Tag Archives: human

Strawberry Fields

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ImageAnd in that void, I swayed. To the beauty of the moment that embraced me. The breeze of silent whispers that softly hit my drums like a soft love song sung behind closed doors and thick walls. And as I closed my eyes, and breathed stronger till my nose converged within itself, I let my worries out through a whiff of air that escaped my mouth. And I was there..

I walked through the garden, sunlit green. Rose kissed trees smiling at me, reaching out for an embrace.

‘Can you walk here to me?’, I asked.

And they swayed their head in melancholy. How unfair life is, isn’t it? To build a desire you simply can not please? Their roots held them back, so I could see. Like most of you, and I, him and she. So I walked to her, so tall and pink and green. And as I melted into the bark of the tree, her twiggy arms encircled me. And as I let go, all dusty and pink, she gave me a strawberry which made me think..

I wonder how she knew I wanted one, so juicy and sweet?

As I treaded on the infinite stone path that didn’t seem to end, I held the strawberry in my hand. And pondered if I hadn’t walked to the tree, if my desire to have one would be in vain? That would’ve been a shame..

So I looked at the vultures that orbited me, and I gulped down the berry before they could see.

My berry, my berry, all mine” was all I could think..

And as the berry struggled through my pipe, and bounced inside me, my vision became clearer and I could finally see. Did the sun just become brighter, or is it just me? I thought to myself..

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The sun indeed was livelier, the veins of the flowers pursed like a lady’s lips to kiss her beloved, the grass became younger than I last remembered..

It was a breakthrough, that much I could see. Closed doors opened, visions got clearer, things started to unravel.. And did life suddenly make more sense that it ever did to me?

And as I stared at the gold butterfly that sat on my nose, and flapped its wings to synchronize with my lashes, the voices called out to me.

Wake up, wake up, have you fallen asleep?’.

I felt a tug on my arm, though I could not see. And I reached out to the branch of the tree, to save me. The pull became stronger, and as I let out a scream.. The butterfly turned to dust, the tree fell apart, the sun deceased. The darkness sucked me in through a straw I didn’t fit in to, but such is darkness, and such it has always been..


 

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  Stepping into the Slums

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by Sufyan Alvi

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With her grandmother by her side, an innocent girl, Zakia, stared at me. The one-year-old had lost her mother shortly after she was born. She didn’t know of any life aside from that of the filthy slum she was born in, just outside of Johor town in Lahore.

As her grandmother described the ordeal that she had to go through just to get milk for the little girl, a rare occasion in a household such as this one, I couldn’t help feeling fortunate and guilty at the same time.

Zakia and her grandmother, regrettably, are not the only people struggling to make ends meet. A staggering 40 per cent of Pakistan’s population, in fact, lives under $2 a day, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Thus, approximately 67 million people in Pakistan are deprived of the basic necessities of life.

The sanitary conditions in these slums are appalling. People have dug trenches outside of their homes which are used as disposal grounds. In addition to being a breeding ground for diseases, these trenches emit a constant pungent odor. Moreover, it is common for a family of nine people to live under a tin roof in the meager space of 120 square feet.

As I talked to the resident of these slums, the failure of the government’s urban planning and lack of political will was a recurring theme in our conversations. It was blatantly evident that the youth of the slums, tiring of their desperate conditions, was turning to drugs, crime and alcohol as a means of escapism.
It is high time that the government realize that they cannot ignore the conditions of the people living in these slums any more. These issues must be urgently tackled at a national level, as no human being deserves to live like these people do.