Wednesday, August 13, 2014

14th August - Happy 68th Birthday to my Pakistan

Yes, it is that time of the year in Pakistan when markets can be seen full of enthusiastic school kids looking for white kameez shirts and a green stole to imitate the colors of the national flag. Some even go as far as getting green and white bangles or a green and white manicure. Even the minimalists would at least pin a simple miniature flag on their chest to express their bit of patriotism. The television transmissions ensure broadcasting the most patriotic songs from over the years alongside special independence day wishes sponsored by various brands. Special events in the city, bikers in group speeding on the road with huge flags tied on them and people considering the Independence day holiday to be a good reason for a family dinner outing.

As a kid, I can vividly remember, as if it was only yesterday, how my brother would go and buy heaps and heaps on mini flags on a string from a whole sale market. Him, my dad and I would spend the late hours of 13th August decorating the balcony with them and balloons. Oh, not to forget, that huge tailored flag that belonged to our family for years which we would tie on the tallest pole we could find and display it from our balcony. Finally, on 14th August,  after the independence day celebration event at school, when we would all go out to buy Ice cream, when in the street, my brother would always remind me to look at the our 4th floor balcony to get the feedback for his decorative skills.

As far as my memory goes, there never was a year in my school life when I missed participating in the Independence day event. I used to feel that enthusiasm that would ask me to go and enroll to sing, do a tableau and in the later senior years, perform patriotic scripts and sing a little more. Once, I am smiling as I recall it, the celebrations took place in my school on a Sunday and that was probably the only Sunday when the idea of going to school was so exciting that I couldn't get myself to sleep.

Growing up, lucky to be working in media, the day continued to stay exciting for me due to the number of events that I used to cover on this date. And the most important fact around this day is that it always used to rain on 14th August! That, actually, was my most favorite part of the day.

I sound very nostalgic today, I know. In fact, I am happy to be nostalgic. Sitting far away from my country and committing myself each day to the big wide world in front of me is actually how I am truly able to appreciate the many beautiful memories I have around the Independence day of Pakistan. In better words, these are the cherished memories of Pakistan that I have. I may be living in France and loving it, trust me, I am made in Pakistan, made of Pakistan and made (every thing that is good about me) by Pakistan.

So here is to you my land! I have seen you at your best and I have also seen you when times were not so favorable, I have seen you bright and twinkling and I have also seen you to be dark and gloomy but here is to the fact that you are and will always be the place I call home on this planet. I have been, I am and will always proud of my Pakistani Identity.

Happy 68th Birthday Pakistan. I am proud of me because I belong to you.