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House on fire

September 3, 2008

(Written by Afaq)

It was 1995, while I was studying in Grade-9. In those days, the most difficult subject for me was English-B. In fact, I was miserably lacking the sense of playing with tenses, especially in essay writing. I still recall, my favourite essay was “A Picnic Party”, being convenient to handle and easy to learn. The day when I had to face the final exam of English-B, was full of prayers for “A Picnic Party” to come, but luck was not in favour. I received the question paper, and hold my head, finding “A House on Fire”. After few moments of despair, finally I opened the cap of my ink pen, and started dragging it on answer sheet. It was something like;

One night, we were sleeping deep in our home. At once, my sixth sense smelled something disturbing to occur. For few moments, I didn’t understand, what’s coming? Suddenly, I heard my father and mother screaming. I jumped out of bed, and my feet started searching something in dark. At once, door opened with an upsetting sound. My fathers rushed in and hold my arms to take me out of the room. I shouted, “My slippers!…” but he didn’t respond. Within few moments, I realised the situation. My house was on fire. It was mid-night, and no one else in neighbourhood was aware of the tragedy. Having no idea, who put our home in fire, we started putting water to fire, in buckets. It surely was a desperate attempt. By hearing our hue and cry, luckily someone called for ‘‘. After 15 minutes, loud rattling sirens banged all around. Rescuing us, fire fighters risked their own lives and finally able to extinguish the fire. We all were grieved and disappointed badly of the loss, but somehow, were glad too on having no loss of life.Fire Brigade

We spent the remaining night at our next door neighbour. My father, on finding me bare feet, said in a sad voice, “Son! I am sorry; I didn’t try to pick your slippers, because your life was more important for me than a slipper“.

After about 13 years, when I have turned into a strong young man, no longer worried of English-B, recalled that essay today, and felt a sense of wisdom in it. I would like to share that with you as well.

Pakistan is our Home. We, as a nation were sleeping deep. At once, we wake up and found our house on fire. Having no idea of our enemy who put it on fire, we shouted someone to safeguard our homeland, but that was a desperate exertion. So, Pakistan Army came to rescue us. After being rescued, we found a divergence of thoughts regarding that rescue action. Not everyone was so wise, like my father to prefer saving life, instead of searching for slippers. So, few were of the opposite opinion. Here, we can coin slippers (or other goods of the house) as a symbol for democracy (or constitution). We were very smart to welcome with open hands the military intervention years ago, realizing that nation is not a part of democracy or constitution, but truth is the other way around. We applauded military leadership on securing the nation, of which democracy or constitution is the integral part. But after few years, we revised our thought process in favour of democracy. We missed the fact that house is yet on fire, and to kick the fire fighters out of it, rushing inwards for slippers would be terrible…….. We forget……. And now we have to bear its cost. 

 

No wonder, after picking the slippers, we‘ll soon use them to hit our heads ……..

4 comments

  1. I differ with you on that we ”wake up”. Either we are still sleeping or pretending that we are sleeping. Not knowing the facts needed to move forward for nation. Someone desperately needed to shake us up and show preferences of our life, not individual but collective.

    Asif Farooq
    PhD scholar (NTNU, Norway)


  2. Pakistan- my mother, my identity, my pride, my weakness, my strength, my first love, my world, my everything! Great article🙂


  3. We are the problem and we are the solution.


  4. The only problem is ignorance….



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