This post is mostly me feeling bad for myself after seeing that my brother still has our old national flags and badges in a locket box which he opened yeserday (it being 1st August) and now I am trying to prove that I was not always a soulless person that I am today.
Hope you will agree that we all had a very patriotic childhood and will relate to the experience. I grew up in a pro-army family and being pro-army Pakistani means Pakistan before everything. I remember when we were kids my brother and I used to wait for Independence Day, Defense Day and Pakistan Resolution Day as much as we did for any of the Eids. We were about 5 when we bought a tape recorder. We used to love this show on PTV “Aik Parchum Kay Neechay” that played national songs on pouplar demand. People could call and request for a song. We recorded dozens of songs on top of the cassettes our cousins stole from uncle’s collection. Every 14th August, 6th September and 23 March we and our cousins used to get on the top of our village house and play these songs. There was no way to reach the top so we used to lift an iron ladder which was a little more than two stories tall. We still have it and a grown man can barely lift it but somehow me, my brother and three little girls (4yo cousin and 3yo cousin and sister) were able to lift it and place it right. National flags were seperate for both houses so it was a competition but rest of the decoration and celebration was done at our house. Our father was cool to buy us these thing and he was the reason we considered it an eid like event. Our uncle used to give us 10Rs each which was plenty for a non-eidi at that time. In the moring we would put on white sharwar-kamiz and our sister and cousins would borrow green dupattas for the day from mother or aunts. Put on our badges and watch the changing of guards or the air show on TV. Then we would sing national anthum in front of the flag on the top roof. There were speeches by each, which at that time we all used to love because our aunt was also our english teacher at school and she pushed us to take part in every speech/debate competition very early. Rest of the day was spent playing with firecrackers or watching TV specials that PTV used to make for such occasions back in the days. Like tele films on the lives of our war heroes on 6th september or any historic short drama series about making of Pakistan that was played in parts whole day. And we were not the only ones. All our friends were doing the same and when we return to school everybody wanted to prove they had the best celebration. But all that is in the past now. The generation that came a decade after us think of these days as a just a holiday and we are to blame.
My brother tries to make sure our cousins grow up in the same patriotic enviroment that we grew in, specially when our media is always talking about the negativities of our country in the name of true journalism. We have 11 cousins below age 5 who all come to village during holidays like we do because our grand parents live there. Now the ceremony is short but he gives everyone badges and they sing national anthum in front of the flag. No one is particularly excited except for the excitement of getting shiney badges. Also there are no patriotic TV specials anymore although now we have 20 Pakistani tv channels. The flag is the only tradition we are still keeping and the least I can do this August is buy a bigger flag and add my share to his collection, which I will be doing today.
Later then. Love Pakistan and remember, no matter how bad the times may seem and no matter what happens Pakistan is our home and there is no power except Allah that can undo Pakistan. May Allah lead it to greatness and it breaths till eternity.