It’s again the 14th of Aug and again it does not make me happy. Why? Uhhhh, ok let me explain this once more and you got to pay attention this time.
On the one hand, my country Pakistan came into existence on this very particular date, and on the other, Jojo, yeh that’s me, was also born on this very date. Ahhh!!! What an irony! No?
Oh! already eyebrows raised? See how quick you all are to judge me; hmm…you little obnoxious judgemental peep. Never mind, I like your instant emotional restless bug pinching you down there. Makes me happy:)
Ok jokes apart, you must be thinking, it’s not really a bad thing to have a shared birth date at all. In fact, I should have been grateful and felt blessed for this auspicious odd but happy coincidence, right? But NO! Call me an idiot or a selfish little kid but I have got my own reasons for not really being happy about this coincidence. Let’s see if I make sense and pardon my innocence.
First, let’s clear one thing out. As per my little brain’s capacity for understanding, I think no country HAS EVER BEEN BORN in this world. They always existed for millions of years but had no names. They all were God’s free lands, open and without borders. But as we humans gradually started geminating across the planet and inhabited those lands, we infected them with our own delusional identities, crazy philosophies, and flawed systems. We gave those lands names, anthems, flags, and borders, all for our own selfish reasons and vested interest. And that’s how the story began.
As time slipped by, Our identities kept transforming. Courtesy to the never-ending invasions, conquests, colonizing adventures, and capitalism-driven neo-colonization that never let us settle down. More capable, curious, and adventurous folks rode on the horses and infiltrated their neighbors’ lands, some anchored ships on the distant shores, rising their own flags while lowering and burning the others’ down. Some claimed to be the saviors to give others salvation, and some didn’t even bother much and did what they could do to the conquered lands. Names of the lands changed, flags replaced, languages transformed, and identities mutilated. That’s how countries were really born my friends. Pity if you still call it birth. Its deformation.
But my case is different. I was really and literally born! I can say that with sheer confidence. I never existed in flesh and bone before. I came into existence out of nowhere, a totally new being in this world, yeah!!! That’s what I can call “birth” or “being born”.
Anyway, let’s get to the point. Sharing the same date of birth with my country turned into a real clash of interests when it was my fifth birthday. For the first time, I grasped the concept of birthdays not only for myself but for the country as well. With every new year, I realize that my birthday celebration always gets eclipsed by this grand celebration of 14th Aug. At school, teachers and kids get busy decorating the school and preparing for boring performances. They put us in get-ups and clothes that make us almost aliens. I mean I am in 5th grade now and those clothes, costumes, and performances are still the same, as boring as they were 5 years ago. At home, the tv turns green, and meaningless national songs play on repeat. Political leaders, tv anchors, and celebrities, all throw hollow and shallow patriotic bull craps, promises, and messages which they don’t mean. Streets get ablaze with green lights and flags, traffic gets crazy as hell and the honking bajas, uffffff, stir the very soul out of your body. That’s how this day literally is.
But as this celebration day ends and the night passes by after successfully ruining my big day, things get to the normal shit. School becomes a business as usual where they make sure our abilities, capabilities, and curiosities are crushed to the ashes. Education is merely a label they promise to deliver. Tv screens get back to their normal transmissions with screaming, shouting, and howling mediocre idiots. I haven’t seen a single tv channel allocating a dedicated one hour for children whom they were calling the future of the country a day ago. No educational, experimental or entertainment shows for them to ignite their passion for doing great things. And on the streets, to my expectations, I see trash flying out from the cars’ windows littering the streets of their beloved motherland. By the way, some of those cars still bear the green stickers and flags on them, from yesterday’s celebration I guess (ahem…). So yeah, all that hype, mess, and madness of the 14th Aug is literally for nothing, zero, nill.
The only thing 14th Aug effectively does is ruin my birthday every year. On this day, my wishes wither away dreams tangle. The only thing I will always be left with is HOPE.