By Syed M. Aslam
You flow in my veins, run in my arteries, live in my heart, streak through my eyes, reside in my brain and are always in my thought.
Let me borrow words from one of my most favorite song- Elvis Presley’s ‘You were always on my mind’: “May be I didn’t treat you/Quite as good as I should have/May be I didn’t love you/Quite as often as I should have/Little things I should have said and done/I just never took the time/You were always on my mind/You were always on my mind/May be I didn’t hold you/All those lonely, lonely times/And I guess I never told you/I’m so happy that you are mine/If I make you feel seconds best/I’m so sorry I was blind/You were always on my mind/Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died/Give me, give me one more chance/To keep you satisfied, satisfied.”
Romantic, and haunting, as it is the song somehow has an altogether different meaning for me- You who made it possible for me to born in a free country instead of the one where snakes, monkeys, bulls, and stones are gods.
Your Founding Fathers were as selfless, incorruptible and morally upright as they come. They could had never dream that you- the Land of Pure- could ever be splashed with so much dirt and muck of exploitation, corruption, injustice, inequality. If they would have they, I believe your founding fathers would not had wasted a second to shelf the idea off to sacrifice everything they had to bring you out in the world as a new country against all odds.
Remember, when one of your Founding Fathers and the first Prime Minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in cold blood at the start of his speech on October 16, 1951 all that he had in his holed pocket were few annas or quarter of today’s rupee or one cent. And he neither had any money in the bank nor any assets or movable or immovable properties. Today, the majority of so-called public servants of Grade 17 to 22 have massive monies stashed in banks, not only local but also foreign.
Over the years, first secretly, then openly and now menacingly you have been systematically deprived of all of my finest qualities- moral uprightness, selflessness, caring, premise of equality and justice, integrity, independence, sovereignty, brotherhood, etc. Today the successive unscrupulous ruling elite classes have turned your moon-like-face into a skull posted on high-voltage power transmission lines as a sign of deadly warning.
I have to get all this load, this heavy burden off my chest so as not to die of suffocation- both mental and physical. Of course, you remain as pure, as unblemished, as moon-like beautiful, as innocent, as caring as ever though wearing a man-made ghostly filth.
Somerset Maugham said that, “if a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.”
Happiest 69th Birthday to you all the same. Like tens of millions of your sons and daughters I take pride in saying that “You’ve always on my mind”. I hope you are magnanimous enough to forgive our sins and crimes of omission and commission because I know that there is a silent majority among us which is ever ready to respond to your beck and call with all its blood, flesh, physical and mental prowess.
Happy 69th Birthday and many, many, many happy returns of the day every year on August 14.
Romantic, and haunting, as it
is the song somehow has an altogether different meaning for me- You who made it possible for me to born in a free country instead of the one where snakes, monkeys, bulls, and stones are gods.