The tale of Karachi: Home is where the shackle was

The bloodshed, senseless loss of life and flaky sense of humanity doesn't depress us or chase our sanity away!

Manahyl Khan May 24, 2013
Karachi gives you so much pain at times, nothing else compares.

Sometimes the sun strikes harder on us than usual, almost as if to punish us for our sins from the day before.  We lose teenagers in gunfights, lose women to politics, lose children to violence, all as if we were sheep instead of people.

This month we honoured the funerals of a female party worker Zahra Shahid Hussain, and a philanthropist Abdul Waheed.

These two are one of the many we have lost. We lose blood on the streets, see it on our television screens and read it in our papers. The bloodshed, senseless loss of life and flaky sense of humanity should cage us in our homes, depress us and chase our sanity away. But it doesn’t, not even close.

My family received a call from a relative based abroad who advised us to stay at home for the sake of our safety. All my mother said in response was,
“This is Karachi.”

It’s a land of lawlessness yet a place of unwavering courage. We soldier on despite the looming fear on the cracked streets of the city.

Last week, despite a ban on public protests and threats surrounding protesters, hundreds of citizens gathered to demand their right in the heart of Karachi towards a free and fair election. We saw students tape their mouths in another silent protest to speak against a ban on the basic right of disagreement.

Karachi does not hide behind the fury of a keyboard; it now finds solace on the streets.

The power of the man on the street is increasing with the passing of every tick-tock on your clock. No longer can a mafia tape the mouths of the people and no longer can any force keep them locked. Though it was said that voter turnout was low at the re-polling, there were people who turned up despite all obstacles of sickness, age, time and safety. I saw people wait patiently to do what they can for their city with one ink stamp.

In the onion of understanding, we’re shedding layer upon layer and getting to the core that defines us, our rights.

Read more by Manahyl here or follow her on Twitter @mintsnk
Manahyl Khan
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.