There will be storms tonight. I pull on my jacket and hurry up the garden to pick the beans for tea. Already the wind is grasping at the plants, tugging them away from the safe anchor of their pots. Above, the sky is leaden and empty; the birds gone home to roost.

Back in the kitchen my knife runs around the stringy edges of the beans, slicing into the green flesh. The potatoes boil on the stove, misting the window as I look out. But it’s OK, I’m not really looking out of the window; I am picturing the storms on another shore.

So what’s Karachi to me? What is Pakistan, with all its turmoil? Hard to answer that one. I see the beach, the long stretch of sand that Faisal has described so often; I see the city at night – Batster’s city, drenched in soft rain and exotic, dangerous mystery. I am aware of the starving children; I hear the call to prayer ring out from the mosques.

Me, I am not a politic animal. Life in the comfortable West has made certain of that. Sure, as a student I was radical; sure, I still call myself a socialist. I also call myself disenfranchised because we have no system of proportional representation so where I chose to live, my vote won’t count. But do I really care? No. Because the reality is, there is very little to vote for anyway – left, right, centre – it doesn’t make a great deal of difference. Life goes on.

It is hard for me to relate to the passion on Deadpan Thoughts, but my heart is with you all. My domain is not the political, but the personal. You are more real to me than the abstract concepts you will need to bring to life to stop your beleaguered nation from falling apart. Sitting in my cosy study in Britain I can offer love and support, but I cannot really feel what you are going through. I have simply become too secure in my democratic cocoon. Deep down, I know that the only thing I will ever fight for are the individual people I care about. The bigger battles are beyond me. The bigger battles are on your doorstep, and I am scared for you.

Outside, the wind whips up and the rain begins to fall.

  1. We are scared here as well Willow trust me, underneath this crazy exterior lurks a normal man somewhere. The whole point tho is for you to be now encased in that cozy democratic cocoon you describe, people must have fought with hell and high water in the start of Britain, there are still people fighting in your land for their voice to be heard. To get there we have some time to go, and if we do not fight for our country who will?

  2. Willow – I fully understand your perspective – as another resident of the democratic west. Watching events in Pakistan from afar is beyond troubling – & I feel very much distant from it. Safely so. Yet – then again – not safely so. My country’s (US) politics are inextricably – at least at the moment – caught up in things related to Pakistan. & I wonder to what extent my gov. is a part of all that is or has happened relating to Musharraf’s fate.

    Faisal – yes we in the west fought for our democracies BUT – speaking for my own country – we have lost sight of the principles for which we fought. Sadly. Very sadly & increasingly so.

  3. The strange thing is, in my ignorant, simplistic way, I just thought that Musharraf, as friend of the US, couldn’t be what Pakistani people wanted! How little ordinary people in one country understand the domestic politics of another.

    I hope, Anna, that the US – and the UK – keep their interfering noses out of this one!

  4. Unless the nose belongs to blondes..we do like blondes!!!

    Nay Mush was loved by many here, he did give us some good times in the first years.. he came when we had 700 million in our account and left us with 16 billion…that’s some achievement with the debts and problems our country has…we are down to 9 billion again.

  5. ** I see the city at night – Batster’s city, drenched in soft rain and exotic, dangerous mystery.** – aww, arent you a sweetheart…

    HUGSSS! and lots and lots of love!!

    so when you coming to visit? huh huh huh 😛

    Thanks for your support milove..the thing is… we live in a little comfortable bubble
    we’re privileged, we often dont as affected by things that happen in the government as most of the masses or general public do…

    The thing is…Life goes on. SOmething good will come out of this – much good has come out of Musharraf being around… and it will continue, inshallah…

    We’re finally a known nation…
    and the situation will hit rock bottom, but then it will have no where else to go but UP

    we;ll bounce back, somehow we always do.

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