Last days of my childhood

Age 10, Sialkot: I am riding a bicycle in our village common ground. Happy and delirious, paddling and speeding away. Out of nowhere a middle aged man come running towards me and tries to stop me by pulling the bicycle sideways and tries his best to hurl me off balance. When that doesn’t work, I hear his angry voice, telling me to stop cycling at once. I get scared by his tone so I decide that its best to move away. No exactly sure what caused that anger, I look around as I leave, one of my extended family relative standing nearby sense my confusion and explains that the guy was angry because he doesn’t want his daughters to get bad influence from me. Still confused, scared and unable to fully grasp the meaning of what has just happened, I quietly take the bicycle inside.

Age 12, Sialkot: I am in my village for spring holidays. It’s a beautiful day and the wind is blowing. I notice that my cousin has left one of his many kites on the roof. I pick it up and try to take it off, after a few hits and trials it takes off quickly and the string roll gets thinner as the kite soars away. I am quite happy with myself and enjoying swaying it left and right. Suddenly my cousin comes up…he looks furious. I expect him to tell me to get my own kite, but he tells me to stop this ‘bey-pardagi’ and get down because boys around will see a girl flying a kite and this will bring bad name to the family. He tells me that whenever he goes to the mosque, his friends make fun of him:  “Enna di kuri patang uraandi eh“. I felt really embarrassed and this incident left me being very conscious about the people around me and what they might think of my actions….for years to come I tried and succeeded in being a ‘proper’ invisible girl. And that was the last day I flew a kite.

Age 12, Kashmir: its Baqar Id and I am really curious to see the animals being sacrificed. As I am walking around, not very conscious of the soldiers around me, one of the Subidaar chacha comes to me and tells me to move inside the house as it’s not appropriate for a girl to roam about like this. His face is sour with seriousness and grave embarrassment on my account. I quietly move away. We called him Subidaar Chacha, he was from Sialkot, and hence my father’s favorite. He took the liberty to give us any lessons on propriety whenever he thought that we were not toeing the line. I don’t know if this lesson on propriety was the first of its kind, but it certainly was the kind of decisive mannerism hammered into my brain because for times to come, if there were men around me I would get very quiet and feel extremely shy to say anything at all.

Age 12 Kashmir: I remember our Qari shaahb as a kind gentleman, we had set one condition for him before we would quietly accede and sit down for our daily Quran lessons; he was to play 3 Overs of cricket match with us before the daily lesson commenced…..and he gladly agreed on the condition :D. But he got posted to some other station in Punjab….and a new Qari arrives. After few days of quite boring Quran lessons I began to notice that this Qari is trying very hard NOT to make an-eye contact. I find it very odd, but soon I would learn that making an-eye contact with ‘na-mehram aurat’ is a sin. Making a proper required eye-contact during a conversation with any man became difficult for me after that profound lesson on ‘Hayaa’.

Age 13: My father told me to wear a scarf with my school uniform. I had to comply without asking any questions, for I had learned earlier on my way to achieve sainthood in teenage years, that it was a good thing for a girl to cover herself up properly. Few days into wearing it, I realize that its gets really hot and humid with one piece of cloth covering my head- tightly noosed around my neck with safety pins. It made my classes very uncomfortable and heat became unbearable. So one day I mildly try to argue my way out of wearing it, but out comes a dialogue so powerful and sounding so logical that I can’t argue anymore. I am told that “the fire of hell is going to be a thousand times more uncomfortable, and IF I am not ready to sacrifice my comfort here, how am I going to tolerate the fire of hell?!!”

Part of that ‘education’ (including many incidents that I don’t feel comfortable writing about) still is inside me and sometimes I find it difficult to brush it off. I find it difficult to treat myself as a ‘person’ first and as a woman later on. I still sometimes find myself feeling awkward and nervous in mixed gathering.


The day when tears became words

“Peshawar school attacked: 40 children dead”:

On the first day in my naive attempt to escape the horror of these words, I kept my self locked away in my room – just like those kids who locked themselves inside their class rooms, in desperate attempt to escape the bullets, only to find themselves shot at point blank range later- I saw no pictures, I stayed in my room, not wanting to listen to the news, but my attention kept getting back to the voice of news anchor.

“80 children dead, firing still being heard”:

These words kept ringing in my head long after my brain could not process anything and long after I could not take-in any details.

“100 children dead, half of the school cleared, some children still held as hostages”:

Then again came that shocked and angry voice of someone who has lost all hope, ringing with disbelief. This time I rushed out, only to see everyone in our living room trying to hold back tears and listening to the news anchor, who could not conjure-up new vocabulary to describe the tears and wailings of parents waiting outside the school, desperate to hear about their kids. ‘Breaking news’ this time only fell like darkness, each time making the hopelessness graver. I felt sorry for him; I could feel he had lost all words. I had lost words too.

“Above 130 dead, many injured, school cleared”:

Words now started to compile like dead bodies, bleeding without making a sound. Tears, that fell inwards into our hollow hearts to stay there forever.

On the first night I tried my best to evade sleep. I was afraid that once it overtakes me, all horrible dreams will let loose, and I will see vivid images of dead children and hear their cries loud and clear. That long cold night turned into day: a day that dodged all hope. Things were not new. To all those who thought that this would be another day, woke up to attending an inexplicable pain stabbing their hearts with the same intensity again. How could this be a new day??… When the dead were still in their coffins, waiting to be buried, and mothers were still giving one last kiss on their child’s cold blue foreheads.

Anger that day could not drown the sadness. Condemnations were futile. Words still made no sense. With every one still engulfed by tears, I took to expressing my grief in a vigil protest. “Protest” This word sounded hollow.

Carrying a placard, my sister wore that green blazer- part of her school uniform- for the vigil protest. ‘We Shall Rise and Shine Again’, the placard said. How? I asked myself, will those 132 dead children rise again?

My little brother started lighting up candles, light that could not sooth me, light that could not console me in any way. They say its shows symbolic message. This time candle lights fell short of telling the tale, of spreading hope and of giving the message of solidarity. Those innumerable candle lights failed miserably, darkness and smoke overtook them, and the melting wax took it up to itself to send the message: of hope ebbing away. Vigil protest also lost its words and its symbol that day.

They say never forget Peshawar tragedy;

Never forget that pain became expressionless on 16th of December, 2014. Wailing turned soundless and only blood remained true to its colors, only blood could speak in its harrowing language. A language that we all recognized, but not no one could understand.

Never forget and never forgive our collective conscience which needed 140 children’s life to rise from the dead. Our conscience which draws every single blood drop to stay alive for few days before it slips into unconsciousness again. It halfheartedly condemns terrorism, condemns extremism and the reel goes on and on, on loop. Recorded words, angry expression, and teary eyes…all on reel… all on loop.

So let us never forget 12.16.14, let us all shiver at the thought of having to see dried blood on the floor of another school, reel of another tragedy played on loop, condemnation and word failing us again…. let us NOT FORGET this massacre ever!

Mardoon Ki sarak per eik Aurat

Driving in Pakistan is close to taking that insane ride in an amusement park: you know you are going to be fine but once the ride is over and you unlock the safety belts, your legs are wobbly and your head is not in its right place.

If you are a woman driver, there is one rule that you should never forget: The Men Own The Road! There is no way around it. You have to deal with it and let your-self acquaint with several characters present on the road who exclusively owns the highway.

Starting with the most likely encounter, i.e. the taxi driver: His taxi looks so old and spent that you can always expect its doors to fall off at any moment, but that doesn’t stop the driver to zoom past you at 80 km per hour. If you find any taxi driving close-by, expect it to change the lane at any moment. The taxi’s indicators never works, but the driver always has his right arm dangling out of the car, and considers that arm his indicator. He can switch from 4th left lane to the 1st right lane in a matter of seconds.  Meanwhile your frantic break and horns might help him slip into a sweet lull, and he always seems to enjoy that near-death incredulous expression on your face.

The second most likely encounter is the “nou-doltiye ki white corolla” that has a big sticker with a saying that goes like: ’My Dad is my ATM’. You can expect it to appear at any moment, sneak-up on you and over-take you from the left side at a lightning speed. You will see it zig-zag through other cars in-front of you but you should be glad that this mili-centimeter brush with your car didn’t leave you dead. The “nou-doltiye ki white corolla” has a shrill 120 decibel horn installed in it and makes you jump in your seat whenever you hear it. The normal horn doesn’t seem to go that well with the rich-badass-boy personality. He also excessively enjoys blinking the front lights of his car during daytime just to faze you out.

Your third mad road companion is a Punjab college boy on a motorcycle. He is wearing a navy-blue sleeveless sweater, has turned-up collars and unbuttoned sleeves. He can flash a middle finger at you if you honk at him for zig-zagging his bike on the road. Let him zig-zag his way through, he is only trying to unburden himself from the daunting task of attending lectures and learning a thing or two about accounting.

Be aware of the fact that you are only this adhi-aqal wali aurat, who can’t switch to 4th gear as soon as the yellow light turns into green. You will hear horns. You might become insensitive, assume an expressionless face and honk back, but that doesn’t make you a better driver. Still, if you want to be taken seriously, speed-up your car to 100 km per hour and maneuver your way around other cars. Make sure to honk as much as possible and give everyone else the impression that you are rushing to the hospital, and if you don’t make it there in time your close friend will die without seeing you for the last time. Yes! You have be that dramatic!…..Keep the expression dramatic or else be prepared to be taken as a lazy dumb sloth sitting behind the wheels.

But as soon as you enter the posh areas of Islamabad, you can slow down because you will see many cars with a sticker saying: “Caution! Baby Inside!!”… (Ripped off form the Intel-inside sticker logo). Take a deep breath and relax….you have come to all-things-imported area in Pak-land. The baby-burger-zone rules apply here.

Achieving Misunderstood-Greatness

How to live as a sponger in your parent’s house and blame them for your failures: Your Complete Guide to becoming a Great-but-Misunderstood Person.

You are a reader. An avid reader of books that contain abstract ideas. Well then! You know enough words and allegories. Use them and jot down some disorganized thoughts. Make sure to link those thoughts with punch lines that no one understands and finally you can happily call what you have written a deep-poetic-free-verse.

You are deep; you have serious, deep contemplative thoughts swarming your brain all the time. Use this purposeless confusion to good purpose. Make a story out of it. The first story that comes to your mind is going to be an exaggerated and tragic version of your real life. But ignore that story and move-on to the next more exaggerated, more tragic and more violent version of your life. Make sure to include some parts of your before-life and after-life incidents that often come to you as visions in your induced-déjàvu state of mind. You are sure to land on some other great stories later in your life, but trust me, self-victimization is a great way to start a career in writing, it can make you a legend-who-wrote-heartbreaking-novels.

Do you often find yourself aimlessly reading some random articles on internet? Dose reading them give you an impression that you are really interested in knowing the authentic versions of scientific conundrums?…. say, of ‘What Came First? Chicken or Egg?’…. Good! You have a creative AND a scientific brain. Now, why not memorize the science behind a genetically evolving chicken egg, and inject that knowledge into daily life’s boring and dumb conversations. People who don’t seem to appreciate your deep poetry will surely not be able to take this unleashed avalanche of scientific facts that you have learned and are sure to mistake you for a genius person.

Moving on…Do you like to sit alone all by yourself? If yes then do it more often….it’s called thinking. Even if you are not thinking anything substantial you can think that you are thinking and therefore are sure of reaching some groundbreaking ideas on confusion and agony; ‘thinkers agony’ that is, if you don’t mind!!

Do your find your life full of daunting tasks and ambitions that you want to achieve but won’t achieve? Well! Declare some ambitions worthless and purposeless and call it existential crisis. Make sure to reach this crisis by entertaining clear and independent assessments of what purposes might ask you to abandon your newly assumed existential crisis and demand money making endeavors. Make sure to put a big mighty cross on such endeavors. They only serve capitalists. You have become a socialist by now. Respect your mental developments!

Also, make sure to listen to eccentric old music in your leisure time. Nothing makes you feel that you don’t fit-in like a sad old song! Feeling out-of-place really helps you focus on your ambitions that are going to make you a great-but-misunderstood person one day!!

If you want to remain that humble-and-obscured-but-nonetheless-genius person, make sure to cut out people from your life that seem dumb and useless, cutting out some smart people can also make you feel better and smarter about self. Also, hating some people can be helpful in achieving that loneliness and the unavoidable common-people’s-dislike that great people often have to endure.

Finally, are you suffering from some mental disorder? No?….Well find one! Be intelligent about it; choosing a right mental disorder can be tricky. Make sure that you pick one that fits perfectly with your personality. Introverts can choose some variant of anti-social disorder and extroverts can pick sociopathic tendencies as their muse. Mental disorders can be a good excuse on good and happy days when nothing else is working in favor of your great-but-misunderstood persona.

Happy unemployment days!! Your greatness knows no bounds. 😀

Disclaimer: This is only an extremely well-written satirical piece. Its not directed at any one. But as they say: “If the shoe fits, feel free to lace that bitch up and wear it!” 😀 Happy Reading!!

Stuttering my way out

A friend recently sent me a link of Nescafe advertisement video

A person suffering from stammer is standing in front of an audience; there is a pin-drop silence. With a tinge of drama in his voice he starts to explain his struggle with stammering and a dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. He falters at first but then just like any-other professional comedian who finds humor in his shortcomings, this comedian also starts to cracks jokes about his stammering and makes the audience laugh.

I find the advertisement clip refreshing, not because I heard some brilliant jokes, but because for once comedy and stammering aren’t shown as one and same thing. For once a stuttering person is not a joke himself. For once he is not a poor dumb funny prop in a sitcom.
It’s a feel-good advertisement…maybe a heartening clip for some. But while the jokes triumph over the joker, it’s nothing more than an interesting but an unrealistic situation. It shows too optimistic a picture. I say optimistic not because the person despite his stammer is confident enough to dream about becoming a comedian, but because the audience is shown to be very patient and mature.
Before I go any further, and start sharing my experiences as a person who stutters, let me say that I DONOT consider my stutter as any sort of hindrance or a problem (so I am not writing this to gain sympathy, please!). But I only want to point out how usually people react to a stutterer. I want to highlight common reactions and attitudes that seemingly aim to show consideration and empathy, but only make conversations difficult for a stutterer.
I started to stammer at the age of five. I remember the doctor assuring my father that stammering usually fades away after few years and since it was slight stammer and was not affecting my speech too much, only few speech exercises were recommended. Just about the same age I discovered that I love singing. Whenever I got bored, I would start singing. My twin sister would join in and the harmonious twin vocal singing turned out to be quite a fun play.
Interestingly I was hardly ever bullied or made fun of by other kids during my school years (or maybe I don’t remember most of such incidents, because it simply failed to affect me in any way) but here comes the irony; the very first time I felt conscious of my stammering was when a teacher would assign each student to read Urdu passages out loud in the class, but every day, when my turn came, she would skip me and call out the next person to read. Naturally I was disturbed by this behavior; while I still had to sit in that class, I felt that I was excluded out from that group. Another teacher refused to audition me for a singing competition, as she thought that I would stammer while singing and would embarrass myself in front of the whole school (FYI I don’t stammer when I sing, in-fact many people who stammer find singing easy and stutter free).
As the dynamics of social interactions shifted from other activities to girls grouping and churning out gossip in high school, I was again conveniently left out of conversations. So now in a grown-up’s world I am either left out of conversation or someone always tries to complete my sentence for me. Sometimes some genius listener actually thinks that I am unable to logically form a sentence, therefore I am clueless about what is being discussed and then as a token of consideration and sympathy I am given some time to “think”.
There are some who simply can’t get over the fact that I stammer and would start asking me all sorts of questions; they want to know my complete medical history. I feel like laying down on a couch and pretend that I am talking to a psychiatrist in order to carry on a decent conversation with them. The most annoying ones are those who think that I am getting really nervous while talking to them and tell me to stop and take a deep breath. The best ones are those who think that I am doing it on purpose and I need to snap out of it!!… really???
I realize that most people mean well and are sincerely trying to help, but people need to be educated about this issue and I think there isn’t enough awareness about it among Pakistanis in general. My stammering doesn’t indicate that I am dumb or getting nervous, it simply fluctuates in severity form time to time and gets mild or severe regardless of the situation. The best way to deal with it is to ignore it and try to listen to what the person is trying to say. So here are few things to keep in mind if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in conversation with me:
  • Do not try to complete my sentences for me. Please!!
  • Don’t tell me to “think” what I want to say. Please!!
  • Don’t start giving tips, don’t tell me to breathe or relax.
  • Don’t ask me “why am I stuttering?” cuz honestly I don’t know why.
  • Don’t take pity on me, or think that my house got burned down when I was a baby and I still haven’t recovered from that trauma and therefore I need you to take care of me, and I assure you I also haven’t seen any mutilated dead bodies yet.
  • Don’t tell me how “intelligent” and “smart” I am; encouraging me like I am a nursery kid won’t help me.
  • Don’t give me Quranic wazifey to recite as a *cure*. There is NO cure for stammering. Scientist don’t even know exactly WHY it happens.
  • If you find your kid trying to copy my stutter, please don’t scold them (or beat the shit out of them).
  • Desi aunties, please don’t ask my mother “toh bhabhi app ney issey kissi doctor ko nahee dikhaya????…..”
  • And last but not the least, try to ignore it…. and LET ME TALK, without cutting me off in mid sentence!!!
Now enjoy a video clip, an advertisement for a snack, this is what a stutterer looks like in a Pakistani add: Dumb, Ugly and a Funny put-off.
aaand this is what a person with a stutter actually looks and sounds like in real life. Do watch this awesome TED talk on stuttering by a singer who suffer form this speech impediment and finds solace in singing.


پاکستانیوں میں بڑھتی ہوئی خدا خوفی کی شرح

آج اخبارمیں پڑھا کہ پاکستان میں ابھی بھی ایسے خوفِ خدا رکھنے والے لوگ موجود ہیں جو اپنی ماؤں، بہنوں بیٹیوں کو نقاب میں دیکھنا پسند کرتے ہیں. امریکا کی یونیورسٹی نے سروے کیا تھا. بولے ٣٢ فیصد ایسے پاکستانی ہیں جو نقاب کو ہی عورت کا سہی لباس تسلیم کرتے ہیں. ویسے تو میرا ماننا ہے کہ یہ شرح ٥٠ فی صد سے بھی کہیں اوپر ہے لیکن چلو امریکا والوں کے منہ سے آدھا سچ بھی سن کر خوشی ہوئی. لیکن ، اب جہاں ہم میں تھوڑا بہت اسلام کا پاس رکھنے والے نیک لوگ موجود ہیں وہاں مجھے رہ رہ کر ان جہنمی عورتوں کا بھی خیال آ رہا ہی جو اپنے رب سے بہت دور ہیں

میں نے ان عورتوں کو دیکھا ہے جن کےعورت ہونے پر اکثر پاکستانی عوام شرمندہ ہیں .جینز پہنے ہوئے، آزاد خیال، مُنہ پھٹ عورت، خدا کے عزاب کو دعوت دیتی ہوئی عورت ، ماں باپ کی عزت کو اچھالتی ہوئی عورت، نام نہاد مغربی طرز کی آزادی کی طلبگار

ایک عورت نکاح کے موقے پر اپنے وجود کو شوہر کی سرپرستی میں دینے سے انکاری ہو گیی، کہنے لگی نام نہیں بدلوں گی، شوہر بھی ایسا نامرد نکلا کے اس کی باتوں میں آ گیا. حد تو تب ہوئی جب طلاق دینے کے حق پر بھی اپنا حق جما بیٹھی. بھیی! ٹھیک ہے کہ نکاح نامے میں یہ خانہ موجود ہے پر وہ تو جائداد کے حق کی طرح صرف اس لئے موجود ہے تاکہ وقت انے پر اس کےباپ بھائی اس سے قربانی مانگیں اور وہ زمین ان کے نام کرنے پر تیار ہو جائے، بس اتنی سی بات ہے . اس پر اگر کوئی عورت اکڑ کر یہ کہے کہ میں کسی کی جائداد نہیں ہوں اور میری جائداد کسی اور کی نہیں تو بھلا اب ایسی عورت کو کون عزت دے گا. کون اس کو بہن مانے گا، کون بیٹی مانے گا ؟

ایسی عورتوں کی عجیب عادت یہ ہے کے انکی ہر بات میں ایک اپنی راۓ ہوتی ہے، یہ نہیں کے چلو شادی جائداد کے معاملے میں خاندان کا نام اچھالا اور چپ ہو گئیں. ایسی بے لگام بیبیاں تو جدہر جاتی ہیں اپنا اپ ظاہر کر دیتی ہیں. سیاست میں بھی بول پڑتی ہیں، کہ نہیں فلانا سیاست دان اچھا ہے اور فلانا برا. بھلا بی بی تم سے کوئی پوچھے، کے تمہارا کیا لینا دینا سیاست کے معاملات سے ؟ سیاست تو مردوں کا کھیل ہے. شہروں اور گاؤں میں چار مرد بیٹھ کر فیصلہ کرتے ہیں کے کس کو ووٹ ڈالنا ہی اور پھر سب اپنے اپنے گھر کی عوتوں کو بتاتے ہیں کے ٹھپا شیر پر لگنا ہے یا تیر پر، پھر یہ سو، دو-سو زنانہ دانوں کی ٹولی کو بسوں میں بھر کر ووٹنگ سینٹر چھوڑ جاتے ہیں. بس اتنی سی بات ہے. اس پر بھی کوئی عورت اکڑ دکھایے اور بولے کے ووٹ میری اپنی پسند اور مرضی کا ڈلے گا تو وہ عورت سرکش اور آزاد ہے. اس نہ کوئی باپ ہے نہ کوئی بھائی. میں ایسی عورت کو عزت دینے کا قائل نہیں. ویسے جس مرد نے بھی عورت کو ووٹ ڈالنے کا حق دیا ہو گا اس نے بھی کیا دور کی سوچی…. ہمارے ہاں تو الیکشن میں زنانہ دانے مفت ووٹوں کا زخیرہ ہیں جن کا استعمال ہم پاکستانی مرد خوب عقل مندی سے کرتے ہیں

ہمارے خاندان میں کسی لڑکی نے پڑھائی ختم کرنے کے بعد نوکری نہیں کی تھی، پر میرے ماموں جوکہ چند سال امریکہ میں گزارنے کے بعد کچھ زیادہ ہی آزاد خیال ہو گئے تھے، اپنی بیٹی کی ضد مان بیٹھے اور اسے دفتر جانے کی اجازت دے دی، اس کا علاج تو دفتر میں مردوں نہ چھیڑ چھاڑ کر کے کچھ ایسا کیا کے چند دنوں بعد ہی بیچاری نے روتے دھوتے نوکری چھوڑ دی. پھر اسے سمجھ لگی کے ڈگری تو صرف اچھے رشتوں کی تلاش میں حاصل کی جاتی ہے. بھلا ڈگری کے بعد نوکری کر کے اپنی عزت خراب کرنے کا کیا تک ہے؟

میری باس ایک آزاد خیال عورت ہے….دفتر بھی ایسے چلاتی ہے جیسے عورتیں گاڑی چلاتی ہیں. لیفٹ اور رائٹ کا انڈیکیٹر بڑی جانفشانی سے دیتی ہیں اور سمجھتی ہیں کے گاڑی سہی چلا رہی ہیں. کام کروانے کے لیے ہمت درکار ہوتی ہے جو کے انکے پاس نہیں. ابھی کل کی بات ہے کی کسی مرد کے بچے نے اپنی گزشتہ دنوں میں ہونے والی بےعزتی کا بدلہ کچھ یوں لیا کے اس کے ٹیبل پر پیشاب سے بھری بوتل رکھ چھوڑی….بیچاری بڑی اگ بگولہ ہوئی، پر وہ اقبال کا شاہین اپنا کام کر کے اڑ چکا تھا، اب کہاں اس نے ہاتھ آنا تھا

میں خود اپنے دفتر میں کام کرنے والی لڑکیوں کے ساتھ ایسی باتیں اور ایسے بیہودہ مزاق شیر کرتا ہوں کے بیچاریاں اپنا سا منہ لے کر کونے میں بیٹھ جاتی ہیں. جب کچھ سال دفتروں کے دھکے کھانے کے بعد سمجھدار ہو جاییں گیں تو دل میں ضرور فیصلہ کریں گیں کے ‘اپنی بیٹیوں کو نوکری نہیں کرنے دینا’. ہاہاہا شکریہ! اس بات کا ثواب تو میں ابھی ہی قبول کر لیتا ہوں…. باقی اجر دینے والا تو صرف الله ہے!!

یہ عوتوں کی برابری کی بات کرنے والے بھی انوکھے لوگ ہیں، بچپن میں شعرسنا کرتے تھے کہ ‘ایک ہی صف میں کھڑے ہو گئے محمود و ایاز” یہ کبھی نہیں سوچا تھا کے صدی پلٹے گی اور بڑے ہو کر حقوق نسواں والی بیبیاں ہم سے یہ شعر کچھ یوں بلوائیں گیں

ایک ہی صف میں کھڑے ہو گئے ‘محمودہ’ اور ایاز ؎
نہ کوئی بندی رہی نہ بندا نواز

استغفراللہ!! یعنی کہ حقوق نسواں کی عجیب دکانیں لگی ہیں این-جی-اوز کے نام پر. آج کل ٹیلی ویژن پر عورتوں کی مخصوص بیماریوں کو لے کر جس جس طرح کے رونے روئے جاتے ہیں، انکو دیکھ کر ٹی-وی توڑ ڈالنے کا دل کرتا ہے. آج سے بیس سال پہلے کسی نے چھاتی کے سرطان کے بارے میں سنا بھی نہیں تھا…پردہ دار مستورات گھر میں گھٹ گھٹ کر مر جانا پسند کرتی تھیں لیکن اپنی شوہر کی عزت نیلام نہیں کرتی تھیں. اب تو صاحب معاملا کچھ یوں ہے کہ

برباد گلستان کرنے کو بس ایک ہی الو کافی تھا ؎
ہر شاخ پے الو بیٹھا ہے، انجام گلستان کیا ہو گا؟

یعنی جس کو دیکھو اپنی گھر کی عورتوں کو ہسپتال کی سیر کرواتا پھر رہا ہے، ذرا دانت کی تکلیف ہو تو بی بی ہسپتال پہنچ جاتی ہیں…. اور کہیں نکلنے کی اجازت نہ ملی تو چلوطبیعت کا بہانہ بنا کر ہسپتال کی جانب چل نکلی

جاتے جاتے بس علامہ اقبال کی ایک نظم نامردوں کے لیے اور بےغیرت عوتوں کے لئے….شاید کے (بےشرم) دل میں تیرے اتر جائے میری بات

دیسی اطوار اور پردیسی چال کا اصل فن

پردیسی بننے کا کس میڈل کلاسیے کو شوق نہیں ہوتا…بچپن سے دل میں بسنے والا یہ خواب اگر اپنی تعبیر پانے کے مراحل تہہ کر لے تو یوں لگتا ہے جیسے اس دنیا میں سرخروح ہو گئے ہیں. رشتے داروں اور دوستوں کی جلن دیکھتی ہے تو آپ اور بھی پھولے نہ سماتے ہیں. اور تو اور پردیس جاتے وقت تو آپ کو جہاز پر چڑھنے کی اتنی جلدی ہوتی ہے کے آپ امیگریشن لائن کے ضابطہ کار کو ایک سائیڈ پر رکھ کر عورتوں اور بوڑھوں کے لئے مخصوص کی گیئ قطار میں کھڑے ہو جاتے ہیں.

خیر جب آپ اپنی خوابوں کی دنیا میں پہلا قدم رکھ چکتے ہیں تو یہ سب باتیں آپ کے بچگانہ ماضی کا حصہ بن جاتی ہیں. اب آپ فرنگیوں کی زمین پر چلتے پھرتے اپنے ملک کواور ادھر بسنے والے نیک نمازیوں کو یاد کرتے تھکتے نہیں. آپ باہر کے ملک جا کر نوٹ کرتے ہیں کے آ پ کے اندر کی پاکستانیت کم نہیں بلکہ کیئں گنا زیادہ ہو گیئ ہے…اپنے ملک سے محبّت کا ثبوت دینے کی خواہش ہر روز زور پکڑتی جاتی ہے…حتہ کے آپ پاکستانیت کے اس مقام پر پہنچ جاتے ہیں جہاں آپ میں اور پاکستان میں فرک کرنا مشکل ہو جاتا ہے.

باہر کا ملک …آپ کے خوابوں کی دنیا….اخلاق کمزور ہونے کی صورت میں آپ کے ایمان لئے ایک امتحان گاہ بھی بن سکتی ہے . منی سکرٹس میں چلتی ننگی ٹانگوں والی لڑکیاں، گراسری اسٹورز میں لگی شراب کی بوتلوں کی قطاریں، سور کی ہڈی سے بنی جیلی، اور ہیم ساسیج جیسی حرام چیزوں سے بھری باہر کے ملک کی دنیا اپ کے ذرا سے قدم پسلنے پر جہنم کی آگ کی نوید بن سکتی ہی. چناچے احتیاط لازمی شرط ہے!

احتیاط کے چند طریقے تمام ان امیدواروں کی خدمت میں حاضر کیے دیتی ہوں جو دن رات فرنگی قوموں کے دیس میں اپنا مستقبل تلاش کرتے ہیں.

اپنے ملک سے محبّت کا پہلا اصول تو یہ ہے کہ باہر جا کر اگر کوئی بھی گورا آپ کو پاکستان کی برائی کرتے ملے …تو اس کو فوراً امریکہ اور اسرئیل کی صدیوں سے جاری جارحیت کے بارے میں بتایں. اگر کوئی ہندوستانی ملے تو اس کے نمستے کا جواب “وسلام ” دے کر کریں…اگر وہ پھر بھی باز نہ آے تو اسے گاندھی کے اصّل چہرے سے روشناش کرائیں تاکہ ان سب کو معلوم ہو جائے کے پاکستان کو توڑنا اتنی آسان بات نہیں…اور ہمارے ملک میں غیرت مند محب وطن لوگ رہتے ہیں.

اپنی دوستی ایک مخصوص طبقے تک ہی محدود رکھیں. سٹرکلی سپیکنگ ، صرف مسلمان طبقے سے سلام دعا بڑھاییں. اگرچہ عرب لوگ آپ جیسے نیم کالے ساؤتھ اشین سے بات کرنا پسند نہیں کرتے لیکن آپ کو اپنی مسلمانیت دکھانے میں ذرا ہتک محسوس نہیں ہونی چایے چناچہ اگر کوئی عربی آپ کو ملے تو اس کی طرف دوستی کا ہاتھ ضرور بڑھاییں…ہو سکے تو چند ماہ بعد آنے والی عید کی مبارک باد بھی اسی وقت دے دیں. فی امان الله کہنے سے پہلے اپنے غریب خانے پرکھانے کے لیے مدعو کرنا نہ بھولیں.

لڑکوں کے لئے خاص طور پر احتیاط برتنا ضروری ہے. اپنے دیس میں تو لڑکیاں تاڑنے میں کوئی خاص مشقت نہیں لگتی تھی. لیکن ادھر ٹرام میں سامنے بیٹھی گوری کو دیکھنے کے لئے ایک خاص قسم کا آرٹ درکار ہے. ورنہ آپ حراسمنٹ کے کیس میں جیل بھی جا سکتے ہیں. میں چونکے خود ایک لڑکی ہوں تو شاید میں اس آرٹ پر زیادہ روشنی نہ ڈال سکوں…بس اتنا بتاے دیتی ہوں کے ادھر تاڑتے وقت آپ کی آنکھوں کے انگارے دوسروں کو نظر نہیں آنے چاہییں. البتہ یہ اصول اپ صرف گوریوں کے لئے ہی رکھیں، دیسی مال دیکھتے ہی آپ اپنی اصل فطرت پر واپس سوئچ ہو سکتے ہیں.

باہر کے ملک میں مجھے اسلام کا بول بلا دیکھ کر بہت مسرت بھی ہوئی اور حیرانی بھی، حیرانی کی وجہ تو یہ تھی کے ہم نے اپنے ملک میں فرنگی دنیا کے بارے میں بہت سی باتیں سنی تھیں. جیسے کے فرنگ لوگ اسلام کے پھلنے سے بہت خوف کھاتے ہیں اور اپنے بچوں کو ہالووین پر مولوی کے کاسٹیوم پہن کر ڈراتے ہیں، لیکن میں نے اس قسّم کا کی کوئی حرکت فرنگی کو کرتے نہی دیکھا. سچ تو یہ ہی کے آج کا نوجوان فرنگی اب اصل معنوں میں مسیحی نہی رہا. اس کو چرچ کی گھنٹیوں میں سکون دستیاب نہیں. اس کے اندر اپنے رب کی تلاش کا سفر زور پکڑ چکا ہے. فرنگ نوجوان کے اسی اندرونی روحانی انقلاب کو مدنظر رکھتے ہوئے یونیورسٹی کے پہلے دن تو میں نے کیفیٹیریا میں نماز کا اہتمام بھی کیا….ایسا کرنے سے مجھے دو فائدے ہوے…. ایک تو یہ کے گورے لوگوں کو ایک نماز پڑھتی مسلمہ دیکھنے کا پر روح منظر دیکھنے کو ملے …اور ساتھ ہی ساتھ ان میں اسلام کے بارے میں ایک مثبت قسّم کا تجسس پیدا ہو. گھر کی یاد انے پر میں یہ کام اکثر چرچ میں بھی جا کر کرتی رہی ہوں.

اب اگے کا ارادہ یہ ہے کہ، باہر کے ملک سے ڈگری لینے کے بعد….یعنی بیین اقوامی لیول کی تعلیم اور شعور حاصل کرنے کے بعد….میں سوچتی ہوں کے میری صلاحیتوں کا سہی استمعال کسی بیین اقوامی لیول کی آرگنائزیشن میں نوکری کرنے سے ہو گا….آخر کو پاکستانیوں کو بھی تو ورلڈ پیس آرڈر قایم کرنے میں حصّہ ڈالنا ہو گا نہ!