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Oh my God!. I would say OMG to appear more hip but that might take away from the absolute horror I felt when I heard the news. But wait..let me back it up a bit. This morning was just a regular day for me. I was following my cleaning lady, Nazia, around the house. As I kept an eye on her work I also tried to follow her endless chatter. This girl is a bundle of energy. Anybody else would have been exhausted by such a vigorous session of scrubbing, sweeping and cleaning but she still had energy to talk, non-stop, about anything and everything. She discussed politics, the price of groceries, her family, and the rude daughter-in-law in the green house down the road.  It was quite tiring just listening to her, but I was so overwhelmed by her ability to leave everything she touched all a-sparkle that I dared not interrupt for fear jinxing her mojo. But then she dropped the bombshell on me.

Apparently, our neighbors from three houses down, Mr. and Mrs. Rasheed, had been drugged by their cleaning lady. While they were passed out on the kitchen floor, she stole everything of value that she could lay her grubby paws on. I had visited their house a few months back when Mrs. Rasheed had kindly invited me to a dars. They have two grown children, both married. Their son lives abroad and the daughter lives two streets away. It wasn’t until the daughter came to visit in the evening that she found them. The tragedy was, that after they were taken to the hospital and revived, the lady still suffers from amnesia.Their lives will never be the same.

Did they catch the culprits?, I asked, suspiciously eyeing the cup of tea that the cook had just put in front of me. “Na baji, they disappeared. Ye ja, wo ja!”

I couldn’t stop thinking about the incident even after Nazia had left. The question that bothered me the most was: where did the thieves get these potent drugs? Shouldn’t there be some sort of agency which monitored drugs, especially dangerous ones that could potentially be used for malicious mischief? What about the Food and Drug Administration?

These incidences are not isolated. They are happening with alarming regularity. This frequency should be enough for people to take notice. Nobody should be able to get their hands on life-threatening and consciousness altering drugs. The uses of these substances are not limited to petty or grand theft. These drugs are used in rape and other heinous and perverse crimes. People have elected officials and government agencies because they need protection from the vicious and the violent among them. The people affected by these drugs go through life shattering trauma. It is too late for Mr. and Mrs. Rasheed and countless others like them but this tragedy need not be repeated.

This is happening today. It is happening in every neighborhood. Change laws, make new rules and, here’s a novel idea, punish the perpetrators!

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