Monday, September 22, 2014

Nostalgia post-Karachi jalsa

The first time I went to a big gathering that featured Imran Khan was in Quetta - 1992. He was the captain of the cricket team and they were on a tour all over Pakistan with the World Cup. The details escape me but we all went to cheer the team. While my brothers and father stood on the road looking out for the truck (containers weren't the mode of travel then) carrying the team and the cup, my mother and I went into a girls college where the team was due to make the first stopover before going to the main gathering area or ground. There was a lot of excitement of course but the logistics were such a nightmare that we all came back home without catching a glimpse of the team. Going there and being in the thick of the action was enough to inspire me to write a poem on IK. I don't have it with me now but I think the first few lines went something like 'Imran Khan is a great Pathan....' and so on. At 12 years of age, rhyming is very important. 

22 years later.....

Yesterday was the third time I went to a big gathering which featured Imran Khan. The urgency and excitement was similar to that of 1992. Then, the 12 year old me had wanted to catch a glimpse of the team and the cup. However, the present me went to show solidarity with a cause. A cause that, we hope, will bring a change. A cause that, I believe, has brought a change. When people of all ages and all social backgrounds can come together in front of the Quaid's mausoleum without any fear, on a humid Karachi day, that IS representative of the change that is seeping into our lives.

I voted for PTI in the last elections because I want a new Pakistan. But I also know that IK doesn't have a magic wand that will change everything. He is the harbinger of change. He can only do this much. It is up to us, through our actions, to bring the real change. For the simple truth is that Naya Pakistan, or something similar, is a dream which we've all had at some point. 

The question is can we play a role, no matter how small, to make the hope and dreams of a better future into a reality?