most dramas and movies coming up. Women are being mistreated by their husbands, fathers, brothers, etc., the typical system of a Muslim household, is it? Note the way the role of a man in running the family circle is now transferred to the woman. Not being sexist here; but it’s what men are sent here for; to lead the family, provide the wife and kids with their needs, and be able to make decisions that actually include several matters other than just divorce.
Anyhow, since the mother-in-law decided to play boss while the husband was away, we see what’s on the NEWS. Some Pakistani actress (apparently) posed for a magazine in a very ‘revealing’ manner. This is just one NEWS that brings us a series of different responses. Some liberalists laugh at it; they’re too cool to take it seriously. The Islamists take it seriously. The media takes it even more seriously and decides to exclusively submit the next day’s transmission to it. Some feminists take it offensively in a rather different perspective. Some say that the whole hype is ridiculous, what is of more importance is the number of women who die of burns everyday(?!). Meanwhile, the ISI, the government and the terrorists, all shrug and get back to their work. Thank you, media, for taking our minds off more important issues!
The only change that comes after, if we care to halt for a moment and breathe it in, is a change in ourperception. We suddenly realize how we are so different from our very friends, how our minds are totally apart and we feel disgusted. Any step ahead to unity? I think not.
Hate against the system is natural; when we experience power breakdowns, adulterated food, counterfeit medications, irresponsible authorities in every organization, it just develops within. And it increases when we suffer a sense of betrayal, when our people lose their value over white-skinned gentlemen with blue-colored booklets in their pockets. It’s natural; but it fails to make the desired impact. Why so?
Because our media does not allow us to make the impact! Time and again, it brings up spicy dramas, talk shows, contradictory issues, and NEWS that make no sense but do make a better impact than that of a person starved to death. We sit in our homes and at our computers and take in everything that is fed to us, and we do not absorb the real intention behind it, but just how delicious it tastes and how great we feel! We call ourselves the anarchists when it is us who are drowned in anarchy, losing our ability to think, and analyze; an ability that makes us different from other higher animal, makes us different from even rotten apples.
We know the media lies to us. We know it, by its reputation, as the entertainer in the neighborhood no one likes, but still listens to for enjoyment. The foul-mouthed, but pretty-faced man who tells stories for money, but we still trust his stories, not grasping the motto behind the story-telling. It is to divide us from amongst ourselves; through domestic violence to civil violence, whatever it takes. So our enemies can do what they’re doing, blatantly, yet without any interruption.
And after all that, when the call for prayer penetrates the walls of our cozy homes and reaches us, we do not get up and bow down to Allah and ask for forgiveness. We wait for the Adhan to end so we can turn on the volume and listen to this heated discussion between Daffodil Manzoor and a few important guests. And then we can enjoy the evening tea with our group of ‘intellectual friends’ and discuss this there. To us, this is more important and, “please, let’s not bring religion into this?”
Where change was a self-aspiring process, it so turns out that the change we have so far achieved is the one we want, the one that changes itself from time to time as our wants change, and not the one that we actually need, to move a step forward.