The misfortune of Pakistan is that its tragedy appears as farce.
Over the past few years, our screens have been awash with images both gruesome and depressing in equal measures. And they have been punctually followed by television anchors and television politicians blaming India, Israel, CIA, NASA and any other bogeyman you can think of – as long as the perpetrators weren’t one of us.
Each time, amidst the despondency, I would find myself laughing at such incredulous claims. When, I would wonder, will such people face up to the brazen facts?
Over the past 48 hours, one of the greatest passions of my life has witnessed a sickening turn of events.
And since then, people have asked one of Pakistan’s largest religious communities – the cricket-fans – when will you face up to the facts?
After Bangalore 1996, Lord’s 1999, after the Qayyum Report and the player revolts, after everything that has happened, how could we still be shocked?
After all, for the most part, the players have always been corrupt, the board has always been dysfunctional, the system has been abused to the point where it is nothing but abusive – how did we not see this coming?
As I asked myself this question, I realised I was no better than those TV hosts and politicians I mocked – just like them I had always found someone else to blame.
It’s the unfair pay-cheques, the IPL bans, the lack of education, the War on Terror, the colonial prejudices.
So I decided to blame the greedy players, the short-sighted administrators, the extractive system.
But love has this way of denuding you and your rationalisations. And my love of cricket asked me – when will you blame yourself?
Myself? How am I to blame?
I whizz past red lights while forwarding a text about the laws broken by the government.
I feast myself silly on all-you-can-eat-buffets, and yet I cringe at the greed of those boys.
I glower at my sister’s slipping dupatta as I leave for a night out, and still its the hypocrisy of Amir’s sajda at Lord’s that rankles me.
I shame Hollywood celebrities for their apathy towards the floods, when no amount of disasters slices me as much as a bunch of young men dropping some catches.
I curse the bus-driver when his swerving makes me miss my turn for the mosque.
I am someone who is in denial of the wrongs I commit.
I must be someone who is the change I wish to see.
This article was published on The Dawn Blog.