Echoes of sirens.

I was sitting with a few acquaintances when we heard about yesterday’s bomb blast. Amongst the group was a person who’s just moved to Karachi for a year – as we sat there talking, he wondered how we could be so matter of fact about it. Understandably, he was also scared – this is his first experience with a bomb blast in the city. I did not have the heart to explain to him that there is no other way we can deal with a horrific incident like this – maybe we’re insensitive, or callous, but I see no other solution as to how to deal with the echoes of bomb blasts and ambulance sirens.

9 Comments so far

  1. quratulain khan (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

    huma, after the initial shock, anger, and despair wears off, we all go about our lives unperturbed. karachi does that to you. after a while, you become desensitized to the violence and senseless killings. and go shopping, or to eat, or to see a friend. may be even joke about it. and i don’t know whether to laugh or cry about that. sometimes our reaction appears completely inhumane to me. other times, i wonder if it’s a human sign to filter and block and protect. for our sanity. for survival. wouldn’t we lose our minds, or at least flee the city, if we weren’t so numb?

  2. Wahidi (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    Well i dont completely agree with u 2. Karachi does not do that to u…..nor are we inhumane in ne way…..we ignore it…..simply ignore it….we speak abt it…..we pray for the poor souls….abuse the bombers…..and then all is fine…..all is well. Its not a human instinct to filter and block and protect. Humans are built to survive. Today, we have developed to such an extent that we can easily survive newhere on earth. And to keep our minds focused on our personal lives we ignore the truth. the facts. And the best part is….we wouldn’t flee the city nor lose our minds if we were’nt numb. We would have fought back. Fought back against the evils in our society. Fought back for our survival. Justifications for our attitudes towards the bomb blasts is just another way of ignoring it. Keeping ourselves satisfied that this is Karachi….and this is wat we are to live with is not fair with our own selves. None amongst us…including myself…makes that single step towards peace….towards the removal of evil.
    I certainly apologize if i have offended the authors of the above posts. But this is my opinion. I cannot stand the numbness nemore. it hurts.
    May Allah guide us all to the Straight Way. Ameen.

  3. Mala (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    Being someone from the outside looking in I certainly agree to an extent that there is a degree of complacency in karachiites, but to say they (or we) are numb or desentisized may be over-simplifying a deeper emotion of frustration.

    I am sure the majority of people in our ‘democratic country’ do speak up in reaction to these type of disasters – whether or not they are taken account of by those “at the top” however, is a completely different story.

    It is up to the youth of Pakistan (resident and abroad) to abandon this attitude of helplessness and help make the changes that are desperately needed – this is our country – so it is up to us to get educated, wise up, and call the shots – in an egalitarian way!

  4. wasiq (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 1:56 am

    Indeed it is time to vote-on……


    Please decide the future of my future in KARACHI.

  5. quratulain khan (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 2:01 am

    wahidi, my intention was not to justify our attitude. i was merely trying to examine WHY we react the way we do. and yes, it would be better for this city if we were more proactive instead of dumping everything in some far corner of our minds (i completely agree with youb there). the important question here is, HOW do you stop the killings and the angry mobs that react to them? how do you become proactive? how do you fight back in a nonviolent manner? how do you take that step towards peace? and may be it is the inability to find reasonable answers to these questions that leads to the frustration and helplessness that mala is talking about.

  6. Wahidi (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 3:22 am

    the best way to understand all of this is to understand Islam, The Quran and Hadith. It is the solution to everything. Every evil in our society. From gays to bombings. Every nation before us… each has been involved in some evil. Today all those evils exist in our society. Islam starts as faith and converts into a fact. What we need is awareness on a large-scale. Teach yourself about Islam first. Make yourself aware of satan and his followers. Believe in it as if u can sense it. and then make the people aware of it.

    I’ll give you some food for thought as a head start.
    Musharraf is not an Islamic leader. Pakistan is not an Islamic country. We do no follow Islam in our country. There is not Nationalism in Islam in the first place. Interest, adultery, killings, murderers, bribe, traitors, individual obligations, alcohol, Zero application of Islamic Jurisprudence/Fiqh. No where does the Quran or Hadith allows any of the above and yet we are involved in them. Research on my above comments yourself with an unbiased view.

    Individual obligations are not the five pillars. It consists of our morals, Huqooq-ul-Ibaad, firmness of belief, from men lowering their gaze to women covering themselves. It is our roots that need to be refreshed. We Muslims today ignore the Truth unless it doesnot clash with our “self percieved” benefits!…..

    If you require any resources to research from and do not know where to start from, reply back. I’ll try my best to help you out get an answer. InshaAllah. Every Creation Depends On Allah. Do your part and leave the results to Him.

    May Allah guide us all to the Straight Way.

  7. Mujeeb (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 7:05 am

    Well said Huma!!!

  8. Sajjad Maqbool (unregistered) on April 15th, 2006 @ 3:01 am

    I have been here in Karachi from past 2 years,before i was in Middle east,before coming here i had never facd situations like in karachi,bombing,firing,i am all unsafe,again and again i have my cell phone beeping,sometimes my mother from home,,or my dad from outside country asking me if i am fine,or shud i say conforming that i am still alive,why is it so that when i was in Muscat(Oman) my dad wasnt worried if i was out.Why are we so unsafe in our own country.What is happening in this city of Quaid-e-Azam,people are so outraged that they even burnt the ticket counter of the tomb of the Founder of Pakistan,is this the same Pakistan for which our ancestors had sacrificed their invaluable lives.It has been 58 years now and still our country is not stable,we are still surviving like refugees,if 58 years are not enough then when are we going to get normal or is it only a dream??????

  9. Monwar (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 1:07 am

    Hello, I am Monwar from Dhaka, Bangladesh who wanted to know about the bombings in Nishtar Park.

    Wahidi, my understanding was that it was basically Wahibi vs ‘Sufi’ Sunnis with regional and ethnic flavor added. This logic you put, of everyone going back to Islam to solve all problems, doesn’t it ever seem to you to be an utterly unachievable utopian situation/objective? After all, this was an ‘intra-islamic’, or even, ‘intra-sunni’ incident, yes? Frankly, with all due respect, I think this POV is quite bogus. Just a side question, as a ‘good/true Muslim’, (if anyone can be identified as that with all the clashes between ‘sects’/Salafis and madhabs in the world today), what exactly can you do (or doing) in today’s Pakistan to stop this violence?

    Anyway, best of luck to Karachi-ites. Do recover. You are the hope of Pakistan. Help them to the path of freedom and prosperity.

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