I’m rich, I’m privileged, I’m informed – am I safe?

Published: December 12, 2012

When my bubble bursts, I find myself in a sea of discomforting privilege. I suddenly realise that in certain power dynamics such as master-servant, the reality is more like master-slave. DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

I guess you could call me one of the 1%.

No one ever disputes that Pakistan is an extremely polarised society, but I think we often forget how polarised it is, because we all live in, well, bubbles.

These bubbles are made up of all the assumptions we hold dear, from the mundane “I am a good husband and brother” all the way to the abstract “My world view is the correct world view”.

Most of the time, I live happily in my bubble, bouncing off other people and life events with the comforting certainty a bubble brings. But then sometimes, very rarely, but sometimes – bubbles pop, or warp to the point where you can see Life (capital L) – and the bubbles that other people are bouncing around in become visible too.

When my bubble bursts, I find myself in a sea of discomforting privilege. I suddenly realise that in certain power dynamics such as master-servant, the reality is more like master-slave. I realise what I call my meager wealth is almost obscene wealth for many. I realise that my job as a journalist has given me a false sense of security by distancing me from the things I see and hear.

I also realise that my sense of invulnerability is a façade here in Pakistan.

This is my attempt to capture that moment.


For more comics by Jay, visit Jay’s Toons on Facebook.

Read more by Jahanzaib here or follow him on Twitter @jhaque_

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    Dude stop ripping stuff off of Jay’s Toons and passing it as your own. :XRecommend

  • http://localhost:8080 Sir King Kong Bunty

    Awesome! A manga column..congratulations, you have invented a new genre of journalism Recommend

  • nabil

    Absolutely wonderful work Jay.Recommend

  • http://www.thetrueperspective.com Hamza

    This was brilliant. Harrowing. But brilliant. My hair’s are standing on end. “They came for me but there was no one left to speak for me…”Recommend

  • Falcon

    I think you almost compiled a master piece if you had added a picture or two on the ending as well as to how has your fear has convinced you to fight for others (guessing that was a theme that was touched in between but not concluded).Recommend

  • http://pakistaniteen.wordpress.com Bunny

    This was cute and simplistic <3 Bravo!Recommend

  • gp65

    Brillaint. You write on such a wide range of subjects and I have enjoyed almost all of your blogs.

    Apthy by the elite is not restricted to Pakistan either. Repeated bomb blasts and terror incidents within India between 2002 Oct and 2008 OCtober did not worry the elite in India until Taj Mahal hotel got attacked and they realized they were not safe either.Recommend

  • Timour

    Excellent and an eye opener for some of us !!!Recommend

  • Sunara

    Great job, Jay! Recommend

  • I.

    Wow.i just loved the whole thing.How you presented your views is just AMAZING!
    Exceedingly relatable!
    An eye-opener.
    I hope disturbing stuff comes to an end in our beloved country soon!
    And we burst the bubble we are living in today!Recommend

  • Irfan Ali

    Nobody commented. How unfortunate the author of this piece. Good words: balding intellctual. News stuff bewteen fantasy and reality. The cruel reality is the incontrovertible fact that anything could happen to anybody anywhere in all over the world, let alone Pakistan. Ordinary people of Pakistan, daily bread earners of their families come out of their houses and work day and night defying the fear of insecurity. Target killings, sectarian terrorism, bomb blasts don’t scare them. Mr. Haq, we all have to take lesson from them. Otherwise, psychiatrists will teach us how to have solace. Tranquilizers have to be consumed to feel safety. Recommend

  • MilesToGo

    follow true islam – fears will vanish…Recommend

  • http://www.ayeshapervez.com Ayesha Pervez

    I like the presentation of your ideas!Recommend

  • Sab33N

    . keep your comments to yourself .. For Allah’s sake!Recommend

  • http://elucidations.org Abu Bakr

    Just, wonderful.Recommend

  • reality

    this is the reality and we all are the part of it Recommend

  • Parvez

    The idea is old and done before but needs to be done another million times. Your concept of doing it in this way was brilliant because it was attention grabbing.Recommend

  • Jack

    These bubbles, information or social, distance us from reality in such a way that, we lose touch form reality. Unless we bring yourself out of these bubbles, and bring empathy in our life it is goning to be difficult feeling anything.Recommend

  • Imran Naeem Ahmad

    This is great work Jahanzaib. I enjoyed it all. Do more!Recommend

  • MK

    You’re lucky you have a job. Write about that. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/UzaSyed1 Uza Syed

    Listen kid, you have everything, as your birth right, and still are asking. Do you realize that the situation got that bad because your kind felt that the general welbeing of the society was not your concern, you were too busy with good life and now it’s time to face the music created by yoir indifference. We don’t have nothing for no fault of ours and still dealing with life here.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    I often convince myself that I’m living in a bubble…Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Noman Ansari
    Dude stop ripping stuff off of Jay’s Toons and passing it as your own. :X

    Wait, was that sarcasm? You do know that Jahanzaib is the owner of the Jay’s Toon pages? Apart from Jamaluddin, he’s the only other blogger who writes good stuff. I actually liked his mini story. Thought provoking.

    Slightly off topic, I’ve realised that I’m not so good at identifying sarcasm, which is ironic, considering I most often use sarcasm. Hunh…Recommend

  • FAK

    This was something most of us one in 1% could relate to!
    commendable work!
    wishing it somehow gets better soon!
    stay safe and bubbledRecommend

  • Rashid Ahmed

    A must read!! BRAVO!!Recommend

  • Milestogo

    Once Islamic welfare society is established, safety of every good citizen will be guaranteed.Recommend

  • Hella

    Nobody is safe. What happened to Salman Taseer’s kidnapped son? No news about him. Is he back safe.Recommend

  • Ihk

    It takes great courage to admit this. Weldone.Recommend

  • Eli

    “I’m rich, I’m privileged, I’m informed – am I safe?”

    No. But you are a mouth watering target for kidnapping and extortion groups.Recommend

  • Utkarsh

    This was a very sincere and intelligent depiction of the truth. I like!Recommend

  • Abid Hasan

    This was simply brilliant and enjoyable, you belong to the fortunate 1% who thanks to his job certainly thinks or is forced to think outside the bubble, unfortunately for many of us it doesnt matter as to whats beyond it which is worrying. Congratulations on the illustration as well. Good Stuff!Recommend

  • http://whatprice.com.pk Nasir

    Sorry Dear !
    Illustrations and Sketches were never been so difficult to understand for me before that
    I think you even forgot how to express yourselfRecommend

  • abhi

    Noman I think Jahanzaib and Jay are same.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/Z3alous Sarah Haider

    Witty!!! loved it!Recommend

  • RABI