Tales of Tragedy
On the morning of 8th October, 2005 the 7.6 magnitude earthquake had rocked Pakistan. Soon after, Fatima Bhutto left the comfort of her Karachi mansion and visited the affected areas. She visited the hospital in Islamabad, where children were being treated mentally and physically. She spoke with them, spent time with them and then compiled a book about the valor and resilience of those survivors who had lost their entire families.
I wish, I too could write such tales but all I know is that the entire Peshawar wears deserted look – the look of mourning – these days, markets are shut and even fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce in our area. The battered victims are being treated – still many are serious and amid all that chaos several people are in search of their loved ones who have gone missing since the blast. They shuttle between the hospitals, morgues and the blast site but there is no word of their loved ones. Many are left with the last bits of cell phone conversations that they had had with their relatives now haunt them day and night.
The fact is that their loved ones might have been blown to pieces that the rescue workers have been collecting in sacks and burying loads of them without the possibility of conduction DNA test ever.
That is a sheer tragedy!
I came to know of certain stories that are tragic, poignant and heart-rending.
The father of our neighbor’s friend
He had a shop in that market. Somehow he survived and was helping others when one of the buildings collapsed. He buried alive under the debris and lost his life.
His elder married brother would sell artificial jewelry on the cart. That fateful day his younger brother, the student of 7th standard, too accompanied him since he was home due to the closure of schools. Both of them died on the spot. When their other brother, Salah-ud-Din saw the dead bodies he lost his senses. He jumped into the canal saying he can still see his brothers and that they are alive.
Young electrician from Karachi
A young electrician who used to work in Karachi was on leave. He was shopping for his wedding in the market when the bomb struck and he lost his life.
There are too many other stories of tragedy where the children lost their parents and especially mothers, sisters their brothers and parents lost their kids. But it is difficult to pen them down. The more you listen or read such tales, the more you feel being plunged into an abyss of darkness and hopelessness. All we can do is to pray in such trying times.