SHIKARPUR: On Friday, in a broken city of a broken country, a man broke his way into a broken down imambargah. With one fell swoop, he broke almost everything that remained. He broke the fans, he broke the clock, he broke bones, he broke homes and he broke hearts. But one thing he was unable to break was the will of the people of Shikarpur.
The day after the blast, the entire town was closed. There was only one business to attend to today; paying respect to the dead. Under the faulty clock tower of the Lakhi Dar Chowk that perpetually showed 10 minutes to 10 - near the very place where 111 people were either killed or injured - a crowd of almost 10,000 strong gathered to take part in the funeral prayers of the departed.
With determined looks on their faces, volunteers formed a human chain to protect those who prayed. The usually sleepy town of Shikarpur had woken up.
But then again, so heinous was the crime committed against humanity on Friday that this came as little surprise. A total of 57 funeral processions left Shikarpur today. Across the city they marched, or rather, dragged their feet; too heavy was the burden on their shoulders, too tired were their minds.
Each story of irretrievable loss was just as heartrending as the next. One mother sent four of her sons to offer the Friday prayers. None of them returned. All that came back, were body parts, bloodied and broken.
Like a gruesome, terrifying jigsaw puzzle she pieced her sons back together again; trying to recognise what part belonged to which son. Perhaps with each part she remembered something about them. Their legs would have reminded her of their first steps and the joy on their faces when they made them. Their hands of how she taught them how to write and draw. Their severed heads of their first words, or perhaps of their last.
Maybe she even went through all this with a brave face, refusing to cry. For the sake of her four sons, dead and torn to pieces. But then she would have been told that those were all the parts they could find of them and she would have realised that none of her sons had complete corpses. Surely she would have let go then and wept horribly and uncontrollably. When they left for Friday prayers, she would have made sure her sons’ clothes were clean and tidy, but she could not ensure the same for their mangled corpses. All of her four sons were buried incomplete, just like her life was to be from that day on.
For most of the country tomorrow will be another day but for the bereaved mothers and the faulty clock tower, there is no moving on.