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Opinion: Youm e Shuhada; for Them or for Us

Posted by yourpakistan on May 1, 2013

Pakistan Army Youm e Shuhada

by Ambreen Ejaz

“Do you know what day it is today?”

Someone remembers, I smiled and thought to myself.

“Yes, today is your favorite actor’s birthday.”

The smile vanished from my face. I sighed. The two girls have gone away chatting and jogging. I’m sitting on the bench after my morning walk and listening to all the teenagers passing by. Their talks were pretty much the same and none of them remembers, or maybe none of them knows that it’s Youm-e-Shuhada today. Disappointed, I stand up and start walking towards the exit.

When I came here this morning, I was young but now going back, I feel like I have become old in just 10 minutes of listening to the daily chit chat of our youth. Sadness has engulfed me. A nation that doesn’t remember its heroes, doesn’t honour them; doesn’t deserve them. How can we not be grateful to those who didn’t think twice before leaving their families for us, who gave their lives so happily that even death was astonished? How will we face them on the Day of Judgment, if we are not honouring their memories in this life?

“Excuse me?”Someone breaks my train of thought. In front of me is a beautiful kid of 9-10 years on a cycle and I’m standing in his way. He’s wearing a Pakistani flag’s badge. I smile at him and ask him why he’s wearing it today. He answers excitedly, “Don’t you know? It’s Youm-e-Shuhada today.” Saying this he leaves and I keep standing there. I suddenly remember the words of the 1965 war’s hero that I read somewhere long ago. “Pakistan is our nation, we shall fight for it not once but a hundred times if need be, and we will not be doing anyone a favour. One, who protects the life of his own Mother, does not do his mother a favour, but only himself.” And these words had answered every question of mine. I knew what I had to do.

I drove towards Yadgaar-e-Shuhada. I had bought flowers on my way. By the time I reached there, the weather had turned very pleasant. I had realized that our heroes, although they deserve it all, don’t want our praises and love. They are above it all. But just like they did it for honour, loving them is an honour for us, not a compulsion or duty. Today, if someone like that kid is remembering them; they are honouring themselves with the love of such pure chosen people who make the heavens and the earth proud of them. It starts raining as if the clouds are crying with tears of joy and pride for these sons. Unintentionally, my hand rises to my temple and I salute them, “Salam Shuhada, thank you for your sacrifices. It’s an honour and privilege to love you.”

Ambreen Ezaj is Psychologist in making. A proud Muslim and Pakistani. She can be reached on twitter @ProudPakistanii and you can also find her at her Blog


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