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Have we forgotten?

It was painfully bright, beautifully wrong. Irritatingly peaceful. It ended in a flash or perhaps even before that. What had been so vibrant and pithy all along had an unbelievably dull, silent end. 141 ephemeral flowers were brutally crumpled by the barbaric monsters that attacked APS Peshawar. A famine of words followed. And tears. Definitely tears. Lots of them. Every one of which came with excruciating pain, nauseating disgust. The desire to avenge was up next. Chains rattled. Doors creaked. The noose tightened. It felt sweet. Bittersweet. The images flashed. The tears came back. This time they brought promises. We will NOT forget. We will NEVER forget. Not is a small word. Never: too large.

One month has passed since the attack on the Army Public School. The headlines have been replaced. The emotion; evacuated. New stories are on the horizon. Have we found closure? Acceptance? Or worse, acceptability? Have we forgotten? If you have, this blog is a reminder. Go look at the pictures again. Tell the images to flash once more. Tell the disgust to come back. Beckon the tears. Ask the pain to return. We do not want to become immune. Not again. Never again! Don’t accept this as the new normal. Don’t forget. Keep telling yourself you’ve had enough. Keep reminding yourself. Remember the disgust. Don’t forget the horror. Don’t let your wound turn into a cicatrice. Don’t let the pain go away.

The hate and abhorrence you hold for these barbarians should not go down at any point. Their defeat lies in the fact that the school they painted in blood one month ago echoes with chants of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ today. The children they came to scare are still there with determination even higher than before. They will have to pay for every drop of innocent blood that covered the classrooms of APS Peshawar on 16th December. For every tear drop that followed the attack. The cowards that fear defenceless children are no match for the bravery we as a nation hold today and we must never let go of it.

We must fight. We must burn. Like stars that sparkle like little diamonds scattered across the deep blue sky. Bright balls of dust sprinkled over the darkness. They have disintegrated ages ago yet we see them brighter than ever before. They burn inside only to create light, to defeat the darkness that engulfs hope. And even though they have not completely succeeded, they have left their impact. On the sky and on every one watching. They stand united all at once. Remains of a radiantly expressive, painfully bright war.

They have died millions of years ago yet remain there to tell people that they have not lost. That they had fought till the end. And even after that. They died with all the stories buried in their burning hearts. The stories fuel the fire. They fuel the light. They fuel the hope. Hope we must not let go of. We must fight their war. Defeat the gloom once and for all. We might end up being anonymous casualties in the bigger picture. At the end, the sun might take away the credit. But none of that matters. As long as our stories burn. As long as they die within us. As long as they contribute to the victory. We might be mourned, lamented sometimes even celebrated. But as long as our stories fuel the hope. As long as they keep the candle burning, the light will spread. The darkness will die its well-deserved death. At the hand of the stars. At the hand of the much mocked dreams. And in this case, at the hands of pens, books and brave, brave children.

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