When i was young, which was obviously a long time ago, as my daughter aptly puts it we used to start going quite mad at the 10th of August every year.
Trips were made to the nearest flag station which if you are unaware means a makeshift stall setup on the side of the road where one can buy national flags and flaglets from. Contests would be announced on TV on the one channel we had, about people going around looking for the best decorated house and we would all dream sitting in our mohallas that ours would be the one.
I distinctly remember one of the most thrilling moments of my life, i had spent my entire months pocket money on buying loads and loads of jhandis and had strung them from the roof of my house all the way to the little patch of green we have outside. I had even painted little white chand taras(crescents and stars) on my garden and stuck up a huge flag on my roof. I was standing there with my childhood friends admiring our handiwork from the outside of my house when there was whirring sound of helicopter blades and a helicopter hovered over our lane.Â The army men inside then emptied a whole batch of jhandis (little green and white flaglets) down on our lane and we ran from one end of our road to the other screaming in joy as the air was full of green and white flags streaming down.
At that moment something inside my heart beat like it would burst out of my chest, and I looked up with pride at the flag i had hoisted on my roof every night till the 14th of August came vowing that I would also one day do something for my nation.
These were the times when the Army was held in reverence. We were told wartime stories by our parents and shown war stories on TV of people like Captain Sarwar and Rashid Minhas, the great shaheeds of our nation who gave their lives in valor for this land.
Those times are gone now, depression looms over this land, inflation is rampant and people are bent over with the yoke of oppression that our democratic rulers have plied us with. They will soon be impeaching a former chief of army staff in our parliament. A hero of the yester years.
Still even though so much is wrong the sweet smell of freedom cannot be ignored. Even today when i look at the stalls setup in many places all over my beloved city my heart skips a beat. I still feel that twinge when i see the green and white banner waving in the air. Whatever comes our way this year, I hope this great nation can overcome it in its stride.
Long live Pakistan!!