TIME TO CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE
t's that time of the year again, and like every year, celebrations are beginning to sprout throughout streets, homes and workplaces in Pakistan gearing up for the big day. Everything we love about being Pakistani is at its peak, for there is excitement absolutely everywhere. Flags flying high on every nook and cranny, and kids running around with their faces painted green are a common sight these days. Our favourite celebrities are either seen posting photos or on billboards, while new versions of the national anthem are to be heard on television. Every commercial on TV shows the Pakistani flag flying in the background or strategically placed on products. Wherever you go, people are smiling and their hearts are screaming Pakistan Zindabad!
It's our day, the people's day. If you are a Pakistani abroad, related to a Pakistani or if you are living here in Pakistan, you get to rejoice and for this one day you are ought to be grateful for everything you have. The arrival of this day makes every Pakistani shout out loud and tell the world about the great things that really define us. It's the time to forget our faults and compliment our strengths, and celebrate everything that is unique to us. It's one of the most exciting weeks for our country because we all come together and wish Pakistan ‘Happy birthday’.
Everything that we face on a daily basis stands still and we reflect on why we love being a part of this great country. This is a day for not only rejoicing our independent nation, it is a day of hope. We put aside all our moments of grief and look towards the future. It represents hope for our future; a hope that our children will grow up and walk proudly knowing where we have come from and what we are today. We are a nation more informed, more aware, we know what we can tolerate and what we stand for. This day means a great deal for every man, woman and child living under that majestic moon and star because it's something real and ours.
I was married to Wasim a few days before August 14, 2013 and when we arrived back in Karachi the news had just broke. We travelled home from the airport and I had never experienced Independence Day in Pakistan before. Apart from the fact that I had just married the love of my life, seeing the smiles of people riding alongside our car, with flags on bikes and faces painted green and white, cheering for us, cheering for the country and cheering because they were proud of the nation. This was an incredible feeling for me. The happiness I saw on people's faces was intoxicating. I couldn't get enough of it and immediately knew that I had made the right decision, which will indeed, become one of the best decisions of my life. I was not only married to an amazing man but had the privilege to become a part of an extraordinary country. No matter what issues people are going through in life, the Independence Day gives them a chance to put their problems aside and appreciate what they are blessed with. This is truly a remarkable day.
Four years have passed since I first spent Independence Day here and each year it reminds me of my home in Australia. Like Australia, we are also a young country so celebrations are at its peak. Australia is a country growing with unity and solidarity, and is learning to depend on one another. Many people in Australia have come from all over the world to create a life down under and instead of living separately we are integrating peacefully and learning to become one big country full of so many wonderful cultures – leading alongside and depending on each other to grow and flourish. It's a glorious time to belong to two maturing countries and to witness, and be a part such humanity and amalgamation. Similarly, in Pakistan, instead of dividing ourselves between provinces, we unite and celebrate beneath one flag, as one amazing country, which feels awesome.
I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend. I would urge anyone related to or familiar with a Pakistani to please join in the festivities with us, because today is our day and we invite the world to celebrate with us, no matter where you are in the world on 14th of August.
Happy Birthday Pakistan!