Another one bites the dust..

One reads the news of a woman killing her two children and then committing suicide on Geo’s ticker tape and images of a starving children and a helpless mother rush trough the mind. One does stop to think that usually such news items feature fathers who can’t see their young ones crying of hunger anymore and decide to do away with their lives. The mother, one rationalizes, must have been the sole breadwinner for the family.

The impact of the real story is far more shocking. The deceased was the wife of a Pakistan Air Force technician living at the Masroor Base. It is surprising that the police have ruled out murder (or at least the news story failed to mention anything of the sort). A possible reason could be the unwillingness of the Pakistani AirForce authority to have the name of anyone on their payroll involved in murder.

Another possibility could be a psychological disorder. Sadly, in our society, a psychological disorder is considered more of a shame than just another disease like the common flu. Instead of identifying the underlying cause, any aberration in behavior is not only ignored but concealed by family members. Proper treatment could prevent major accidents such as these.

Uzma Shad and her two children will soon be forgotten by the city. But a growing number of suicide cases over the years is an indicator of the mental health of the Karachi population. Most of us are ticking bombs, waiting to explode. The frustrations faced by the common man (and woman) and the increased sense of insecurity and helplessness are adding to the problem.

Life in this hustling bustling city has become stifling for many, yet everyday many villagers choose this as their new life.

16 Comments so far

  1. axiomatic (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

    Yeterday, a mother along with her 03 daughters jumped in a canal somewhere in Punjab (Dawn).
    Might it be due to financial reasons? Personally, I believe economic misery is behind most such incidents. People who burn or kill their wives (Dawn today) do so because they are poor to the extent that they are driven to madness.
    It’s all very tragic, whith fine scotch flowing, young bodies sweating and money brimming at the residences of those who rule us. Reminds me of a piece by Faiz, which I have dared modify slightly:
    ‘apne hi dais ke mazboot, grandeel jawan;
    oonchay hotel ke dar-e-khas pe estada hain;
    aur neechay meray majboor watan ki gallian;
    jin mein awar phira kertay hain bhookon ke hujoom.’

  2. AH (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

    I completely agree with this post. There is a severe lack of understanding about the mental pressures faced by people in this society.

  3. Phil (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

    Now my head’s spinnin’! God save us all.

  4. BoZz (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

    Poverty causes misery but not suicides. These unfortunate incidents are due to loss of hope and faith.

    When one looses that, one looses the reasons to live.

  5. Ramla A. (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

    The police did not rule out murder, the case is under investigation from that angle. It was also not a case of hunger or starvation.

    From the details of the case learned so far, it was a case of, very likely, depression. Depression in mothers is an oft-ignored phenomenon, and it is often postpartum depression gone untreated. Women above the age of 40 in Pakistani urban areas (with which I am familiar) also report case of psoriasis, a disease that the natural healers believe is a result of “repression.”

    Depression is getting scarily common – and I can’t count the number of females (married or otherwise) I have heard from lately mentioning words such as “suicide,” “bombing,” “etc.” These words and ideas have infiltrated our everyday vocabulary – and as most psychologists can verify, “what you think/speak, is what you do.”

    The very scary thing is that it is also being observed in otherwise affluent-appearing households. I am privy to the fact that many households which were doing rather well a few years ago have been maddened by the price-hikes under the present government and its foreign-pandering driven policies. I know people living in expensive homes who are keeping a blackout because they cannot pay bills any longer. I know people who used to give in charity 5 years ago, now unable to put fruit and meat on their table. Add to that hours of closed electricity, traffic jams, accidents, violence – people have reached the tipping point!

    Very- very – disturbing.

  6. omar r. quraishi (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

    Ramla – surely you’re exagerrating — slightly at least

  7. Kashif (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 1:08 am

    Welcome to psy-rachi, city of psychopaths

  8. Hasan Zuberi (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

    I put the blame on the “Enlightened Moderation” and the fairy tales Media …

    at one side a commoner can’t afford a decent living … clean drinking water … electricity … and education …. and on teh oterh hand we show the luxuries and ‘shah-kharshiyaan’ of our ruling class …

    May Allah help us survive these difficult times.

  9. Ramla A. (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

    No, Mr. Omar, I am not.

  10. Ramla A. (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

    No, Mr. Omar, I am not exaggerating – though I wish so. In fact, I am not telling all what I know b/c truth is stranger than fiction – except now there are many like my family who have silently gone through ordeals.

    My own family can record at least ten assaults including robbery and cell-phone snatching/money-snatching at gun-point + car cleanups since 2001. Add to that car insurance frauds, deceptive employment policies, no recourse to justice.

    I changed my cell number last year when Mobilink refused to help in tracing an anonymous caller, who eventually passed my number around. I reported from CPLC to God-Knows-who, who all wasted my time, and it finally came to using “connections” to block the jerk’s number, which he restored the next day. Only those who go through those ordeals know how it feels. I wrote about the CPLC incident but not about their lack of any process to track such fools b/c I saw no point nor did I want the public to lose faith in them – who knows, may be they can help someone, somehow. I don’t like to spread negative news.

    If you are so sure that this is not true, how about you come over to my home, and I take you to the families in question?

  11. Ramla A. (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

    Two days ago, I met the Registrar of Dadabhoy Institute. And the conversation drifted to (but, of course!) the “tipping point.”

    My opinion is that I see blood in people’s eyes – I am very certain of a civil war, which has little to do with the current political situation, and everything to do with each one of us making a mess of the social situation. God only knows what withholds people from mass attacks – and we can see clearly that any chance of assault or violence is being taken up by a great number of people. I don’t think it’s got to do with the directives of any one political party or two. I am very clear it’s got to do with a general sense of frustration that has seeped most conversations and minds.

    Anyhow, the registrar told me this story from a few years ago:

    He’s standing in a market in Islamabad just waiting for someone to come along, and leisurely observes a middle-class lady who stepped out of her car to buy fruit. She buys the fruit, and hands them to her driver who puts the bags in the car, while she paid the vendor. He barely notices another character on the scene, a 60+ old poor-looking woman in near-torn clothes. And then suddenly, as the shopper woman turned, the old woman SLAPPED her. Everyone’s in shock. This observer, who was merely watching, suddenly wakes up with full senses. People rush to the scene and ask the old woman,

    “Khala! Why did you slap this woman!?”
    She replied, “My family haven’t had a morsel to eat this past week, and this woman just bought fruit worth Rs. 300! I couldn’t control myself.”

    I-was-SHOCKED at this story. It took place a few years earlier, at a place then so placid: Islamabad. Hunger and desperation are neither a statistic nor a joke. Any of us who have ever attended the game “World Hunger Buffet” know how even that game changes the mind so completely, it’s a surprise.

    Not disclosing how the game is worked, I was the group who was left “hungry” at the end of the game. I kept thinking, ok, maybe after the game we’ll get “real” dinner. Dinner didn’t come, and I can’t explain what my mind went through thinking only one thing: “Why the HELL did I end up in the hungry group!”

    Anyway – this story I feel is about untreated postpartum/ related depression. Not hunger. That it was a “love marriage” is the real story.

  12. Muhammad (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

    I am not sure if I am right, correct me if I am wrong (since I am not a scholar) ..

    “Hum sai musalmaan vo nahe jo khud tu pait bhar kar khae aur us ka parosee bhuka rahai “

  13. Balma (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

    Let me say this: People need to produce less babies. Imagine Pakistan’s polpulation at 30 Crores in less than 30 years!

    Girls should not be legally allowed to get married until they turn 25. Boys only at 30.
    Pakistani women have too long a window to produce.
    Reduce their window to produce and stop them from marrying when they are most productive!

    And, anyone having more than 3 kids should be sent to jail.

    Pakistan needs to enforce tough laws to control wild population growth.

  14. axiomatic (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 9:40 pm


    Cudnt agree more.


    You’re right. Faith is lost before someone commits such acts. But dont you think faith is lost when you go hungry for a few days, or through other ‘extreme’ circumstances?

  15. axiomatic (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 9:48 pm


    there is no such thing as population planning and/or control. a spirit that has to come in this world at a specific time, will definitely come at that time. there’s Someone else running the show here!

  16. Balma (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 11:35 pm


    I will be very happy if much fewer spirits came to Karachi and Pakistan.

    Using your logic, any one who is running the show must really hate Karachi and PK for it keeps sending millions of spirits to this land ever year….. rehnay ko ghar nahee’n hae, saaraa jahan hamaaraa!

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