Friday, December 28, 2007

In Bombay post Bhutto

So, I am out of SL for a little bit and came to India for the 'holidays'. Nice to be back after precisely two years and I went to Delhi first and you know what? I need to write about Bhutto first before I go any further. It seems disrespectful that someone whose power you lived under and was the only woman leader to give birth in office and the first woman leader of a modern Muslim state (and no, I am not going to talk about what exactly a modern Muslim state is given what Pakistan is today), but anyhow, I should say something.

I found out two hours after the fact even though I am in a neighboring country which seems to be in a state of shock and people are glued to the TV wherever you go, which is interesting. Just a few hours ago I had sent a text message to a friend of a friend and describe myself as not quite Pakistani, not quite Indian and reluctantly American. I said that last bit to be cute since I am anything but a reluctant American...I very much love being American...however, given the above description, what am I supposed to feel right now? I feel shock but then again, so do tons of people. It is shocking. An assassination is a shocking absolutely horrible thing. I was told by my friend Ishita who I was with in Delhi and I went over to the DNA (daily news and analysis) office where my friend works and people were kind of walking around stunned but working since this was a newsroom and this was news and it had to be printed and a stories and information needed to get out.

The photos are from today's DNA...I was there when they were putting together the two page spread by the way. Not all the photos since I am stealing internet and don't want to chance losing the connection again.

We didn't vote for her when we lived there and I have written about elections in Pakistan before and I would have been disappointed had she won the election in Jan. I say this from a completely uninformed POV since my Pakistani politics are only informed by my parents and my father only just stopped voting Republican. It's not even like any great realization has come to me that I know nothing about Pakistani politics....I already knew that about myself and was not sufficiently bothered to amend it. My Pakistani politics are still informed by my visits to NJ here my parents sit and watch GEO and ARY satellite tv and when they talk during a program or at the newscaster or to me as a willing but silent audience, I pick up bits and pieces.

People are going to sk me about this when I go back to SL the same way they asked me about Mohsin Hamid's book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist or when The Namesake came out as a movie and since I am South Asian I should have not only seen it but have some sort of a definitive opinion on it.

I don't. The only opinion I have is that assassinating someone is an awful thing to do and it is a high price to pay for power. But again, I think people in power know that.

Pakistan is still burning and as my mom said last night when I spoke to her, when people are happy, they burn stuff, when people are mad, they burn stuff.

I feel so far removed from the whole thing even though it is LIVE around me all the time.

I am not quite Pakistani, not quite Indian (though in the neighborhood RIGHT NOW where my mom was born) and very much American...

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