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:

December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail