My two bits

There was a bomb blast in the city after a long time. Just when it looked like things will be normal here, the blast shattered any notion of normal. However, soon after the blast, people just shook their heads and returned to their lives. By noon there was the usual hustling bustling that is the hallmark of a metropolis and come night time, people had entirely forgotten about the blast with restaurants and coffee shops filled with people.

I read a few bloggers complaining that the citizens of Karachi have become insensitive to these blasts because they are used to them. While it is true that these things have happened so many times that it is beginning to feel like a part of our lives. We heard about our blast and our mind goes, so whatís new.

Yesterday, we had a client from Europe who was visiting Karachi for the first time and was staying at Pearl Continental Hotel, which is right next to the place where the blast occurred. He heard the blast while he was sitting in the lobby waiting for our representative to pick him up. He was told about the blast and his curiosity got the better of him and he went out to witness what had happened with his own eyes. Outside, he got a full view of the car in which the bomb was placed, being barbequed.

Even though it is hard to imagine a white man being whiter with fear, but thatís what our representative found when he reached the hotel. He had a hard time convincing the poor guy to come with him, who was insisting on being taken to the airport and put on the next available flight out of here. After much convincing he finally agreed. Needless to say that within half an hour into the meeting he had forgotten all about the blast and by the end of the day, he had forgotten about getting out of the city early and will be staying for the rest of the week.

I guess itís just human nature to not really care about something that you are not personally involved in or even if you know the background of the victim, then you sympathize with them. From a more personal experience, I will always remember the blast at the American Consulate in Karachi, where a young woman who was to be married the same week, died. Or the Sindh Madaressa blast during the Friday prayers. Many people died in that blast but I still remember the story of a man, who had taken the day off from the office early because it was his only sonís first birthday. He was supposed to go home after the prayers to be with his family, but fate had other plans. Or the KFC torching where 6 employees died. All were young and most were working there because of the good working conditions and the above average pay that helped them take care of their families.

While Karachi has witnessed many more incidents I only remember these. Maybe I donít have any feelings, or maybe I donít want any more heartache, thatís why I have stopped reading the news of such incidents.

3 Comments so far

  1. TS (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 6:06 pm

    I wondered and I guess you have answered my question – so the people in Karachi really don’t care about these blasts etc. until they are touched on a personal level. That is why we never see any citizens showing their anger, their outrage at the taking of innocent lives – because there isn’t any!
    No, I don’t think it is human nature to put so little value on human lives , but perhaps in Pakistan things work that way.


  2. Anathema (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 7:32 pm

    i dont think its about personal level. i thik its still waters run deep. it jolts us all and we busy ourselves in daily lives to not stop life, to live life, perhaps subliminally believing that it could have been us and we need to live on.

    that female who died was my classfellow’s sister, who’s mother died not too long before the bomb blast. i witnessed the entire post hyderi mosque blast and perhaps that was the first time in my life i realsied how united the people of this country can be in hour of need. i saw the jamaat opposite hbl break their “niyat” and run when a man came running from sindh islamia saying “chalo chalo udhar bomb phatta hai” and every soul running to do their share.

    we do feel sad. sometimes, when u realise how precious things are, you learn to live things strongly.


  3. hafsa (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 9:18 pm

    and i don’t think anyone can criticize karachiites for not reacting to these incidents, not after how karachi responded to the earthquake. i know the whole country came together but the relief work done at the PAF museum alone was MASSIVE, let alone all the other relief camps. this is quite unfair.



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