Anna Nalick ♫ Wreck of the day

(this was my initial reaction to the death of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007)

To see bodies lining streets. Those streets.
What kind of cause is this; politics? Bhutto, breed of corruption.
That’s not a cause to die for. A cause of death, maybe.

Blood and bodies. My mind is on turbo, what street is that? Shahr-e-faisal? The street where the races happened? The back roads where we ate ice cream in the middle of the night?

Today, arresting prominence.  Where yesterday we flew kites. How can one city support such multi faceted memories?  The unreality and the reality are sinking in through my eyes at the same rate my tears sink in to my shirt and my cheeks. I’m glad no one in the living room is looking around. Slip away into the corners of this tiny apartment. Steal away a moment to breathe and heave out a sobbing sigh as it rises in her throat.

No. no. no.
That’s my city.
Those are my streets.
That’s my home.

“It hurts. My heart actually hurts.” She cries amid angry tears mixing with hysterical laughter. As she paces madly the expanse of her room, in the dark. Stumbling over her own feet, raising her voice, “Have I ever even mourned for anything in my life like this?”[ever mourned a life like this? when i realize the city is living, alive inside me and outside me] And finally she buckles down to her knees and rests her head in her hands. Pushing curls back as they roll over her shoulders, she incessantly rubs her forehead against her hands as if to try and generate an answer to this riddle of the future through friction. Physics. No, this cause is not physical. It’s chemical, irreversible. Chemicals; burning cars on the streets and corners. Burning validity of all emotion to ash through violence.

Karachi is known for its wind. Close to the sea, a relieving breeze. A reliving breeze. One that I missed for a whole decade. But, now that I know it, I know that breeze again. It taught me how to open my heart again. Those winds entered my soul. I know that breeze. It fans flames of the heart, not the ones I see on the Television.

My country. My city. My family. Scattered to no end in this scheme. Sing me an anthem that will tell me not to come. Let your sands soak the blood. Let your sands know no vengeance. Let them learn forgiveness, as they forgave me for being absent for so long.

Karachi. Tell me you’ll make it through. Tell me you’ll be the same one day. Tell me you will lull my heart to sleep once more with the rhythm of your winds Karachi. Not with the ricochet of bullets. Speak to me, like your streets did when I walked them. Speak to me in silence. Hush hush, I know traitors tread your faithful streets.

Hush hush. I’m coming.
Hush hush the tears. There are many more to come.


  1. Although this post deals with an incident which took place nearly two years ago, but the scars of which are still all across the city, and memories of the citizens.

    The last paragraph, however, is jaw-droppingly good for its impact and the emotions it evokes. Wonderful piece.

    p.s: Benazir died in December 2007.

  2. the scars will be fresh til we see, create, feel real change.
    thanks, i really appreciate the feedback (and the correction.)