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Karachi, I cant love you

I was born In Karachi. They call it the city of lights. The city which never sleeps. The city which stands tall in face of treachery and injustice

I was born In Karachi. They call it the city of lights. The city which never sleeps. The city which stands tall in face of treachery and injustice. The city which is immune to loud fireworks and unpredictable holidays.  The city which doesn’t dwell in misery.  Karachi is the first and last love of every single person who was born here. Perfect despite being adorned by imperfections.

I was also once one of those fearlessly immune people. The first time a mosque was blown up in this city, I cried like a baby.  I didn’t leave my house for two days , glued to the TV carrying visuals of people whose universe had collapsed in the blink of an eye. I was sad , dumbstruck , shocked , my heart crushed into pieces.  The third day , I went out for a drive. My city’s beloved seashore was crowded with people enjoying the little pleasure of life.  I smiled through my tears. Karachi had survived. It had risen from the depths of darkness.  I also decided to move on with my life.

The second and third time , it didn’t hurt so much.  Old wounds were healing and new wounds weren’t too deep. And soon enough it became a drill. People would lose lives every day in blasts , muggings , target killings , a breaking news would run , and Karachi would rise again.  People of my city including me started taking pride in Karachi’s resilience. Articles were written about this city’s infinite strength to rise unscathed from multiple disasters. Time Magazine called Karachi Pakistan’s Dark Heart. We fought and wrote the billions things we love about Karachi. A social media boost and cultured developed where people boasted about the lights not turning off , despite of the dark heart this city had.  And I became a part of this cult who claimed ,  Karachi we will not stop loving you.

Until that one dark night.

It was a usual day for all of us. I was going for my doctor’s appointment with my son.  The car was vibrating with old Inshore music.  And we both were enjoying the fresh breeze from the windows. They came in a motorcycle and stopped us. Two average built men ,their faces covered with black clothes. They wanted our money. My heart was beating a million beats per minute. Sweat trickling down my face , all my eyes were on my young handsome son.  We quickly gave everything we had , not wanting to get into trouble. My son was trying to ask me to move aside in hushed gestures. They misinterpreted his actions , and in front of my own sinful eyes , a bullet hit his chest.  They ran away. My son was left in a pool of blood in my arms. He was shot. A young man who had not even started his life yet was ruthlessly murdered for committing no crime.

A few days later, I went on a drive. To the same seashore , which had once provided me with strength in distressing times. It was crowded with the same people , moving on with their life. As always , Karachi had moved on.  But how could they. My twenty year old son was killed. How could they forget this and move on. How could they still love Karachi after all the lives it had taken. In that one moment I hated all those people enjoying their lives. Would the dictionary define this as resilience or indifference. I felt let down. By the city of lights and its people.

Years have passed since my son’s death. I still can’t love Karachi. The lights remind me of my sons blood. The laughter reminds me of my sons youth. The street food reminds me of his love for eating , and the seashore reminds me of the last drive we had. Those articles seem mere words, and the brave people seem as insensitive herds. Karachi , I can’t love you , for you have killed my son.

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