Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We want Change! Really?

Change. The Change that has caught up with everyone in Pakistan has become a popular adage among masses of all classes and ages. The word 'Change' hasn't been this popular since the US election 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama had promised for a Change while campaigning for his Presidential election. His Change policy was to undo all the policies of the previous administration, which had adversely changed America's economic outlook. Although if we are honest, his promised Change hasn't even been worth a five rupees spare change, but our Pakistani version of 'Change' is distinctively peculiar – much like us. We are not looking to undo the follies (read: monumental blunders) of past administrations and governments that has brought us to this situation, but the habits we've had for the last 65 years now as a nation because no one cared about it. And as the trumpeting for a Change bellow louder in Pakistan, ask this, rather, funny question to yourself, are we really ready for a change?

Are we? If the Change comes – and we are talking about a complete change – then we are no longer going to be using our pawwa (source) in a government office to get our work done quicker, no matter if we rode to the office in a swanky car from a posh area of the city. We will have to queue up in the same line and patiently wait for our turn so as to avoid ourselves and our reference being remembered in golden words by those queued up in the line.

A change would also mean a change in the way we drive our car, and if any one of us is under 18 then in that case, not at all. It won't help if your mother's better half is a top-notch big shot anywhere in the world. If anything, one would expect a stiffer punishment for those “barre baap ki aulad” (rich father's child) who knew everything, yet acted like illiterates.

On the topic of driving and cars, probably we might experience a complete revolution in the way our traffic operates. We won't be allowed to jump red lights as we do more often than not, or otherwise mamu (traffic constable) may want to have a word or two with us and make us a little poorer. Come to think of it, we can't take the mamu lightly like he is our underwear. We won't be able to drive on roads like it’s our play-thing, so we will have to drive much like what we see in Europe where we will have to maintain lane discipline, changing lanes with indicators and give respect to all road-users. In short, not driving like lunatics. There is also a point that we won't be allowed to park our cars in a space that isn't big enough for even a motorcycle to fit in. We'd advice you to go to those popular video sites and search how people in civilised world drive cars. It may be difficult to learn, but negligence would definitely cost us dearly.

It can be anticipated that in the wake of a massive sweeping changes there are a few liberties that will (thankfully) be lost that we are enjoying now or have been since we understood them as our liberty without anyone stopping us with a fear that we may be the President of Pakistan. To name a few like throwing anything, anywhere and at any given time as if our streets and cities are a big waste disposal unit. A used tissue or an empty beverage can or a smoked cigarette, everything will need to stay with us until and unless we spot a proper dust-bin to dispose off our litter. One can also expect others coming and asking us to pick up our litter, making it a red-face moment for us. And if the polite request to not litter turns into a heated argument, then do expect him/her to take us to court for such an act because our judicial system is now azaad (free). It would also become a complete No-No in Pakistan as we'd be admonished to give up the art of being a javelin-thrower via mouth while having our betel leaves and other tobacco derivatives because, honestly, it isn't exactly an art to be proud of.

Smoking reminds me, that smokers will probably have some problems. As change approaches Pakistani shores, smoking in public places will face outright restrictions for not only puffing alone but also providing an opportunity to avail a free service to others on your money. The smokers will be segregated from the rest so that the smokers can enjoy a nice smoke bought from their hard-earned money, while others get to keep their lungs.

We've heard numerous stories of candidates at board exam level cheating and mingling in the examination hall, thanks to those kindhearted invigilators who didn't care if the world came to its end. Some of these invigilators are more kind and gentle than our moms as they would even allow our cousin or friend to appear for a paper we didn't wish to sit in for, in exchange of a few blue tone notes. The Change tsunami will bring the education system under the scanner and we can all say good-bye to cheating. So we better start working hard for the exams because bad old days of peeking and poking our clever friends in the examination or palm-greasing will be a thing of past.

Gone will be the days when there was a nature's call and the poor victim made a dash for a deserted corner of a wall, that clearly states not to enhance its glory, to free himself of the boiling pressure. A human is a social animal and our people seem to have taken the word “animal” rather too seriously.

It would be unfortunate for some when a Change arrives in Pakistan because some of us would be pushed into medieval times as Electricity Authorities may possibly cut all those illegal, yet mind-numbing, wiring connected to our houses taken from public-poles considering it as our right, being free citizens of the democratic Pakistan. That would definitely be switching ill-fated ones off to a time of our great-grandparents but who knows the electricity authorities may be so impressed with the handy work with electric wires that they may offer a job of such a nature. Think positive!

It’s a positive change that we have aspired for, therefore all the changes we want to see are positive for us, for the society and for our cash-strapped country. Natural spring washing walls and driving like a horse having his bottom being rubbed by red-chilli can barely accentuate the progress we have made as a nation. It's much better that before this piece of land we call home starts playing disastrous jokes with us, we start to take it seriously.

Having said all of that, we are interested in knowing what is that one thing you want to see changed in your country that you notice every day and feel like spewing blood -  in anger or disgust - upon seeing it?

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