Monday, 23 May 2011

Falling wickets and corpses

by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani Sahib

There prevailed a sense of curiosity, concentration, expectation, anticipation……not one man but the whole nation was waiting their arrival, their lure, their charm………there were conflicting news, diverse reports…… of their refusal to come cast us in gloom, faces went long, fervor was cooled……… news of their acquiescence to come made everyone happy, there were smiles all round, congratulations were exchanged…….

Then it came to light that they were apprehensive of their safety, not ready to endanger their lives for their fans………. next came a delegation that toured the whole country, observed each site they would grace with their presence, explored all the hotels they would stay at, gathered information about all the roads they would tread, examined all the cars that would be used for transportation, interviewed all the cooks who would prepare the meals, had a look at the special dogs that could smell explosives, had interviews with the security officers who had the resolution to sacrifice their lives for that of the cherished guests………..everything was fine, the security arrangements were excellent: for the protection of each treasured visitor more than 500 men were provided; the preventive measures were above par……….but because of the terrorist acts the delegation was voicing its concerns…….. they were again and again being reassured that whatever was happening was happening with our own, we never did anything similar….. remotely similar…….happen to foreigners……..we are faithful, honorable people who keep their word.

We stake our lives for the sake of strangers; we spill our blood rather than let them ooze sweat……….if you don't believe us, ask Colin Powell……inquire of Tony Blair! They were persuaded so reassuringly……..we thought that the idol -worshipping hearts would be softened……they would finally believe in our faithfulness and sacrificing nature…….but they were bent on testing all claims of love. They knew how to enjoy the changing colors of the agonized and impatiently waiting, groaning fans and restless adorers….instead of announcing their arrival they left it at a loose future promise. Because losing hope is a sin, our fellow countrymen men never did lose it……..the expectancy of arrival is a cruel thing, they were coming near the end when they received the elating news that our humble request had been accepted and "they" were coming.

And then "they" really did come. The media went berserk; what they ate, what they drank, what weather they liked, what colors they prefered, how they spent their nights and days, when they slept, when they got up; it was deemed necessary to expose every personal and public detail to the nation so that it could not be called ignorant. Then the day was named.

The papers made such a hype that the whole nation was in a frenzy………the moderns aside, even some of the regular worshippers were taken up in it……when the match began, there was a hush in cities large and small, everyday life came to a standstill, the number of worshippers in mosques diminished, people left their business and all other concerns to sit before the TV to watch the matches……..there were crowds of viewers at hotels and shops…….speculations and gambling went into millions of rupees.

From Karachi this circus was transferred to Rawalpindi…….but only the circus was transferred, the fever remained with the whole of the nation………only one topic remained under discussion in streets, neighborhoods, shops, markets, offices, schools, colleges, hospitals, factories, and industries……who would get the laurels and who would face defeat? It was as if success would solve all of Pakistan's problems and defeat would erect a wall on the road to development. The media had raised emotions to such a fever pitch before the matches that makes rational thought cease and all senses concentrated at one point. Logic goes round and round that point and the mind thinks of nothing else…..A new special edition of the papers everyday, latest snapshots of the players, exposé's of the minutest events. The media ruses were productive and when the match began in Rawalpindi on the 15th of March, newspapers report that the stadium was filled in a jiffy. Those who could not enter the stadium sat in their homes, or hotels, or parks with their TV sets on.

At the same instance when the whole nation was concentrating all its energies in watching the match, another match was being played a little further on from Rawalpindi in the tribal areas. This match was between the tribesmen who revered the land of Pakistan as a mosque and the law enforcing troops, in a valley between high mountains……….this was a match between living bodies and fire and flame………the tribesmen were forced by their Faith and beliefs and the troops by the requirements of duty and job………..Hundreds of classy people had arrived from Hindustan to watch the cricket match; and to directly monitor the Mountain Storm, Colin Powell had arrived in all his glory from the United States of America! He hat patted the backs of those who showered iron and fire on their own citizens and immobilized their famous nuclear athletes as soon as he came:


The reference to the struggle of a "whole generation" by Mr. Colin Powell shows that arrangements are complete to submit our beloved land to not only mountain storms but also desert, land, sky, and sea storms………life and artillery matches will be held in various provinces and cities in unique ways….Allah forbid that our hands and our artillery be used on our own brothers…….but on 15th of March, Tuesday, the same was happening. When the match at the Pindi stadium was at its peak and the spectators were wild with sensation, when not only the sons but also the daughters of the nation put aside all shame and modesty and encouraged their team with jumps, untamed clapping, whistles, and loud applaud….the "Mayor" was there whose face gleamed with happiness, the wickets were falling, the finger of the referee was repeatedly lifting…… the same instance the "Mountain Storm" was at its peak too…..explosions were rocking walls, innocent children and women were cowering in corners praying for the safety of their fathers and husbands. The chief organizer of this match was keeping an eye on the altering proceedings. The score was counted not in fours and sixers but in whizzing bullets and flaming bombs…….and the score was going up according to his expectations……..he was very happy, so happy that he was unable to hide his happiness……impulsively he said, ""

The same day, at the same time, two matches were going on. At one, wickets were falling and the other, corpses. One had a referee at least, but the other was devoid of any referee or judge…..

An old, white bearded man was lying askew on the hard earth with a bullet in his chest…..his beard, his patched clothes, and his body were crimson with blood; his face looked up at the sky with half closed eyes, it felt as if he was putting his case before the Lord of lords………I was thinking that The Most Merciful was slackening the rope……..but if He decided soon, who knows what devastation might occur……..then, there will be no more clapping and no more whistling.

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