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A Perfect Storm

This morning in Peshawar, the mist that hung in the air was not unlike any other day. The sun shall finally break through and a piercing sunshine shall envelope the gloomy horizon, leaving behind the last remnants of a day and a night, few of us will ever forget.

As we watch this day unfold, the promise of a new day, seems just that, a forlorn promise.

It would be a beautiful winter morning in Peshawar and as always, the scent and aroma from the many Pakwans from the Qissa Khawani bazaar would fill the air and the resilient, battle hardened but weary souls of the city would in the least, feign to go about their daily lives. But nothing will ever be the same in Peshawar. The stain to its soul, of the innocent blood that flowed freely and the anguish of its mothers looking for their children in the midst of senseless mayhem and carnage and with its ensuing chaos, would forever linger and would be in its annals as its darkest day.

It would be a beautiful winter morning in Peshawar, but would be lost on heavy souls, who struggled to reconcile with the events of the day passed, and while hopelessness is sacrilegious in our faith, we plead to God to send them all a ray of hope and promise so that they can find a sliver of your mercy to lighten their heavy hearts.

The 134 homes, bereft of the morning chaos for school; the now benign arguments over homework, the little quarrels amongst siblings and the last minute dash to catch the school bus, all must seem jarring moments of a recurring dream.

What is left for the grieving to hold on to? A smiling school picture? a neatly hung row of school uniforms? an untidy clutter of lifeless toys and books on the floor? or a school bag, with fresh stains of red?

We saw an unfolding catastrophe yesterday; but we have also seen another group of “terrorists” who did not just hold a school of 1100 hostage but have held 200 million people on ransom. Whilst 10 men with guns went inside a school and did the unthinkable in some twisted belief, we have also been “terrorised” each day by rulers and their cronies who have castigated the majority of us 200 million on the fringes of bare existence. Whilst bombs and assassinations are a daily norm in our midst, we have been desensitised by the frequency of these appearing on news channels’ tickers.

While we watched in sheer horror, a foreboding series of events unfold yesterday, we have also witnessed over the last six months, the avarice for power and the race for ill gotten wealth, which has sunk us, as a nation, to depths where no ray of hope can reach.

To our so called guardians and custodians; when have you had the will or the time to look into the small matter of providing some semblance of security or protection to our brightest hopes for the future, the youngest, the most helpless and in the ones in harm’s way?

I blame me for allowing this to happen. I blame us all for allowing us to be held on ransom by the few who today are issuing fatwas and condemnation but will tomorrow be holding their guns to our heads, again.

No wonder, today as a nation, we are lost, orphaned by our supposed guardians, subjected to the taunts of being part of a failed state and demonised in our own country for our caste, creed, sect, faith and belief. No wonder, the whispers have grown to crescendos, the likeable rogues have become hardened criminals, the isolated religious consternations into full blown sect wars, the odd story of corruption into a catalogue of organised graft and no wonder, the ill wind that ruffled only a few hair in the past has now manifested into a Perfect Storm.

So what now? No measure of self reflection and introspection can lighten the heavy weight that the parents in Peshawar today have to bear.

Within a few days, while normal service will resume by our “leadership” and its so called “opposition” we are still resolute believers and in a moment so heart wrenching and profound in pain, we reach out to you Almighty, to shower your blessings upon those who are lost with an aching heart and an emptiness that is palpable with a sense of abandonment.

We are your lost tribe Oh Lord, please show us the right path, the path of those You have embraced and guided and not of those who have gone awry and lost.


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