Today was like any other Friday. Abba got ready to go to the masjid while Amma tried to make up her mind about what to cook for lunch. I got ready my clothes, bathed and offered my prayer too. Abba returned from the masjid and we had a delicious lunch. The post-lunch laziness then set in and I headed off to my laptop with a cup of tea. A very ordinary Friday… until evening, when we heard what had happened: a bomb blast in a Shia procession on one of the main roads of the city. If that wasn’t horrible enough, a second bomb ripped through the emergency ward of a central hospital where the injured and victims were being rushed.
How terrible… how many lives were lost. But what was I thinking? How many died? What’s going on? And then… nothing. That’s it. Where’s the rest of the remorse, the anguish, the pain? Why am I going about as if I don’t care? How can I be laughing over that joke when so many of my country men just died, that too, practically in my neighborhood? I vaguely noticed that I wasn’t as remorseful as I should have been. And that is not a good sign.
How many times must a person be shown scenes of violence and destruction before he or she fails to react to it at all? Countless times, I’m sure. Otherwise, how can you feel an ounce of joy knowing an innocent man, woman or child was murdered on the streets of your city that same day? For the past several years, the scenes of carnage and killing have left a deep impact on all of us. We worry but we worry because we’re not safe anymore. We worry because, in the aftermath of the bombs, it will be difficult to reach the office tomorrow and meet those deadlines. Or maybe, a friend’s wedding will have to be postponed. In reality, we worry only when it hits close to home.
Life always goes on, you could argue, but is that the only plausible explanation for our indifference to what is going on around us? It’s too much to ask of ourselves, it seems, to even make dua for all those who lost their lives. Probably no single person knows what’s the truth behind all that’s happening, who’s causing it, but we’ve taken it as an excuse to accept the status quo. A quick note of the number of people who died and those who were injured, that’s it. You mentally compare it with a previous attack and think, “it’s not as bad as that time, shukar!” But, ya Allah, it’s bad as it is! Even a single innocent life taken away is worth our tears!
My eyes will obstinately remain dry. My smile will flash here and there and only with force will I be able to keep the frown on my face, to show others I care. I don’t know what’s worse now… the blasts, or our desensitization to them.