Saturday, August 22, 2015

Why you but not us?

Thanks Brandon Stanton and Humans of New York for writing about my people, my Pakistani People

Dear Brandon,
I have enjoyed reading and looking at the "common man and woman" in Pakistan through the lens of your camera . A Salute to you who travelled to Pakistan and captured its beauty, it's warmth and it's hospitality by taking images .......images worth a hundred words.....a story associated with every face.

I wonder why an "outsider" had to go to capture all that , why can't we? we who belong to that country? Those who have Pakistani blood running in their veins?

Maybe because we are the
"hypocrates" , maybe we just accept what the western media says about Pakistan. Maybe because we have stopped caring about our birthplace!
It's not that Pakistan has ditched us but we have ditched it.

Yes our trips to Pakistan are not that often anymore, we are more concerned about the heat and the " hungamas" than visiting our old sick parents. We tend to focus on searching the internet for designer Pakistani outfits rather than actually visiting our birthplace.

Yes we write paragraphs after paragraphs criticizing the latest season of TV serial Homeland for not portraying the image of Pakistan correctly but are we really promoting the true image of Pakistan to our children and our " Gora friends"?

Thanks Brandon for sharing the stories of the silent warriors, neighborhood cricket teams,hard working fathers and mothers trying to give their kids all that they never had, arcade owner from Lyari who runs a social hangout for the children, critically ill patients, true love stories of husbands and wives taking care of each other's in sickness and in health.

Actually news media has infused images of corrupt politicians and radical religious leaders in our minds which deviates us from looking at the big picture........that of the hundreds of loving and caring Pakistanis. Yes there is violence in Pakistan, yes the law and order situation is deteriorating every day and it’s not that the reports of violence are false. But they are only a small part of the big truth. There’s so much more in Pakistan much more " good life"!

I don't know about how much warmth you felt during your recent trip. But I can tell you it's a place where parents and grandparents pray for the security of their children and grandchildren every day, where mothers and aunts spend hours in the heat to cook your favorite food. Where brothers take days off from work to drive you all over town for sight seeing and shopping. Where sisters spend hours to bargain with shop keepers so you can save some money. It's a place where friends of friends and relatives of relatives are also treated like your own.

Thanks for capturing that twinkle in the eyes and the the gratitude in every smile.

To you Brandon " thank you " for making me believe in my birthplace once more, for all the heartwarming stories. and hopefully next time you will be accompanied by many individual who once belonged to Pakistan.........

take care,

Almas Akhtar