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Land of the Dead

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Have you ever listened to a maniacal laugh? Like Mark Hamill‘s when he portrays the Joker, except that the laugh I am talking about will never amuse you, but will cut through your spine with its icy chill and its razor sharp edge.

There’s a very peculiar feeling attached with being a Pakistani: you see it all. You grow up in this country — land of the pure — and the amount of purity that you see around you is simply tremendous. You see hate, violence, greed, corruption, restlessness, and death — all in their purest forms. And you see them all so many times that whenever you see them again, you nod to them in polite recognition and even smile at them. A smile, which doesn’t warm up your heart, but rather makes it hollow every time. And when your heart reaches the point where it can’t be more hollow, it stops. You cease to exist as a citizen of land of the pure, and start to live as a citizen of land of the dead.

And then something happens. Not very different from what has become a norm for the land of the dead, but the sudden shock of it tremors the very core of your (dead) existence. You stare at the headlines springing up all around the World Wide Web, and you switch from one television channel to another watching the screaming news. And then you see your fellow citizens — fellow deads — transform into zombies. You see them forming groups among themselves and you see them charging at other empty souls, sucking whatever life has left within them out of their bodies. Just like in a horror movie, except that a horror movie has background music and ends after 3 hours; land of the dead has background cries and there appears to be no end to it.

So you sit there and try to comprehend whatever that is happening, and then you realize that your mind has long ago given up on thinking. That you can’t do anything except sit in horror and disbelief at what your fellow zombies are doing to each other. And even though you want to smash the television screen when someone questions the stability of land of the pure, you simply change the channel because you now live in land of the dead. So what if this land of the dead was once land of the pure, you are a zombie now, with a hollow heart and an empty mind, and have nothing better to do except recruiting more zombies and raising hell, or otherwise sitting in your home feeling too numb with the utter atrocity of circumstances.

Which leaves you with just one, single thing: an icy, maniacal laugh.


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Beautiful Stranger

Dec 30, 2007 at 1:13 am



Jan 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Put in one word : My love for this country is going to drive me to senility.

Okay, so that was more than one word ! I guess I am losing it already !

PS: Good to see that you havent lost your touch ! I will be “gracing” you with my presence a lot more often now ! lol. Happy 2008 btw, hopefully this will be the year of change !


Jan 2, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Beautiful Stranger: Yes, that laugh makes one shudder as well…

Saady: You are not the only one, man. Every patriot is fearing the loss of their sanity.

And good to see you too! Happy new year to you as well.


Jan 2, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Great article man!

Here are my new year comments:

I am not a patriot, I have a green piece of paper that is keeping me here. I wake up each morning expecting something good might happen in this country. Every day is the worst day. And after each checkpoint (its easy recognizable with a kaboom) you think that things could not get any worse, but wait a new event explodes.

While the world is celebrating new year at the Time Square, we are hiding in our homes afraid that fellow zombies may hunt us down, or even worse kill us. Every day is the same. More sufferings, more pain and more agony.

I have never heard in the international news that something good has happened in land of the pure. Lets still hope that things get better!


Jan 2, 2008 at 11:04 pm

And yet in this land of the dead, hope lives in the hearts of many who have lost loved ones or who know the pain of losing a loved one. All is not lost.


Jan 3, 2008 at 10:58 am

Ehtisham: Thanks for liking it, and sharing your thoughts. But yes, hope is all that we’ve got. Right now, we can just sit and watch tail aur tail ki dhaar.

Hina: Yes, all is not lost. If only the zombies can realize that. *sigh*


Jan 16, 2008 at 10:21 pm

:( im not even numb yet! im jsut hoping.. hoping against hope for a change of tides.. is there a solution? pata nai :( ur post is so .. icy? it worked as the chill for my spine


Jan 22, 2008 at 7:47 pm

UD: As I said while replying to Ehtisham, hope is all that we’ve got… warm hope to escape the chill of uncertainty.


Jan 27, 2008 at 2:20 am

Chotey Bhai – I am glad you are not as much of a zombie as I am, and certainly not as much as you think you are.

The anger, the fury, the helplessness of it all has driven me to a point where I am not sure I should write anything. I used to think humor would save the day for me, but I have failed to see the humor in the farce that is being played out on our national stage.

What boils my blood most of all is this new breed of stinking corpses, not zombies, who are quick to cast a doubt on the stability and unity of the country whenever they find themselves in front of a voice recording device… be it a mike, or one of those vultures who feed on the zombies – the so called journalists.

It seems nothing qualifies for High treason in the land of the pure, certainly not talk of breaking the country. It seems we need more than hope. We need to breathe life into ourselves and do our bit in speaking out against this trespassing into the land of the pure of these corpses, vultures and zombies…

Hope alone fails to keep the venom out of me.


Feb 26, 2008 at 9:57 am

Its not the land of the dead. Eight very alive people have commented on this beautifully written peace… they commented because they feel, they see, they hope and they pray for this country.
What is lacking is the next step… translating feelings into actions. Refusing to give up on our country like we refuse to give up on our lives.
We will inshaAllah. I will, InshaAllah.
By the way, you write very well. Keep it up.
May Allah facilitate all that you want to do. Aameen.


Feb 26, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Bhaijan: If humor cannot save the day for a person like you, then it is surely wasted on a person like me. And, yes, I would agree to an extent that hope alone is not enough. But for many of us, hope is what will let us breathe some life into us — in fact, hope is the sign of life among many of us, however little that life may be.

If only we make the right decisions now. The time is right anyway.

Ayesha: Thank you for liking the post and for your dua. Yes, we will take the next steps, inshaAllah, and in the right direction too.

And welcome to Ulta Seedha. :)


Aug 29, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Brilliantly put ! :) .. Its literally a struggle to keep ur sanity in the middle of all the mayhem ! but O well that’s life !


Aug 29, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Thank you. :) And yes, that’s life, if we can call it that. Sigh.


Aug 31, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Saadat , one shouldnt be so hopeless am sure there is a lot more to come ahead inshallah . Every dark night only makes the morning sun shine brighter :) Be positive !!.. btw i dropped u an email I guess it must ve made its way to the spam ! so i ll jus say it here , thanks for all ur appreciations and i ll be glad if you subscribe to my blog feeds. Also I love your site lay out :) amazing !


Sep 1, 2008 at 10:49 am

I have received and replied to your email. Thank you for your kind words. :)


Sep 21, 2008 at 6:22 am

Darn, I didn’t read this before posting my comment on that other post.

So it IS about the Joker, eh.


Sep 21, 2008 at 6:33 am

Yes, Mahwash. All maniacal laughs are about The Joker.

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