The white of our flag
Greetings! I am Khushwaqt, a girl, “the white of our flag” a Lahori (yes we like to specify that proudly, aren’t we?) and a Punjabi (another important detail of my being).
As we enter a new day, which will not be the Defense Day though the war continued for several days, I see so many posts trying to educate people about whether we won or lost, and that makes me wonder, do we really have to rethink about this celebrated day? What are we really trying to ‘Educate’ our people about? I am a civilian and I certainly like the fact better if it says we are winners. I mean, who doesn’t like to hear that. But is that what is actually important about this day? What are we really trying to dig out here? What is our objective of trying to bring the figures in light?
Well of course, my opinion is mine only and who cares what I think about but let me admit, this once, I want to be heard. I want to reaffirm that the day is not celebrated because we occupied this much land or whatever but because the soldiers got to live the moment that they had been preparing for…..They stood the test and didn’t back down….They had one thing on their mind and that was Pakistan. A soldier does not live by mind but by heart, and their hearts had one beat this day which was Pakistan…. they lived that moment and gave their best. They laid down their lives for this nation. And the nation proved them right, acted right by their sacrifice and for once we were united, we were #JustPakistanis.
The day does not signify a victory in the battle field of blood and fire but a victory over our differences. It was a day when there was no Green or White of the flag but The Flag which we wanted to stay hoisted proudly. It was the day when whole villages cooked food for the armed forces in hopes that some troops might pass through or near their villages and they might be able to feed them. It was the day when civilians volunteered to clear away the forest near the border to help Pakistan Army. It was the day when people cheered and people in the trucks cheered back, for they were people indeed, with families and friends, with hopes and dreams, people who might soon turn into memories but they cheered back, we saw them as soldiers and they acted like one too. No, this is not about the war but so many dreams and hopes which were shattered and the sacrifice that those people endured who were left behind to cope with the martyrdom.
An achievement that each soldier hopes for when they enter in the battle, because there everything else just vanishes away. I hope we learn to appreciate ourselves for the good that we have. I hope we start seeing Defense Day as a victorious day of hope and courage, of selflessness and unity. I hope we may understand this truth. I hope we stop celebrating lies or deception but start celebrating the truth. The truth of the nation we are a part of. The truth of this very nation we are always cribbing about. The truth that we see every time when national security is in danger. The truth that emerges when national calamity occurs. The truth, I saw in the eyes of my parents, when they told me their war stories. The truth, I read in the poetic works of our wonderful writers. The truth, I hear in our music.
The truth I see in the achievements of just another common individual of Pakistan. Why is this happening? Have we ever asked this question? Why Brandon’s pictures came as a shock to the rest of the world? Have you ever wondered? We are a nation with values, why is the world confused about those values? We are a nation with colors and music, how did the world very conveniently miss that detail out? We are a nation with great resilience and survival; why is the world not talking about that?
The world knows them. The world acknowledges them. The world wants them. And the world takes them. The world is happy with the situation right now, what’s more convenient then a sleeping nation whose wake-up sessions only include confusion and existential crisis! And guess what? Even if they ever really did wake up, they would have to manage several problems at home because that is actually the only reason they wake up for and soon get tired of that as well. Let’s just enjoy these occasional emotional upheavals!
Where have we erred? Have we ever tried to figure out why we are so divided? Why can’t we be who we really are? Why does it always have to be a matter of National security or Calamity to get into our #JustPakistanis mode. How about simplifying the complicated? I am Khushwaqt, a Pakistani!
Written by Ruth Naymat Gill