I only ask this of you: for a minute forget your political, cultural and ethnic associations and see this:
I wasn’t there because I have made up my mind. I don’t know who I am going to vote for, nor do I know if I’ll live to see that potentially world-changing election. I do know however that I was there because I wanted to know what they had to say. What Mr. Imran Khan had to say. And he said it. Perhaps not all of it, perhaps not what many wanted to hear, but he did talk of things that matter.
You can call me naive, but having a leader speak of animal rights in a speech being broadcast to millions was worth the long wait. There were times when his speech wasn’t grammatically correct but the audience did not laugh nor ridicule him. I think that in itself says a lot.
In all honesty, it was worth it.
It was worth getting almost killed at the jam packed entrance. How I braced myself, how the men made human chains to get the women, children and elderly through.
It was worth singing the national anthem only Allah knows how many people. Admittedly not everyone had the best pitch or were in sync but if I could, I’d sing it all over again.
There were moments which still resound in me. How people spread the PTI flags on the dusty ground and prayed Asr. How it started with a few people and then became an entire group.
Even the picture of Mohammad Ali Jinnah was something I will always remember. It wasn’t the stern expression or the distant look he has in most pictures, many of them in banks, notes and other official things. He was smiling. And Mr. Jinnah has an amazingly reassuring smile.
25th december was my first concert but most importantly it was the only 25th december I remember in which i have smiled, cried and laughed along with Pakistanis who I may never meet again.
To have my city and country reunite, to have people smile again, to have hope. What more could I ask for.
Yes there is still pain here. People are dying and there are still those who do not find the strength to live. But reaching out for your people, embracing them, telling them it’s going to be OK again is not that hard. There will be times when you will find it difficult to believe your own reassurances, but there will be times when in some flash of understanding, you will find what you never knew was lost.
city of lights
P.S. 2:01 to 2:06 was the best part. I have never seen a Pakistani leader this close to crying.