This is a challenge I was inspired to go forth with by The-Emo-Wolverine. Through it I shall battle the very persistent writer’s block of mine by scribbling down an open letter every week to a person of my choice, who could be a friend, a foe, a public fictional or historical figure and on the list goes. I won’t write down their names and sometimes I may refer to them by their characteristics. You can guess who they are, if you want.
Malala jaan ke naam.
More than 130 children were killed today in Peshawar for the sake of revenge against Zarb-e-Azb. Dreams were slaughtered as bullets were imbibed in bodies which beamed with hope for a better future. Mothers screamed and fathers beat their chest, yet terrorists didn’t stop, didn’t even falter. Across the nation, across the borders and across the world, people prayed for an inkling of humanity to take place in TTP or in the ‘leaders’.
I pace around the house like a wild cat. I can’t breathe without pain in my chest. My heart is tired. It doesn’t wants to beat any more. I sit on ja-e-namaz with frozen lips, I’ve forgotten how to pray, how to seek help. My peers are blaming themselves because they can’t do anything. There are candle light vigils, there will be sit-ins and there will be protests. We all will take part in it with the dark knowledge that this will happen again and again and again. And we won’t be able to stop it. Our leaders’ apathy won’t end.
And do you know what else will not end? Our hate for you, Malala. You, who are so much strong and resilient than our ‘leaders’. You are so fearless. You named our real enemy yet we went on cursing you, embracing Taliban to our chests. We are ashamed of ourselves, yet we won’t bring ourselves to accept that you are right, that you saw between the lines even when you were a mere 13 year old child. Taliban have declared that they won’t rest till they gun down thousands of other Malalas across the nation. They will vehemently and vigorously fight against the beam of education.
This is why I won’t lose hope. This is why I still believe a revolution is still possible. Don’t you see, all of you? I am not allowed to sink into perpetual apathy which my leaders are so proud of. Losing hope is an insult to the girl who took a bullet in her head because of defiance against Taliban. Losing hope is an insult to Aitezaz Hussain, who embraced his enemy for the sake of more than 200 schoolmates. Losing hope is an insult to 130+ children and their families. Losing hope is an insult to my ultra diverse nation comprising of 180 million people. I will not bow down, I will not close my eyes, I will not stay silent.
There is a Pakhtun saying, ‘When your child dies, you bury him in your heart, he only dies the day you die.’ I never understood it up till now. I will not rest till I’ve avenged the deaths of the babies who were martyred today. I will not forget. This is the least I can do with what you’ve started, Malala jaan.
Allah gharat karrey in janwaroun ko. Ameen.