Block Breaker

Most of us Pakistani IT professionals spend our lives shielded from the ‘system’. Yes, we sometimes come out of our shells and protest against whatever we believe we have to demonstrate against – and yes, we do write blog posts and opine and criticize and debate, and sometimes attend the feel-good TEDx talks to ‘spread ideas’ – but living in front of our computers, we rarely get a first-hand experience of the system that we loathe (but one that we have to live in).

I was forced to get a taste of the ‘system’ last April, when my wife and son were in a near-fatal car accident. Their car was hit by a police van on their way to school.

Perhaps it was due to the traffic signal, which was not working due to load-shedding, or maybe it was due to the police van travelling off its official route for some personal business, and therefore, the (teenage looking) driver was speeding to make up for the lost time – whatever the reason, I came to know about it when a military police guy called my home to inform me that my family has been in an accident, and has been taken to the CMH.

Needless to say, the next few weeks totally changed my perspective on life in Pakistan – and to be honest, the shock and disgust at the dismal state of our legal and health system is the major reason that I have not been able to write a blog post for more than one year.

The accident also served as a catalyst and helped me move from the big-city life of Lahore to the small-town life of Abbottabad (moving out of the country still doesn’t sound right to me) – but last year’s experience still come back to haunt me whenever I look at the permanent scar on my son’s face, who had to undergo emergency plastic surgery – I hope chicks still dig scars in ten years.

I did not intend to write about it at all, but the images won’t let me move on until I get them out of the system, so my next few posts will be about the Pakistanis running our hospitals, police stations, courts and streets. What frightens me is that no martial law, democratic election or long march will change these people. Like viruses, they are microscopic enough to pass unnoticed, and yet they are usually the ones responsible for the fatal diseases that this country is suffering from.

5 thoughts on “Block Breaker”

  1. Aoa Sohaib,

    I think you should write frequently. 🙂

    So, why Abbtaba? I can see you moved there because of the accident. But what else made you to decide the migration?

    I am from Lahore and and an Internet Entrepreneur.

    Sometimes it’s difficult to live in Lahore (this happens when I get out, which is not very often 😉 ), all the traffic, pollution and the “System of Elites”

    Waiting for you post/comment with more details on your migration to Abbtabad.

  2. I’m sorry to read about the your son and wife’s accident and how your son was scarred. I do hope that it fades and becomes unnoticeable over time. I am glad to know that both survived.

    St. Petersburg, FL, USA

  3. I can fully understand your pain. It makes me very depressed to think that what kind of people are running a country, starting from top to bottom, from President, PM, Ministers to a doctor in a hospital and police man in a police station. what has gone wrong? are we victim of our own religion, culture, society or is there something genetically wrong?

  4. I have to agree with you on some things but what i would like to know for sure is osama really dead ? I know that dna can be altered & who can we really trust now days ? Can we really believe our government ?

  5. Aoa Sohaid
    I feel your story about the accident. The thing is, it is not limited to Pakistan. It is everywhere. For example, in South Africa where I live, you have to buy your way out of the legal and healthcare nightmare of citizenship. If you can’t, your trouble will never end. Similarly, and because almost nobody tries to comply in an honest way, regulations have become unrealistically cumbersome, almost impossible to negotiate, in almost every way imaginable. Government and corporations try to hide the fast rising real cost of living that is (like it has already elsewhere) about to drive the masses to the streets in desperation. I’ve even seen it happen in Missouri and elsewhere in the supposedly rich USA. The ‘System of Elites’ is a self-propagating world-wide growing phenomenon.

    So I find this more interesting than your world-famous experience. Thanks for telling the truth. It helps to know we’re not alone.

    I cannot dare to use my real name in any kind of criticism against my supposedly democratic government.

    Peace be with you and your family

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