Well, the Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan concluded successfully and after six long years, the Mughal-style Gaddafi Stadium came to life once again with sounds of the nation’s most beloved sport — cricket. There was jubilation, excitement and an uncontrollable frenzy in the streets of Lahore and more importantly, it wasn’t only one city that was dancing to the tunes of the landmark moment; the celebrations were innate in every individual who resides in, or even remotely associates himself/herself with this piece of land we call Pakistan.
It is highly unfortunate to witness the gloom and doom surrounding our nation, but even amidst this sense of hopelessness and mistrust, we still were able to unite. We were all willing to cooperate. We were all willing to lend a hand.
For once, we accepted responsibility and for once, albeit for a fleeting period, we acted as one. Now for me, that is a miracle. If a nation, which cannot even be expected to think beyond its own self, finds a way to put aside its internal differences for a united cause, it is nothing short of a miracle. And to think that all it took was one sporting event. This only reasserts the innocence and simplicity of our nation. We have become desperate for normalcy. All we want is for us to live a normal life, far away from the ever-present cloud of extremism, far away from the wrongs hindering our path and far away from this feeling of creeping despair.
The tour was symbolic in many ways, one of which was the way it illuminated a ray of hope within 18 million hearts. It showed a path towards normalcy. It will certainly act as a catalyst for other events and if we continue like this, maybe one day we might outweigh the frowns of frustration. This nation needs avenues to let off some steam or it will implode. The boiling point is not far away — if it hasn’t already been reached — and those in charge must not test the patience of the masses. History has taught us that ‘the masses’, if unleashed, can be quite lethal.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2015.
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