(This is an unfinished story, which I started writing ironically when my doctor told me not to stress my eyes… Of course, that’s when we want to use them the most, don’t we?! Life, you’re a bitch!)
So, here it is.. To live with dignity
‘If you cannot fight like a samurai, at least die like a samurai.’ It is true that we cannot control everything in our life. I have read and believed, convinced myself, that positive thinking, meditation, an assortment, a perfect assortment, of all these determinations and hard works and never-lie-downs and always-believes make you shape your life, its story, exactly the way you like. I have made myself, even manipulated myself, in many ways to interpret and re-interpret them in many different ways, ways in which they would or could prove true all those you-can-make-your-own-lifes. But…
Let us not forget there is always more to life than us. It’s always an equation, and what we do in this equation, how we exercise the limited freedom that we have been allowed by circumstances. I once saw this statement in a Czech film and I love it – ‘One thing that life has taught me is that we always have a choice.’ It is this choice that makes us. This choice is our freedom, and we write our stories in this little canvas of choice, freedom of vastness – this is where our life truly is our own.
It was a crazy night, and those were crazy times. An idea had been incepted and most ordinary people, the common men, could not really expect it to become a reality. They had lived like this for centuries and no idea such as this idea had ever before been exercised. Lahore had been their home and the home of their forefathers, since forever. They thought they could never be asked to leave their homes — yes, their permission had to be sought before expecting them to leave their home. But on the night of 18 August 1947, they realized that they were after all not being asked to leave their home but were being ushered out. Faced by death, they had to leave their home and run to Delhi. They had nothing in Delhi, but had come with their wives and many toddlers. The two brothers. They could either become labourers in the many mills and offices and businesses, shops that were teeming in the city, or decide to be their own masters. They chose. They would be their own masters. Either the perennial income and safety of the regularity of it, or heads held high with a story created by them and the pride of building up a house for their children, the pride of recreating the lost world and a home with a hope that they wouldn’t be ushered out of this one, and even if they were, they would know that they could do it again, and again, and this is something no government, no men at the top could ever take away from them. The power to create. Yes, that was their story.
They recreated the happiness and success in a different landscape, in a different milieu, as the ones their fathers and their fathers had created for them back home. They built with their own choices the world they had inhabited back there.
It hadn’t been easy though. The city was milling with millions of refugees from Pakistan, all of whom were fighting for survival and soon after, for success. But success belongs to some.