The Women Of Pakistan!

The death of ‘girl raped in the bus’ in Delhi has stirred the emotions of billions of people through national & international media. This incident has once again spurred the much forgotten role of women and their empowerment in the social system of the world.

This issue of rape, sexual assault & abuse is not only a stigma to India or United States of America; rather it’s a quandary which has crept in the social systems of every nation throughout the globe. The sexual assault expert at the Utah center for sexual victims says that behind a rape the sole motive isn’t sexual pleasure rather its an amalgamation of anger, frustration & aggression.

With the societal confinements lessening for females, we expect that the number of sexual harassment will also diminish gradually. But unfortunately, the numbers continue to rise at a higher pace in countries like America where liberalism abated chauvinism long before Pakistan.

What could be the reason for this horrendous but factual increase in sexual assaults? Experts agree that perhaps with awareness in developed countries, more people are prone to report this act of brutality which was a hidden malice before.

What’s unfortunate for countries like Pakistan here is, that this desecration still lurks in our society either more or at least equivalent to the developed countries. This tyrannical rule of  men is difficult to treat or even identify as an issue in cultures like Pakistan & India. The woman of the house is considered an honorable ‘commodity’ which is to be kept within the confinement of the four walls.

Since Zia-ul-Haq’s rule the concept of Chaardewari(home) & chaadar was linked with Islamization. This further accentuated the fanatics who considered that a woman out of the Chaardewari was indulged in an unIslamic activity & ought to be reprimanded accordingly.

Pakistani society under the influential bureaucrats has exploited Islamization on many avenues of which one is the subjugation of females. We all know about the incident of the girl in Delhi because the police efficiently took notice of it.

But we all remained ignorant of the 12 year old Muqadas Kainat raped in Sahiwal on 25th August, 2012. The girl was brutally strangled to death while her father Rafiq Masih was attending to her mother at the hospital. The laxness showed by police in the investigation in this case went unnoticed for two reasons. The first is that she was a woman & this label in our society is enough to undermine her basic right of living. The second reason was that she was from a minority; her religion & beliefs adduced her as a vulnerable & inferior being whose murderers didn’t deserve any predicaments.

This case of Muqadas is not a one of its kind. 23rd December, 2012, a 14 year old Hindu girl was raped in socially primitive area of Chachro, by a political worker.  The girl was atrociously abused & bruised. Her parents took her to the hospital where she wasn’t admitted for check up without a registered FIR. The police invariably refused to register an FIR as the Hindu woman was worth abhorrence anyways.

Asiyah Masih in Vihari was raped for eleven days by politically influential culprits until she was recovered on November 22nd,2012. The two perpetrators Mohammed Javed & Mumtaz forcibly converted her to Islam & defied all norms & values of humanity concurrently. Once again the cyclical violence of our society flaunted its vindictive attitude towards females & the criminals were neither arrested nor an FIR registered against them.

The abuse of women is increasing not only due to the appallingly silent police. But the major chunk of this violence is contributed by us! Our silence & societal treatment is a sign of our sub-conscious support of these spiteful acts. The silence is prolonged & justice eventually dismissed especially when the victim is from a minority religion or an ethnically different caste.

While, the whole globe has accepted women as an equivalent to men, the fanatics in Pakistan continue to despise any sort of freedom granted to women. No matter what liberal stances we put forth, we are still under the influence of Zia-ul-Haq’s Hadood ordinance. Our nurturance, our brought up & social environment still considers women as a subordinate to men. Their individuality, sexuality, passions & expressions are all bound to be under domineering rule of men.

The faulty beliefs upheld by the Pakistanis ought to be changed and modified according to the real principles of Islam. Our upbringing is faulty which assuages the desires of male ego in the name of religion while disregarding the basic rules of humanity & morality. Islam never taught us to treat females as an inferior half of the society. Women the source of humanity & perpetuators of our species, how can we defy their basic rights? How can we negate their literacy, education & dishonor their existence?

We need to stop & reinvent the patterns of thinking we are living & sharing with our coming generations as per the rules of our religion & humanity!

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

 

 

Inability to Live!

When I go to a local market or a nearby restaurant I sometimes encounter my past. Yes! No matter how weird it seems I come across my past many times. Past, by past I mean the younger me, a 14 15 year old girl with an amateur and conscious personality. She could not understand the weird forces of the society which imposed certain personality qualities on her. The society imposed her to follow some strictly framed stringent rules as soon as she turned 15. Those petty colored dresses, pink rubber bands, gentle ways of communication etc. were not something she appreciated. She didn’t want to get out of her naïve attitude and camouflage herself in a well dressed innocent ‘beauty’. The concept of decency and feminine manners appeared lame to her.

Another shocking part of her life also began as soon as she entered puberty. Suddenly the world seemed to change. The faces around her were the same but their attitudes towards her changed. Those uncles who blessed her with their fatherly blessings unexpectedly started avoiding her. The outdoor activities which were a part of her daily routine vanished from her lifestyle taking away another portion of her freedom. The freedom to go on the streets seemed to fumble as well. She couldn’t enjoy the cool breeze outside her house, those weary brisk walks in the park nearby or simple rounds at the local general stores; couldn’t do it anymore, as people around her stared at her as if she was an ‘Alien’ with yellow feathers and head antennas. She wondered and wandered in her own thoughts that why people teased her for her mere presence sometimes.

Those scary looks by strangers sometimes made her heartbeat faster than a squash ball thumping the wall, snatching away a portion of her confidence from her. When fast bikes took over her with creepy guys making their faces creepier, she literally used to run to her house, losing another bit of her self-belief. Certain comments which made her feel uncomfortable with her own existence, shook off her soul. The crowd always seemed to be looking at her or rather piercing through her. Slowly she lost all of it; the confidence with which we she communicated, the assurance with which she won many small battles and the esteem which she kept her head always high.

Now, when she entered the street or a local eat out place, she could barely maintain her composure. Whether ordering a burger or walking across the road, her body shivered and heart pounded with the fear of an unknown. She preferred being at home and tried not to even go to school. Now even the cool breeze or utter boredom couldn’t force her to get out of her security shelter. When the local kids played cricket or tossed bushes to take some mangoes from the trees, she stayed inside her shell. She became a perfect woman with the perfect blend of inferiority complexes and amateur insecurity. She had the perfect reasons or rather excuses to stay at home all the time. Even the presence of someone else at her home made her hide in her room. The fierce girl with a fantastic bright smile somehow withered away with time and she didn’t even notice.

Then one day, she was with her sister at a hangout place. At that moment, unfamiliar with her own nervousness she chose to eat nothing rather than doing self service for the order. Her sister though silent at that place, pointed her trembling hands and fidgeting fingers later. And it was the first time the young she came across her own camouflaged personality. Why was she shivering? Why couldn’t she simply order her lunch? These questions made her shudder with the fear of realizing her own low self-esteem. The fear of an encounter with her own shattered persona took over her. That day she decided; to never let her existence be the hurdle of her confidence, to consider herself the best out of the lot and to kick the butt of those who lowered her poise. Since that day she never looked down upon herself, never let anyone conquer her dignity away from her and replaced her apprehension with confidence or rather ‘over confidence’.

Now whenever I see a girl sitting on the least visible bench of the park or hiding her face with her meal, it reminds me of myself though the one I was a few years ago…..
I was lucky enough to be pointed out by my sister who may be bumped into her own past when she saw me. But do all these girls have an angelic figure to make them confront their weaknesses? What about those who never reckoned that they were losing their persona in their endeavor to adjust with the norms of the society? And this question is the most horrifying one of them all. The lame norms of the society extract the abilities of these girls and the ones who commit this crime never even realize that they ‘disable’ someone forever. They grant these girls with the disability to never function at their pinnacle because of their lowered self-possession. And those who never realize their disability either live their life in their security shells or keep fighting with their inability to live life!

My Angels!

When I was young and vulnerable, my hands were small and fingers like ladyfingers. I was afraid of sleeping alone at night and my heart pounded when I saw a horror film. I couldn’t take a step outside my home since I was to naïve to cross the road.

The world was colossal for me to handle, but yet my world was a little wonder like a fairytale. A wonder where there were four fairies, yes! They existed and they exist even now to protect me from the ruthless world.
The first one to hold my hand was the Fairy Godmother, who held my hand, clenched my fingers when the world was not even visible. She watched me over when I was alone, loved me like a princess sitting on her throne. She fulfilled my wishes and I called her my Grandmother. In her hands there was love and affection, all she needed to do was touch me with her hands and make me secure.
We went outside to discover and if I fell she helped me recover. I still remember the ducks we used to feed with my Jam toast and the parks we used to stopover. She took me for a walk though I was ten times slower than her. She fought my tiny battles and never let me down. My desires were fulfilled without even a bit of hesitation and my tears were as precious as pearls due to her presence.

She was there, there and there and everywhere! To make my life a small heaven with
laughter and glee ubiquitously!

Then I started growing up, like a star of her eyes. I was like a princess, a doll treated with the greatest affection by them all. I never thought she’d leave me alone, never imagined the loss when she was gone. I was too little to realize that she was no more, rather just thought she was asleep. My mom, sisters and aunts cried and I just wandered without recognizing the precious gift of nature I had lost. She was ill I knew it well, but I was unfamiliar to the meaning of death. Now I think, how painful she must’ve felt, leaving those who she brought up behind, going to a world which for us is still undefined.

The second fairy is my other Fairy Godmother who took the pain even beyond imagination to give birth to a naïve little twerp like me!
She comforted me in her shelter, with her soft arms wrapped around my body to give me the blanket of coziness irreplaceable by any blanket in the world. She was, is and will always be the best Mom present in the world. She didn’t sleep for hours if I had a little fever. With her sleepless eyes she greeted me with the same fresh smile once again. Her eyes are enough to make my life bright and her one kiss can make my day.
She worked hours to please my massive appetite and record my favorite cartoons. She spent days to sew the best frock I could wear and brag about among other children. I can recall the weeks I took off from school with an excuse of “not feeling like going to school”, requesting her to let me not give the exams and taking money from her while she was on the phone. She never turned and scolded me for all the blunders I made, never stood on head checking my homework, she trusts me for whatever I did and still do and I love her for her existence!
Her mere presence can bring luck to my life, her eyes shine and they make me smile. Without her prayer, I believe I’m nothing but a piece of flesh without life. Drinking tea, talking life and discussing issues with her seems to fill my life, which is an empty bag of rubbish without her. She is there and this feeling is enough to make me face anything that comes my way,

Mama, I just don’t have words to express my gratitude to you for being my mom!
The next two fairies are my two junior fairy Godmothers! One is like a roof, which saves me from all the cruelties that life has to throw at me and the other one is like the four walls, which surround me and keep me alive!
I call them my sisters, both make me laugh, one takes me to places to discover the world and the other one makes me feel like a kid whose every little desire should and will be fulfilled.
I remember those times when I took their lunches away just because I was younger they didn’t say a word. We played and wrestled; they lost the race to make me feel proud of my stamina.
They took me outside to buy me ice creams and do my school homework. At the end of summer vacation the whole family used to sit and fill my homework copies. My art handworks were hand made by them lolzz! Life was amazing.
One used to clean the house and dance with me while the other taught me how to drive and dance in the rain outside. I spent days thinking that they were ghosts because they ran faster than me. And while playing hide n’ seek they will hide in the easiest place possible or sometimes right in front of me.
Now when we have passed the days of our childhood, I still feel as secure with their presence like pillars around me. They stand by me like two angels to protect and help me in my every matter. In times of sorrow I get confused to cry on which shoulder because by Allah’s grace I have many options to choose from! 

These fairies have made my life like a small heaven on earth rather; my life is due to their presence. I don’t need pretty friends, best friends or even boyfriends because I have these four pretty ladies around me. Although my Grandma is gone but I know she is still around me, ready to guide me through thick and thin, I feel her presence whenever I am exalted and I sense her tears whenever I cry. My mother is there to help, guide, support and bless me with her heartfelt feelings, She makes me feel alive and a moment spent without her is a moment without life and soul. My sisters are here around me; I feel their arms around my shoulders and hands held tight whenever I need someone. They make me smile in the weirdest situations and teach me what life has taught them.
Thus, they all are the comfort zones, which protect me from the rashes of life, and keep my soul as soft as they can. They are the sheaths, which take all the pain to make my life painless.

Yes they are my Angels!!!