Even if it kills you

For some glorious days I thought they would spare us.

But once the news started echoing across the walls of my house I thought, It’s Ramadhan. They wouldn’t. 

And then today:

That’s the glass in my father’s car.

On his way to the hospital where he works, he was attacked by four men on motorcycles.

He’s home now. Safe.

In my head:

  • What goes through the minds of those men who attack the innocent;
  • how they sleep at night, if they sleep at all;
  •  if it’s easy for them to pull the trigger like they were this close to doing this morning;
  • if they have kids at home, and
  • what they tell their kids before going outside to do what they do;
  • how they do it;
  • why they do it;
  • if they know that they’ve stolen the innocence of children just like theirs.

It scares me

  • when they turn off the lights of the City.
  • when they force the shopkeepers to give them money before pulling down their shutters.
  • How they send bodies wrapped in sacks, with strange messages on papers attached to those sacks.
  •  the sacks which smell of rotting flesh, mutilated bodies.

If they burn the city down, promise me you will

  • do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. [The elderly whose hands shake whenever someone calls to say “stay at home”, the children who unknowingly burst out into laughter when they hear that school is indeed off, the women whose hearts stutter when bullets rain across the sky and they know their men are outside.]
  •  choose what is right over what is easy.
  • never ever falter in your belief of standing up for justice
  • when the time comes, be brave and look those men in the eye whose eyes themselves are red with anger and hatred of Allah only knows what kind and tell them that they’re wrong.
  • just because the lights are off, you will not start believing them to be no longer there.
  • always love Karachi, even if kills you
city of lights

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