The most true sentence that can be used and holds up to its meanings in any situation is “This Too Shall Pass”. In happy circumstances, it breaks your heart, but in sad situations, these four words are the epitome of wisdom. We as human beings are nothing but a collection of feelings and emotions, without them, we are mere machines. The trauma that our nation went through a couple of days ago, is a clear example of how barbaric this creature can be, but do try to understand that it’s only a human being, capable of inflicting such atrocity, and it is also the same species, that endures it, deals with it and stands up again.
Yes, we stumble in the process, we grieve, we mourn, we wail, we howl, we cry, but we also look for answers and solutions on how to bounce back and return to life again. Right now when I am writing these words, my heart aches and bleeds, the amount of grief I felt over the Peshawar carnage is absolutely un explainable, and I am sure it must be a sentiment shared by nearly everyone reading these words. We all share this sorrow, we all feel this pain. And yes, the cruelest reality is that we all have to face this situation and move on.
This is Life.
These are the times when you see the fragility and finality of fate in all its bare, bitter glory. Moving on does not mean you have forgotten the tragedy, it only indicates, that you still hold your faith in the future. This is the debt on us, by those souls that departed to heaven. We have to remember their sacrifice, and that too in a productive way. I am not being overtly positive or optimistic, but trust me being negative and pessimistic is not the best of the options here.
According to psychologists, the “Terrible Ten” disasters, after exposure to which people are most likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Anxiety Attacks, include “Multiple causalities and acts of terrorism, incidents involving children and incidences with huge media coverage that last for a significant time and have a negative outcome”. Sadly, we went through all three of the above. As a nation, we have strongly condemned this brutal butchery of our beautiful little angels. But today is the next day, and this is a cold hard fact that we all need to understand and digest.
Then comes the Survivors Guilt, Yes, I am ashamed that I am still alive, yes I am remorseful that I am sleeping in the comfort of my warm cozy bed tonight, and I swear to God, I am extremely sorry that I am breathing and living in the time, where an educational institution that smelt of innocence, youth, mischief and discipline in the dawn, reeked of death at dusk. I was breathing and alive that day, when mothers sent their kids to school in clean spotless uniforms in the morning and received them back in blood-soaked coffins in caskets in the evening, where fathers dropped their sons smiling at the school gate and identified their lifeless bodies in hospital emergency a few hours later and had to put them to rest six feet under the soil.
Trust me, I know the pain of losing a kid, if it was in my capacity, I would have gladly given my life to bring back a few seconds of someone’s child’s life. Had it been in my hands, I would have hunted down and killed those barbarians with my own bare hands who are responsible for this massacre. But no, I have to stay sane, in these times of extreme insanity and grief, I have to keep my head straight. Hard and hard beyond words this task is, but me, you and everyone around us, has to realize that we are broken, but not defeated.
We all have to gather our sorrows, our grief and put it to some use. We need to pledge that we will move forward, not forgetting anything that happened, but making sure, in all our capacity to prevent any more pictures emerging on internet of blood soaked little shoes or tiny feel tied at toes with a bandage. We all have to say no to terrorism, and show those beasts, that they can hit us, and hit us hard, but they have to pay the price.
On the first Monday of this year, a brave boy “Aitzaz Hassan” embraced martyrdom, while stopping a suicide bomber to enter his school, I wrote a Eulogy for him, today, I do not want to write another eulogy, i want to pen down a pledge. I promise today, that I will do, in my personal capacity, anything that will make a difference, in any one’s life. This is my take on dealing with Post Terrorism Stress Disorder. This is my word my sons and daughters, and on behalf of every sane human being, I promise that you will never be forgotten.
(Written in the memory of 141 people who lost their lives in a terrorist attack on Army Public School Peshawar on 16th December, 2014)
18th December, 2014