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Category — Rants

Pakistan: From Nabia’s Point of View – (Part 3)

This series started out with my thoughts on Pakistan and it’s image propagated by media and Govt. I’ve been unhappy about how the country is depicted and the actual ‘true’ state.

Continuing on the question trail, of getting to know Pakistan and it’s people, this time I have Nabia joining me. Nabia fits the mould and yet she doesn’t, she a package of surprises. I’ve met Nabia just once in Chiang Mai but thanks to Facebook, I keep getting news of her. And things to do with her are fun, I tell you, every picture with her in it is packed with energy and joy.

Nabia Amin Lakhani

 

Nabia with her father in 2010

The only sister to three brothers, Nabia is the youngest in the family. She was born and brought up in Karachi but has lived in Islamabad for a couple of months and visits quite often too. She has also been to Balochistan, Murree, Lahore, and Quetta.
A graduate from Karachi university in arts, she has done the montessori course and has been working as a teacher for the last ten years. She is currently taking a break from teaching to concentrate on her upcoming wedding.

 

What do you think of Pakistan?

I love Pakistan Fatema. Yes there are issues here, but then these same issues are everywhere in the world. Only difference is that since everyone calls Pakistan a terrorist state and Muslims in Pakistan or anywhere else are known as terrorist, it gives the world a completely different look of this place.

I have lived here all my life, yes we are dealing with terrorism etc. but then who isn’t? I have family members living abroad and they only watch news about Pakistan, so for them to even come down to Pakistan and experience it themselves is not an option because media exaggerates everything. Yes, we have been mugged, robbed, harassed, but then so many others have gone through the same Thing in their country as well!

It breaks my heart that Pakistan is seen as a place that one would never want to go to because they are afraid that they would get killed! I mean, come on!!! I’m glad with the article that Humans Of NY shared because he actually highlighted the good parts of this place I call home. When I was younger, I wanted to go away from Here, but now that I’m older and have seen some places myself, with my own eyes, I realize that every place is alike. Pakistan is no different.
 

 
What is your life like?

My life here is amazing, I’m independent, I can go anywhere I like, I can do what I like.

 

Would you label the country as backward, extremist, terrorist?

Backward, extremist … No. I won’t ever label Pakistan that way, because Pakistan has not pushed me to sit at home behind closed doors because I am a woman.

There are some maulvis who want women in burqas but then that’s their view, and these people are usually the ones who give Islam a bad name.

I wish you would come down here once and experience it for yourself.

We wear what we want to, we do what we want to, we go and work wherever and however we want to. So how is this place backwards ?

An Old photo of Nabia’s Parents.

When my brother went to India around 2 years ago , he had to go to the police station every morning and inform them about his plans for the day otherwise they would follow him and his friends everywhere .. Only because he was a Muslim from Pakistan. It’s unfortunate that all this happens now, but believe me, I live here and I can tell you… Pakistan is not what the goras or anyone else portrays it to be.

Everyone should not be labelled the same just because of some lunatic who goes around killing people in the name of Islam. These people have given my country a bad name and I pray everyday for the betterment of this country.

It’s the best! Believe me.
Been to America and when I came back, I was the happiest person.

 

How do you define normal? What do you think is a normal life? Do you lead a normal life?

Normal for me is what I’ve seen growing up … Family, friends, home, work. And that’s exactly the kind of life we have here. My life’s very normal Shukar Alhumdolillah. We have the same kind of life here like anyone else has anywhere else in the world.
 

Badshahi Masjid in Lahore

 
Anything you’d like to add or say?

All I want to add is that everyone should come to Pakistan and see it with their own eyes and then make a judgement about this country.

And people should not restrict their visits to Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi only, they should go up north & any other places that that can visit and see how beautiful Pakistan really is. If you think Switzerland is beautiful :) then you really haven’t seen Pakistan. It’s gorgeous!

 

What is your image of India? What do you think of it and it’s people?

My image of India, hmm, the only thing that pops up in my head after reading your question is: ” my brother from another mother” :) :) :) :)

I honestly feel that India and Pakistan are the same and I pray that we can be civil to each other, make friends with people in India and vice versa and invite them here. I feel we have SO much in common that it’s not even funny.
When we watch Indian movies, we get an idea of what Indians are like or how things are in India, and it’s all the same as Pakistan.
 
You can also read – Pakistan: As Shajee Sees It

Photo Credits: All photos have been taken and belong to Nabia Amin Lakhani.

October 22, 2015   4 Comments

Pakistan: As Shajee Sees It — (Part 2)

Shajee with his niece on Eid

Part 1: Getting to Know The Real Pakistan

In search of answers, wanting to know more about Pakistan and the life of people like you or me, (someone who has to make a living, has a family, has friends, lives a middle class life, etc.) I reached out to friends and I received info packed long answers. I’m sharing them as I got them, with a little intro and formatting though. 😀

Ahmed Shajee Aijazi…

 

Shajee and his brothers when they were all in Pakistan for his wedding

I met Shajee some years ago in Chaing Mai where he was attending the Foundry Workshop. He came across as a soft-spoken quiet sort but hidden behind this demeanour was a strong passionate person. Shajee lives in Karachi with his family and is a photographer by profession.

 

What do you think of Pakistan?

Pakistan is a great place to live in some ways and not that great in others, as I would think is the case with every country. There are a lot of great people here who are working for the welfare of the country. People generally are very philanthropic and charitable. We have people like Abdul Sattar Edhi who’s running the biggest ambulance service in the world and is a simple person, then we have the likes of Dr. Abdul Bari who runs an entirely free top-of-the-line hospital here for people who cannot afford good medical health. So, we have these great inspirational figures amongst us who inspire us on a daily basis, but overall, the thing that I would say makes Pakistan great is that the family life and overall family system of people is still intact, which seems to be decaying at other places.

Abdul Sattar Edhi who founded Edhi Foundation, the largest non-profit social welfare organisation in world.

Then in terms of Islamic scholarship, we have top notch Islamic scholars here in Pakistan and recently I came across a fact that the most hafiz of Quran produced in the world are also from Pakistan. Although this is one aspect that is distorted by a small minority to be used for their own purposes and agendas. But, I would say that there are other factors such as illiteracy, poverty and frustration with the ruling class, that play a role in this distortion as well.

 

What is your life like?

My life is pretty good, Alhamdulillah. We go to our work every morning, we spend the weekends with our families, go for picnics and other recreations. We don’t really face all that many problems as one outside of Pakistan would think. And in the recent times, the situation has got much better with this new army chief who’s cleaning up crime and terrorist outfits in a very good way, so things are definitely getting better then their predecessors.

Recently a bus tour of Karachi has started that gives you tours in a local bus as if you were a tourist. On the Tour with Frere Hall which is a British time building in the background.

 

Would you label the country as backward, extremist, terrorist?

I think it would be unfair to term the entire country to be that. Sure, there are people and groups who are like that, but the general population is not like that, at least in the cities. We have a diverse range of people who come with different mindsets and bring that to the public sphere.

 

Kemari Boat Basin @ Karachi

 
Is it really stressed on a day to day basis because of extremists and terrorism? Are Pakistani’s living in fear constantly?

Not at all. Never have I left the house thinking I would be hit in a terrorist attack. And from previous years, its gotten much better now. These news are getting lesser and lesser every passing day.

Being in Karachi, we do fear muggings and thefts, but that’s not the extremism and terrorism that you’re talking about. This is simply street crimes, which happen to be a part of every big metropolitan city. But, that’s also gotten better in the past year, as I said, since this Army chief came to his position, he’s been taking bold steps to even remove these criminals. And this is only particular to Karachi. There isn’t much of that in Lahore or Islamabad which are other metropolitan cities of the country.

Shajee and his wife at Swat, the town of Malala.

 

Or is all this talk of extremists and terrorism exaggerated stuff media feeds to the world?

Well, I think as HONY had put it, if there’s only one spot in the newspaper to put for Pakistan, obviously the most violent one or the dreadful one is the one that’s going to get published. So, yea, the media does exploit our image in the world. But, it’s definitely not even close to what the media shows.

 

What is your image of India? What do you think of it and it’s people?

The image I have of India is a land of very diverse people with a rich history. Although the governments of both sides get tangled in politics that leave the two countries at each others’ throats, but I don’t think the common man on both sides is interested in this animosity. The common man when he comes together with similar Indians, connects with them and doesn’t see them as much different and understands that they are a part of a similar human everyday struggle, that they go through. I definitely want to visit India and see all the places first-hand which we have only studied in history or seen in movies and interact with every-day Indians in the hope to find them similar to the every-day Pakistani.
 

More to come… :)

Part 1: Getting to Know The Real Pakistan

 

Photo Credits: All Photos by Ahmed Shajee Aijazi except – “Abdul Sattar Edhi” by Hussain – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons and “Kemari Boat Basin @ Karachi” by Faisal Saeed – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr Commons

October 15, 2015   No Comments

Getting to Know The Real Pakistan — (Part 1)

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve come across one too many posts about how bad a place Pakistan is. It’s never bothered me before, but this time, somehow it rankles. Writing off a country as backward, extremist, terrorist, and what not just doesn’t sit well.

And this isn’t the first time, jokes and posts putting down Pakistan abound and I remember them since being a child. From the age when I started to comprehend the concept of countries, I remember being told Pakistan is a bad place, the subtle message being that I must hate Pakistan, for in it lies the proof of my being Indian.

This messaging was everywhere, in papers, on the TV, in people talk. And yet I remember the fun I had had when my Grand-Dad’s childhood friend visited from Karachi. (The friend had chosen to move at partition.) He hadn’t seemed different from us, his description of life didn’t seem unreasonable, and he had the same cute cuddliness my Granddad had. I had really liked that Pakistani.

Then came the phase of college, when being a Muslim seemed tough with bullies repeatedly telling me to go back to Pakistan, calling me a Pakistan-lover, and other names. Stories and media reports didn’t help as they painted a tainted picture of Pakistan and I found myself slipping further on the anti-Pakistan route. My intensified hatred became proof of being a true Indian.

The anti-Pakistan sentiment by itself might have been fine but this isn’t a feeling that limits itself to a country or place, it transfers to people too. With time I found myself starting to believe that Pakistanis were awful people and that the country was a terrible place to live.

That belief lasted until a few years ago, when I met some Pakistanis and they shook up my beliefs, shook them up really well actually. They were a mixed bunch in gender, lifestyle, dressing,… They wore skirts, spoke impeccable English and didn’t hide behind the burkha or beard. They were just as normal as we were. They didn’t seem traumatised, deprived, or curtailed like I had been made to believe.

As I got to know them better, it got clearer that we were not different as people. Our lives, lifestyles, cultures, terrain, mindsets and more were so similar. I found that I really liked these Pakistanis.

Through them I also got to know Pakistan better and I realised that it wasn’t the inhospitable crazy country I believed it to be. Looking at one part of Pakistan and saying the whole country in unliveable and full of terrorists, is like looking at the Naxalite areas of India and saying all of India is a wasteland filled with Naxalites.

Media and the Government have been sending out filtered messages for years and years now. Slowly and subtlety playing with our minds until we now blindly believe that Pakistan and Pakistanis are terrorists, heathens, bad people and such. This nonsensical belief and our idiotic hatred of everything Pakistan works for the Government as they churn more money for their pockets out of our psychosis.

How do they make money? Ever wondered how much our defence budgets are? How much is spent on weapons and bombs? How much money is silently sidelined in each defence deal? If peace existed, this budget would not exist! And this is just one example.


When I first started thinking about writing this piece, I shared a post by HONY on Facebook. The responses confirmed that I wasn’t the only one who had been taken in by this bullshit about Pakistan. There were so many people out there, just like me – educated, well read, articulate and intelligent folk – who didn’t see beyond the propaganda being disseminated.

I reached out to friends in Pakistan, I wanted to hear their story. I wanted to know what they thought of Pakistan? What was their life like? Did they consider their country backward, extremist, terrorist, and such? What was their image of their country? And most importantly what was their image of ours?

Their response was unexpected, it overwhelmed me, and floored me. Like us they give ‘dil khol ke’. :) It was the responses that sparked the thought of sharing what they said and made this post a post in parts. After all a dialogue isn’t complete until, the both sides have spoken. 😀

Part 2 – Pakistan: As Shajee Sees It :)

 

Photo Credits: hswajid, AllauddinYousafzai, HONY

October 8, 2015   2 Comments

The Indian Muslim Taunts

***Note: Most of my life I have faced taunts for being a muslim. Some muslims are lucky they never get to hear these dialogues and comments, but most do. That said I have more non-muslim friends than muslim ones. And I think of myself as an Indian before Muslim. Human before Indian. Over time I have learned to ignore the taunts. But this piece was written in 2000 when I was in college and when the taunting was at it’s ugliest.***

“They are all bloody Pakistan-living SOB’s” was how someone I knew described Muslims. Why should we Muslims be treated this way? What have we done wrong? Where have we gone wrong? And tell me why should we love Pakistan when there are other Muslim countries that are much better off? We aren’t the only minority; there are also the Christians. Why aren’t they called America-loving people or something like that?

Most of the Muslims I know are anti-Pakistan, which is completely understandable, for first of all Pakistan is not the best Muslim country in each and every way, a much better choice would be Kuwait. Second all that Pakistan is doing is disgusting (I am sure even the Pakistanis are disgusted) and thirdly even though it is a Muslim country, it does not treat Muslims well. The few who are for Pakistan are so because they are pretty uneducated, they do not know the way Pakistan treats Muslims and to add to this the way they are treated by some people in India gives them the illusion of finding peace and acceptance in Pakistan.

Did u know that the people who decided to move to Pakistan at the time of partition are treated like outsiders there? They are called “Mujahids”, they belong in Pakistan but still are not complete Pakistanis. They have lived there for 50 years but still cannot call it their home. And the Muslims in India have lived here for years and consider it their one and only home.

A lot of soldiers in the Indian army are Muslims and they never think twice, never put religion before nationality when they lay down their lives for India. In the recent Kargil war there were so many Indian soldiers who lost their lives, no one told them that hey you shouldn’t give your life for this country. Why is it right to be Indian when there is trouble and a for-Pakistan otherwise?

So many of our film industry people are Muslims, why don’t we have a prejudice when we like them? Why do the Khans have such a great fan following? Why do we hum all the songs of Muhammed Rafi and the like, they’re Muslims afterall? And let’s not forget some of the best lyricists are Muslims? And gazals, which are a favorite of so many people, has its origins somewhere in Islam.

Some of the best instrumentalists are Muslims, and Zakir Hussain and the others are proud to be Indians.

There are so many great Muslims who are Indians and all of them put their country before their religion, and talking about people who have contributed towards the progress of India how can we forget Abdul Kalam who was the person behind India becoming a nuclear power. So it’s plain dumb and stupid to say that Indian Muslims are more for Pakistan then India. And hey next time any of u want to say Muslims are not a part of India remember, Muslims also have had a major roll to play in making India what it is today.

March 23, 2015   No Comments

Let It Go…

‘Let It Go’ are words I have heard often, been told often. But letting go is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I tend to hold on to stuff, not physical stuff but rather emotional stuff, I mull and mull till I get to mopping. And at the end of it all, I’m mind-fucked.

Let me give you an example. This morning like most other mornings I found some stuff in the garden that didn’t belong there. Unlike other mornings though, today my neighbour was sitting out too. So, what do I do?

I call out to her holding out my hand filled with used elastic ripped off some clothes and ask her if it was hers. She promptly replies saying ‘no, not mine’. When I confront her saying it isn’t mine either, I get told that her two year old must have accidentally thrown it.

When told that he accidentally throws a lot of stuff everyday into my compound, I got told that I must adjust because she cannot teach her son not to do it. I tried explaining the risk of these things to my dogs but the only reply I got was that her kids were more important than my dogs, so I must adjust.

You can imagine how I was fuming. Gawd, thinking of it I’m still fuming. Che awoke up to all this and came and pulled me away saying it was a pointless exercise saying anything to her. In all my fuming, I knew what he was saying was true, yet I couldn’t unclench my fists.

I set off on my walks with the dogs and it took me 4 out of 5 rounds to get it out of my system. I knew talking to her was pointless but I was emotionally overwhelmed, and super pissed. It was only halfway through round four that the amusement showed up, and I started to laugh at her silliness and my own.

I’d wasted 4 precious walks over my neighbour and her silly son. You see now, what I meant about letting go. I find it difficult to do and this one was one of the better cases, one that resolved faster.

I need to learn to get over things fast, let go more easily and not hold on for long. Not doing this just tires me out so much more and faster. It leaves me feeling like a wet rumpled rag. I rationally understand all of this and yet find it difficult to implement it when required.

I’m been trying for a while now and yes, I’ve gotten better but it’s not good enough. I need to get better at this. How do you learn to let go quicker? Disassociate faster? Step away sooner? And not kill yourself and your day over trivial stuff?

Understanding this and getting to doing it will make me a better person. That’s the person I want to be, the one whose feathers aren’t ruffled easily. I want to be a stronger person, more self-involved than involved in all this other stuff.

I’m working at it and will keep pushing to get there. But if you know what I can do. Have advice. Tips. Self learned lessons. Please do share with me in comments. :)

Photo Credit: Cory Jensen

March 16, 2015   No Comments

Saturday Tirade: My Voice

I’ve been told I have a voice that is all my own, but I don’t seem to hear it when I write. I’ve been searching for my voice for a long time now.

I hear other people talk and long for their clarity of thought, I read writings, follow blogs and wish I had what they have. Somehow my writing doesn’t seem good enough. I keep feeling like I’m falling short.

And the hunt goes on. I’m constantly trying to find my voice. My niche. The essence of my blog. The truth of my writing. And it evades me, like a game of hide and seek, only I can’t seem to seek what’s hiding.

I started writing a long time back. In school I wrote a diary and kept it hidden. I have wacky dreams so in high school I started a new journal to track them. In college I wrote for a website. In the corporate world I dabbled with company newsletters.

Then I started this blog. Yep, I’ve been blogging for 10 years. I’ve also done some travel writing, some creative writing, some script writing, documentation and some other forms of writing I don’t even remember. And yet, I don’t always feel like a writer.

The other day as I was clicking around my hard disk I remembered my writing archives. I thought I used to write well, but reading what I wrote in the early 2000’s now, makes me want to laugh. Could I have been so simple, so naive, so green with words.

Looking back my writing seems to have come a long way. Yet I know there is a long way to go too. There is so much I must learn. Yes, there are a lot of ways to do this, and the list maybe endless. Just keep writing you say. Take a course. Read more. Follow other writers… and so on.

But I think aside from all this, I also need to start from the beginning. Or at least from the beginnings I have documented. I need to go back and revisit my old words. Read them, understand them, not change them and move forward.

It is with this in mind that I’m thinking of spending the next couple of weeks revisiting and posting my old words. I’m going to be sharing what I had written 10 to 15 years ago with my thoughts on them from now.

Do stop by and share your thoughts too. Do let me know how you think I could find my voice and make my writing better. And don’t miss out on having a good laugh at the writings of a young starry-eyed gullible girl. :)

March 14, 2015   No Comments

Saturday Tirade: India’s Daughter

After the BBC documentary India’s Daughter aired on 4th March, everywhere everyone seems to be talking about just that. It’s been 3 years since the incident happened in Delhi, or more like two years since it happened in December 2012 and the documentary has refreshed everyone’s memories.

I remember those days in 2013 when for months every media channel and every medium of communication was filled with talk of the case. And this week seems like it all over again. Not as much or as strong maybe yet it’s there again.

{Just in case this link stops working, here’s another – https://vimeo.com/121374149}

The Govt. is fighting to shut everyone up, to ban the documentary and everyone else is raising their voices in protest. Some protesting against the Govt., asking for freedom of speech, stating democracy, some panning the documentary for showing India in bad light, some spewing anger at all that was said in the documentary,…

There are a lot of voices, views and opinions out there. It was all of this that brought the documentary to my attention and I went and watched it. I wanted to know what all the hullabaloo was all about.

The one hour long documentary by Leslee Udwin is nothing extraordinary in every way. The script and story isn’t new, the way the show is pieced together isn’t great and every quip and dialogue has been said enough times before this.

As a woman who was born and has lived all her life in India, I found nothing in the documentary. My blood didn’t boil, anger didn’t manifest, nothing happened. No, that’s not true, something did happen, I did laugh, the laugh of resignation, the laugh of sadness, the laugh of knowing that next week there will be a new sensation, a new talking point.

A lot of men in the video said the girl had it coming, a educated lawyer talked about women as flowers, flowers that can adorn a head or be thrown in the gutter. Another talked about burning his daughter alive if she stepped off the line. To them women were just objects, livestock, cattle. To them women are not equal in India.

And we will never be equal. At least not until women rise up and fight for their own. Until mothers, sisters and wives of rapists ask for justice, for their men to lynched so other men may learn a lesson and other women may become safe.

The plight of women in India or for that matter the world will not change until we women change. Until we stop toeing the line, following the rules. We need to get up and fight, fight the system, fight culture, fight society, fight rules, fight.

We need to start wearing what we want to, going out when we want to, doing what we want to. All of this without being scared of repercussions. The repercussions will come, men will push back, but we can have the world only if we push, only if we fight.

Fight not to be better or bigger but fight to be equal!

****There was one thing that stood out for me in the documentary and that was the parents. Jyoti Singh’s parents are just awesome, it takes a lot of courage to bring up your daughter the way they did, it also takes a lot of inner strength to watch your daughter die and still talk about it. F**K You Arnab for your nonsensical ideas of hiding rape behind a veil of Nirbhaya. Her name was Jyoti Singh and her name must be taken (shouted out actually) so we may remember her both for her courage and for how she was raped.****

March 7, 2015   No Comments

Saturday Tirade: Who Am I?

‘Who am I’ is a cliched question. Constantly being asked, forever flaunted, indiscriminately repeated and never resolved. I have tried to define myself way to many times now and words always fall short.

How does one define oneself? Why does one need to define oneself? Can one not be the undefined? The unlabelled? Vague and obscure like that tantalising island shrouded in mist?

And yet every time this question comes up I get lost in thought, sucked into another cycle of trials and attempts to answer the question. Not so much to the person asking the question, but to myself, to reason with and quieten the monster this question awakens.

‘Who Am I’.

I know who I was and it is this knowing that causes conflict. I am not the same anymore, I have changed, evolved and what not. Like they say change is the constant and yet I am what I was, I am what I am and I am much more.

So, here’s another attempt at definition, a list of all I am, not OR but AND.
I am a…
– Human
– Girl
– Woman
– Daughter
– Sister
– Wife
– Doggie Mom
– Friend
– Writer
– Imagineer
– Bibliophile
– House Manager
– Crafter
– DIYer
– Jugaadist
– Hoarder
– Washerwoman
– Gardener
– Blogger
– Doggie Vassal
– Food Conjuror
– Poop Examiner
– Pee Appraiser
– Meat Sorter/Meat Box Maker
– Personal Doggie Exerciser
– Poop Collector
– Glorified Charwoman
– Grudging Chambermaid
– Reluctant Cook
– Happy Baker
– Biker
– Traveller
– Adventurer
………
………
………
And the list goes on.

I came up with these in 10ish minutes. I’d be a lot more if I had more time, I guess. 😛

Who are You? Does the question haunt you too? How many of these are you too?

I’m constantly striving and working towards the day with I make peace with all I am, with who I am. I don’t know how this can be done, or ever if it is possible but for now I’d say it’s an uphill task and an uplifting journey. 😀 Have you found the answer? The secret to making peace with ‘Who Am I’?

****This post was inspired by and written for the #UseYouAnd activity on BlogAdda. Now here’s the compulsory text… “This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.****

Photo Credit: Chenthil Mohan

January 31, 2015   No Comments

The Saturday Tirade: My Dilemma on Bakri Eid

It’s that time of the year again when I feel like I’m in a Nazi camp. After all these years, I’m still shaken and upset by the number of deaths on one day. It’s Bakri Eid and I’m still struggling.

Some parts of the city are like cattle fairs running full steam. There are goats, sheep, cows and camels spread out and people haggling over them. The smell of cattle hits your nostrils way before you actually see the animals and then before you know it, you are passing through a sea of animals waiting for death. Over the years this smell of cattle has become the smell of death for me.

As a child of maybe ten or so I remember sneaking out to watching a sacrifice after being specifically instructed by my parents not to. I watched horror struck and ran back in shocked and terrified by what I had seen. It wasn’t the death I think that scared me, it was the slow death, the struggle and the fact that someone would take a life so easily.

Some years later my parents went through the whole ritual of a sacrifice. They brought in a goat, fed and kept it for a year and then sacrificed it. I went through those emotions of horror again, only this time it was heightened by emotional attachment. That if I remember right, it was the last time my parents did a sacrifice at home. (Now they do it in other ways)

Fast forward to now. Over the last 4 years I’ve been feeding my dogs raw meat. What that means in that I go to the meat and chicken shop and buy the meat. I haven’t watched a cow being slaughtered but I have watched tons of chicken being killed. After all these years I had thought that I had been toughened, that the slaughter wouldn’t horrify me anymore.

But that ride through the cattle filled street shook me up. I was all teary eyed by the time I got to the end of the stretch. The thought of what awaited those animals filled me with pain and sorrow.

Let me get something straight: I am a non-vegetarian and I eat almost every kind of meat and all of this seeing and feeling is not going to make me a vegetarian. It’s not the killing of a few goats or cows or chicken that has me upset. It’s the sheer numbers that will be slaughtered on Eid that shakes me. The numbers will across a million easily across the world.

That’s a million lives taken on one day. It’s a mass murder. And most of this meat will be wasted, or put away into storage, it will not be consumed immediately. So we aren’t killing for food but rather killing for religion, killing for what we believe in.

How is that different from what the Nazi’s did or what the jihad groups and militant groups doing? Or does the fact that they are not human lives make it ok?

I don’t have the answers and I’m still all jumbled and confused in my head and heart about Bakri Eid. I don’t know, I just don’t know whether to rejoice or drown in sorrow, I don’t know…

October 4, 2014   1 Comment