Before Ramazan started, a friend of mine and I went to watch a movie in one of the oldest cinemas in town. Since we are so used to the multiplex culture now, we almost forgot that the old cinema houses still play national anthem in the beginning of the movie.
Ok, for a little background, I will share that I havenít been very patriotic lately. Never really wanted to stay in this country and always looking for opportunities to fly away. Well, my friend on the other hand is extremely patriotic, always labelling me as a hypocrite who lives on the pure soil and talks about running away. To me thatís not hypocrisy, just lack of opportunity. I always admired her for her love and passion. But that day when they announced they were going to play the national anthem on screen, none from the packed cinema house stood up for it except for this unpatriotic hypocrite. I looked at my friend and asked her to stand up in honour of the anthem, and she asked me to sit down instead as it was embarrassing her. To make matters worse, she said ďwaise to mulk se bhaagne ki pari rehti hai ab national anthem ki badi izzat ho rahi haiĒ. And I thought my act should go in my favour. Apparently, it didnít!
After the second line, a couple of more people stood up. Then more. And more. But my friend remained seated. Just as it ended and I sunk back to my seat I was both confused and amazed. I asked her what kind of love and respect was it was if you couldnít even stand for your national anthem. To me, itís not just about standing in its honour but itís the sense of ownership and pride you have for your country and everything associated with it. It may sound very shallow coming from me as I have already mentioned my not-so-patriotic nature but then I realised maybe I am just a coward. I just want to run away from the ill happenings around without confronting them. Maybe I am too lazy to stand up and do something about it myself. Maybe I am not so ungrateful after all. Maybe I am just hurt to see the situation of my country rather than being frustrated about it.
Having said that, letís establish the difference between hurt and frustration. You get frustrated when you are unable to do something. To achieve something. When you think the goal is too near, but you canít reach out to it. While, hurt is when things go wrong and you are deeply grieved by it. It gives you pain. Immense pain. The situation of our country gives us immense pain. Yes, we tend to get frustrated at times but actually itís the pain that leads us to hopelessness.
There is a conflict going on within an individual. A fight between right and wrong. We know whatís right but donít have the courage to do it since majority around us is not doing it. A simple question... would you rather do something wrong because everyone is doing it or be brave and take the first step towards betterment because YOU believe in it? It may just surprise you that most of the people were just waiting for your one step to be followed. I would mention my example from the cinema hall again. Just when someone stood up for the honour of the country, people followed. The first step is always difficult but the rest of the journey becomes smooth when you see the trail you have set for the others behind you.
There is no point in waiting for something or someone because itís already here. Itís in you. You are the solution to all your problems. If not, then very sorry to say that you are the part of the problem. Itís as simple as that. Take your pick; problem or solution. All you have to do is follow the basic steps... realisation, action and resolution. By no means, does it mean we will start living in heaven within days... but, by putting in your bit into the process of progress, and most importantly by keeping the hope alive, you will definitely see a shift. Even if that shift is in perceptions or attitudes. Donít give up!