Bandar Ya Sikandar

The only thing certain about today’s world is that it is in an ever changing flux of events and anything can happen at any moment. To put it simply it is totally uncertain.

We are born in this world in the most excruciating of events, there are bright lights, hands pull you out and you come out gasping for air and screaming your lungs out. Removed from your umbilical cord you are bereft, at sea as they say and a bloody mess at that. Someone gives your rear a tight slap and you start howling, to the collective relief of the people present in the delivery room. Then someone cleans you up puts you in a nice hospital provided rag and thrusts you into a gaggle of “cootchie coos” and cheek pulling, tongue clicking vicious Aunties and Uncles. You look around in total disbelief as humans the size of giants to you, make horrible faces expecting you to gurgle and smile back at them, but why would you laugh when you are scared shitless? Pretty soon you move from the brightly lit sterile place that is the hospital to your own home. You have other giants visit daily and you hate all of them except for this one female who just smells alright to you. Incidentally she is the one who provides you with food as well so she just rawks!

Perhaps this is how our babies actually feel you know? Perhaps they are not the jumble of flesh and nerves with an as yet “un fathoming” brain as our Doctors would have us believe. The point is do we even know that our Doctors know? Yeh so you would say off course medical science knows exactly about the birth of a human and has detailed analysis on every condition that might result during and from it right? Well ask any Doctor and if they are really honest they shall reveal that there are a lot of things still unknown in natal care. In fact the only thing that we really do know about human birth and development of a child’s awareness for sure are that there are grey areas, areas yet uncertain.

Take up our society, millions of Pakistanis toiling away day after day for a pittance of what the elite make while sitting in the comfort of their air conditioned offices. People dying of the lack of pure drinking water while bootleggers deliver imported liquor to any nook and cranny of this great land. Leaders who do nothing for their voters but yet enjoy the V.I.P protocols and lives made up of dreams that come along with such positions. What is the future of such a country? Of such an environment? Last I watched one of the gazillion talk shows on air every night, a very informed gentleman with a neutral face and even more neutral tie told me “things are yet uncertain”

So what exactly is certain? Our birth, our lives, our security in society, the kind of person we will marry, will we have kids, will we be successful, what is successful? It’s all a big if is it not? It’s all up for grabs?

Lets face it going by what’s written above even the fate of this write-up seems uncertain at the moment. Heck to be honest it seems to me like all we do in our lives from birth to death is bounce from wall to wall in some giant video game the divine has created. While someone up there throws us through uncertainty after uncertainty just to see how we would react to a particular situation. The same syndrome he has instilled in us which comes out when we go to any zoo. The one which makes us throw pea nuts at monkeys who are probably cussing us out while glaring back. Just to see what they would do? Just to gauge how high they will jump?

So what will it be my dear readers? Would you like to be the divines Bandar or Sikandar? Because whatever you end up being, the end result is the same comedy of errors a life leads to.  Death and then perhaps another excruciating beginning!!

Bandar Ya Sikandar is Urdu for Ape or Alexander

Published in the June Aagahi 2008, a supplement of “The News”