FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Farewell to Wadi Bua

LARKANA.

My aunt and I had a complicated relationship. That is the truth, the sad truth. The last fifteen years were not one we spent as friends or as relatives, that is also the truth. But this week, I too want to remember her differently. I want to remember her differently because I must. I can’t lose faith in this country, my home. I can’t believe that it was for nothing, that violence in its purest form is so cruel and so unforgiving. I can’t accept that this is what we have come to. So, I must offer a farewell. One that is written in tears and anger but one that comes from a place far away, from the realm of memory and forgiving–a place where at another time, we might have all been safe. As a child, I used to call my aunt Wadi Bua, Sindhi for father’s older sister.

When I got the news, I was told that something had happened to Wadi Bua. It was an expression I hadn’t heard or used in a very long time, when I heard it said to me over the phone I remembered someone different.

We used to read children’s books together. We used to like exactly the same sweets–sugared chestnuts and candied apples. We used to get the same ear infections, ear infections that tortured us and plagued us throughout the years.

I have never before written an article that seemed so impossible. We were very different. Though people liked to compare us, almost instinctively, because well, they could. It is difficult for me to write about two people, one in the present tense and one in the past, at the same time.

Especially when one person’s passing makes the other one wonder whether there is a cusp to things and whether or not there really is a past and present to life.

I never agreed with her politics. I never did. I never agreed with those she kept around her, the political opportunists, hanger-ons, them. They repulse me.

I never agreed with her version of events. Never. But in death, in death perhaps there is a moment to call for calm. To say, enough. We have had enough. We cannot, and we will not, take anymore madness.

I mourn because my family has had enough. I mourn for Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Asifa. I mourn for them because I too lost a parent. I know what it feels like to be lost and left at sea, unanchored and afraid.

I mourn for the workers of the party, those who have been bereaved of their own loved ones in this tragedy.

When congregants gather in a church, temple, or mosque they offer prayers for those that reside beyond. The congregants sing to the heavens and they offer the divine their hymns of sadness and hope. There are no hymns consisting of frustration or anger–this too shall pass, they say, remember that. What hymns do we sing now?

In those hymns, there is hope encapsulated in the sadness. There is a lingering sense that after darkness a dawn will rise. What then do we have to be hopeful for? And how do we proceed to wake the dawn?

I have always been honest with you, I promised that to you at the beginning. Honestly, I am at a loss. I am compounded in a state of shock.

I am in shock because I have yet to bury a loved one who has died from natural causes. Four. That’s the number of family members, immediate family members, whom we have laid to rest, all victims of senseless, senseless killing.

I was born five years after my grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s assassination. I was born into the void of his absence and for my father, Murtaza, I was a new chance at life. I grew up hearing my grandfather’s speeches, watching him on old black and white video cassettes, enamoured at his every word. My father was a young man when his father was killed and it was something he carried with him every second, every minute for the rest of his life.

I was three when my uncle Shahnawaz was murdered. I remember Wadi Bua sitting with me and telling me stories while the rest of the family was with the police.

When I was fourteen, my life was ended. I lost my heart and soul, my father Murtaza. I am and have been since then a shell of the person I was. I suppose there are cusps in life, and thank god for that because that way we can stay in between.

And now at twenty five, Wadi. But this isn’t about me, it’s about those whom we have lost. It’s about the graveyard at Garhi Khuda Bux that is just too full.

I pray that this is the last, that from this moment onwards we will no longer have to bid farewell too quickly.

Wadi, farewell.

FATIMA BHUTTO is a Pakistani poet and writer. She is the daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, who was killed in 1996 in Karachi when his sister, Benazir, was prime minister.

 

 

More articles by:
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail