It’s 7:06 am, I lazily open my sleepy eyes. “Today marks 14th August, the day of grand celebrations for Independence Day at the university”, the very first thought of the day crosses my mind. Excited, I leave my bed, rushing to the washroom without turning off the AC. Fully utilized in planning in mind about the day ahead, I let the tap water running thickly while brushing my teeth. Coming back to the room I pull out of my wardrobe a dress, very contrary to being called a national dress, to wear exactly on the National day. Since it’s already late, I wrap my breakfast in a foil to eat on my way to university; the very foil that I throw at the road when I am done eating.
“Oh no, this traffic again”, I frown at the miserable vehicle jam caused by the four-way irregularity of traffic rules. I also notice a siren ringing ambulance stuck amidst. “Don’t wait for the signal to turn green, just rush like everyone else”, I instruct my driver while tucking on my right arm a badge that features a tiny Pakistani flag in honor of 14th August, our Independence Day. The driver nodes and almost runs over a man hastily crossing the pathway ending up with a curse escaping his mouth. But who cares, this is almost a routine.
University is gorgeously attired in green, and so are the people. All dressed up, faces caked with makeup, with shining badges of lovely variety and likewise hand-bands, some having their cheeks painted with green-white art and many even wrapping big country flags around their shoulders. Everyone, thus, poses as an ecstatic embodiment of patriotism. The national songs that we hear after a year sound too good that we end up dancing upon them. We also don’t skip messing each other’s faces with the pieces of 14th August – Independence Day special cake that we cut. Chanting “Pakistan Zindabad” lifts up the whole show along. The weather pleasantly compliments greatly. It is so airy that even several paper flags pasted on the wall fall off on the ground that we are so busy in reciting in chorus the patriotic poems to pick up. Everything is so on point.
And then it is time to go back, again to face the hell-like traffic and as I decide to drive myself this time, the gazing passersby also, who stare at me; that is a lady driving a car as if scrutinizing an alien. That’s the only thing I disapprove from today. Though I also spot a person spitting red-coloured Paan leftovers on a wall nearby, since it doesn’t directly relate to me, I don’t mind. Yes, if it was about my car, I’d have taken him to task quickly. Even if I tell him not to do so, why would he even listen to me anyway? So, I jerk off the thought of correcting him.
I find no chance to break signal this time, so I look around to pass moments. I see newly painted walls messed by political slogans scratched on them. I see trees being cut, burning trash and smoke exhausting vehicles tensing the atmosphere. At a busy corner, two people are quarreling over something and passersby stopping there as interested as the two to get some insight into the matter, thus crowding already traffic-disabled road more. I see busted sewerage pipelines dirtying pure white cloths of Madrassah’s pupils holding Quran.
Suddenly, a transgender knocks on my side glass, snapping me out of my observation, asking for money. Holding him in contempt, I retort him harshly, gearing up the car to run on the wrong way; repeating breaking signal, upon the uneven road that is a result of construction work pending for last 3 years now. “Ugly creatures, they should leave the country, it is only ours”, I decide myself. Reaching home, first of all, I aim at grabbing my laptop to post my best click from today with the following caption.
“It is only with united efforts and faith in our destiny that we shall be able to translate the Pakistan of our dreams into reality. (Jinnah)
Happy 14th August or Independence Day. For Pakistan, ANYTHING! 😊”
I click “post”.