I have been here for exactly a week, today, and over this span of seven days, Lahore has been rocked with two bombing events.
And frankly speaking, I am not one bit afraid.
It is ironic when I think about it, that people sitting miles away from an explosion feel so much for the innocent victims who have lost their lives, and for their direct kin who will never get to see them again; when in Lahore, as long as you didn’t lose someone in the blast, no body cares who died or who did not.
It is all a big meh here, really.
Each area has turned into a city, with invisible walls cordoning it from the outside world. What happens in that area, stays specific to it and its inhabitants.
Yes, there will be the occasional remembrance days to pay tribute to all those who left this planet, but that is nothing more than a day off to people who were not involved in the tragedy themselves.
It is quite ironic, again when I think about it, that expatriates cannot even imagine spending a single day in this country, giving it up for that safe, secure haven with a robust infrastructure, despite growing up in Pakistan.
It is ironic because, give every bombing a few days, and it becomes the past...
Over the years, this nation has grown accustomed to a lot of things: the heat with soaring temperatures; change in political scenarios, with the rise and fall of one political party after another; periods of blackouts with extreme schedules of load-shedding...
But most importantly, I believe this country has grown accustomed to bombings. Especially.
I remember referring to the people of this nation as fools who never learn their lesson, when a day after suicide bombings in one bazaar, they teem into another, as if nothing ever happened.
There are people out there who call Pakistanis all sorts of things, which quite frankly are all true, too: filthy, lazy, illiterate, thieves, naïve and worst of all, terrorists.
But, I believe, beyond all that, before all that, this country has raised people who are fearless. Persistent too, by all means, but fearless more.
They steal fearlessly; bare their bodies fearlessly; kill fearlessly; lie fearlessly; allow one wrong decision to rule out another wrong one, fearlessly...
From Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's historic tearing of the papers in the Security Council, to the killing of his daughter several decades later...this nation fears no one, not even God, sometimes.
And it is with this lack of fear that Pakistanis tread through this hell of a city, breathing in smoke, fire and anguish day after day after day.