Monday, August 27, 2018

Love Does Not Require The Mirror of Hate

The wonderful thing about life is that on every turn it poses a new question and it is in our struggle to find the answers to them that our growth takes place. I shudder at the thought of a life where I wouldn’t struggle with these dilemmas and mysteries. How boring our lives would be.  I never want my life to be a straight highway, I like to travel on curving bending roads clinging to the mountains. The views are great but you never know what the next bend will bring. I simply love it and on that note the latest question I am struggling with is precisely that - Love!

First let me clarify that I don’t mean romantic love, which one falls in and out of. I am talking about the more persistent and permanent kind of love, the kind we feel for our parents, kids, country etc. This is a deep seated emotion in humans and we cannot function without it. The absence of love especially in our formative years can lead to psychological problems which persist throughout our lives and prisons across the globe hold evidence of this.

We are reasonably good at loving people. Our love is not dependent upon contrast. Contrast is nature’s way of making us appreciate something by placing it next to something which is its absolute opposite. For example we appreciate light because of darkness, we crave for justice when we see injustice, we focus on abundance when we come across lack in any area of our life etc. But we don’t love our kids because we find our friend’s children disgusting. Our parents don’t tell us to show our love for them by showing hate for all other parents of this world. Then what happens to us when we apply the same love on concepts,  ideas or the intangible? Why does our love for our country have to be demonstrated by hating another? Why does love for your religion mean that you hate people of other religions? Why must I protect my ideas and paradigms by exhibiting a repulsion for those who have a completely opposite thought process? In short why is love so dependent on hate? I struggle with this especially when it comes to patriotism. I am a proud Pakistani and one who refuses by choice to live in any other country but why must I hate all Indians to prove my love for my country? Frankly I don’t care about my neighbor, they can do what they want in their house and I will do what I want in mine. Obviously if the people in my next door apartment do anything which violates my privacy, freedom or safety I should and I will retaliate. But unless that happens I will not go on telling everyone how much I hate them. Same rule applies to countries and religions etc.

If we want to change the world then we have to teach our children to love. You and I are not world leaders, nor are we revolutionaries, but in our homes running around and making incessant racket is tomorrow. Its these kids who will in a few years inherit this planet from us, if each parent taught their kids how to love without hating the opposite, in the next couple of decades this would be a different planet altogether. We need to let them know the mirror of hate does not reflect love. Alas no school teaches this and no parent thinks of it. In fact at home when we crib and swear about how much we hate the politicians, our boss, our colleague etc. we are teaching our kids that to love one means to hate the other. By the time the child is 3 years old his/her  world map is almost complete, largely drawn by what he/she hears regardless of their language skills.  So if you do nothing else the least you can do is shut up about your negativity when your child is within earshot even though that child is simply a drooling, gurgling baby right now.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Imran’s Third Marriage – a Single Woman’s Perspective

I really don’t follow Pakistani politics anymore simply because I feel that if you watch the news even after a year the news itself doesn’t really change much. My theory is if something earth shattering happens somebody will come and tell you about it.  After all spreading news is the nation’s favorite pastime. Everyday someone or the other asks me “did you hear what happened” my reply is always a negative and then the person proceeds to narrate the entire news. I keep abreast without wasting my own time. I have become immune to dharnas, corruption, power struggles etc. But once in a while I hear something that does affect me and the latest saga of Imran’s new tryst with marriage is one such news.

First of all as a woman I absolutely detest the attitude of the politicians who say ‘ he is allowed 4 wives’ or ‘it is his personal matter’ or ‘it is natural for everyone to need companionship’ . I know most of you will find it politically incorrect and probably shocking when I say ‘bull….’! I’m sorry but I cant respect someone who in their 60’s finds it impossible to remain single and takes impulsive decisions regarding marriage. Remember the 2nd marriage? The rush to get married and the quickness of the divorce? If he cant keep himself in check how can he keep the control the nation? Nothing is personal when you enter politics. It is our right to scrutinize you and base our decisions upon all your actions.

And what is this business of needing someone? Its not as if he doesn’t have children, or he lives all alone in a big house with no one around. Mr. Khan I am a single woman who is completely alone in the world and I am living just fine. If I can do it you definitely can. I want to vote for someone who is strong not just honest. Yes I agree the others are corrupt so we should give him a chance and most do believe that he is the honest leader we need. But am I wrong if I want strength along with honesty?

I am not against marriage at all on the contrary I think it is the building block of any society. What I’m against is the ridiculous manner in which IK seems to be approaching this for the past few years. If you find the right woman, take your time, understand the person then if you are sure go ahead by all means. But you seem to be still going through school boy crushes. Let me share a secret of growing up … we all fantasize but growing up is learning to keep our fantasies to ourselves.

What on earth is the matter with everyone? People are either criticizing his choice or condoning his decision as a ‘personal matter’. Why isn’t anyone asking ‘why’? Let me ask you if a female politician who was divorced or widowed decided to get married at the age of 66 what would your reaction be? Such complete hypocrisy. The entire nation would have assassinated her character and termed her unfit for politics. None of these politicians would have said ‘its her personal choice’. I don’t think I will see this society change in my lifetime but I would like us to at least start accepting openly that we are in drastic need of changing our attitudes.  At the moment I feel as an independant woman I am not represented by anyone and this time again I will simply waste my vote.