Thursday, October 27, 2011

They Once Had It All

Living near a kachi abaadi (slums) these days makes me wonder at times. What are we? We have everything at one moment and we can be left with nothing at all the very next moment. I see the old, the young, the kids and the infants around in filthy clothes eating and drinking things which we can’t even look at. The quality of water we use in our washrooms or the type of diet we feed our pets with sure is better than the one they eat and drink. But the question is: do they have an option? They of course have none.
The people living in this kachi abaadi near our university have migrated from Afghanistan for the reasons we all know. They had to leave everything they had there and come here to save their lives. They might have dreamt of a better future before they left their country. But, unfortunately, the worst awaited them in Pakistan.
The most disturbing fact about these immigrants is our attitude towards them. The disgusted look we give them, the way we hold our breaths when we cross that area and the way we push their kids away when they accidently bump into us. We never thought about working for their rehabilitation. We never thought about educating their kids, never fed them proper food, never even thought about providing them even a portion of what we have. If we don’t do anything for them; we have no right to treat them the way we do.
The good thing I see in that area is the satisfaction. I smell some strange sort of cheerfulness in that area. They have no electricity, their kids either sleep hungry or beg for food and eat, they wear the filthiest of clothes, they live in those mud/tent houses or even worse in the worst of weather conditions, they don’t even have a hope for the better future; but I still see the contentment on their faces. They never are depressed like us. We have all but we are all depressed and they have almost nothing and they seem happy.
We (including me) not only need to help them monetarily and morally but also have to learn some great lessons from them. First thing, nothing to be proud of what we have; what we have today can be turned into dust in no time. Second, try being happy and content in what we have; that content feeling has more power than any material thing in this world. Just give it a try, I am sure, it will bring in a positive change in our lives.



  1. Sara! This is my first read on your blog. You write awesome. Keep penning.
    I hope we learn our lessons and try our best to give 'em what they demand - Respect atop.

  2. this is another lesson of life that i learnd after coming here in UK here we always claim that these people are racist and stuff but i cant find the brits responsible for it. what ever we do on the basis of casts color and rest of the stuff is fair when we are in Pakistan and we do to the others but when the same happens to us we start to complain.
    these people in the kachi basti are our responsibility as they came here for protection, and yes one day we will be answerable in the biggest court of justice about how we protected and treated them with the resources we got.

  3. sara! amazing ....

  4. Seriously.

    One more thing, you need to update your blog on a regular basis coz unlike most, you concentrate on issues that matter.

    Keep writing, Sara.

  5. I second Shakti's comment. You should keep writing more.

    Ironic that those who most shout about human rights etc are those with the highest turned up noses while passing through a kacchi basti.

  6. You send me in my past memory as i was born and grow up in a kachi basti as a result of civil war caused creation of Bangladesh 1971.

    I remember when i was 11-12, One kid age 8-9 Year from my next door neighbour made suicide because of hunger :'(

    and now that basti have 8 School, 3 collage, hospital and everything needed for a good residential area but still there are many fighting hard for survival.....

  7. good job!
    If anybody does their help in the sense u said that's great but their rehabilitation(if u mean providing them with food or shelter, coz there are millions of pakistanis in the same position)is not the foremost issue that we need to deal with at present. there are issues at hand that are more imporatnt. and the second thing that "we should be content like them", i don't second that! that is not contentment. that is living a life the way u were born and never progress.I know they are not literate enough or they don't have shaoor even to understand that but whatever the reason behind their backwardness in society they are also greatly responsible for it. They are still grateful to Allah and pray before Him, that's great and a positive attitude but I don't think there's anything worth learning from the way they are living their lives..zindagi unko guzaar rhi ha wo zindagi nahi guzaar rhy. they would die the way they were born. If any member of their family had strived just not for the daily food but for getting their child at least primary education..that would be something to be commended!

  8. Sara i have not been visiting your blog lately and my God have I missed some genuinely amazing posts!! You have become quite the writer i tell you! :)
    Keep it up. We love you! :)

  9. Thanx all :-)..
    @shahid sad hearing that but as i said..nice knowing that the place progressed aftr that and produced many gems like u aftr all that effort.
    @sabahat there r many Pakistanis, i agree, who need help. I addressed to one particular issue here. Never said we should JUST help the immigrants. 2ndly, its never easy getting educated with an empty stomach. 1st preference always is food for everybod for the survival. You cant say it all unless you walk in their shoes for a while to feel how it really is.

  10. Indeed...contentment is from within and not in materials we adorn. A good choice of words and even a better thought presented. I liked how the ending of your article could not have been guessed at the start...this is what makes it a great read. Thumbs up! And yes...may we all find our "inner peace" and stay satisfied and happy...

  11. Your words simply left me speechless.Its really really observant of you to highlight such a topic.The worst thing about we as a nation is that we are only concerned to our own lives & have become insensitively dead towards our brothers & sisters.Keep up your efforts, I hope we read , realize & react in a positive manner.
    Lots of prayers & best wishes for u :)

  12. we use to see them roaming here and there aimlessly but never consider what they need. To help them with money and food wont bring any significant change in their life style. yes, if we literate at least one, that would be the least from our part.
    keep writing Sara !
    May ALLAH bless you..

  13. Jazak-al-ALLAH-al-Khair for an eye-opener write-up.
    In my opinion, we don't realize the pain others going through till the time we become prey to the same. The materialistic and so called global village theory hasn't broaden our minds but shortened it.
    Agreed with the last para though we can't fill their shoes but can do a bit in our capabilities to feed them bit (food, clothes, shelter, security, education etc.)

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