You will always be ‘home’, Pakistan

Published: July 7, 2013
SHARES
Email

I miss the sights and sounds of Lahore. PHOTO: ZAHOOR-UL-HAQ

My heart has been aching since the past week. Day one: I unpacked my suitcases. Day two: I put away the laundry. Day three: I packed lunch for my kids. Day four and five flew by. But, it’s still there. That hollow throbbing ache, it’s in that same spot where I think my heart is meant to be. And it refuses to go.

My seven-year-old daughter has asked me at least two dozen times,

“Why don’t we live in Pakistan?”

Today my three-year old son told me,

“Your house is boring Mama, I want to go to Pakistan.”

Their questions don’t help my pain. They make me realise that their little hearts are aching too, for the country they weren’t even born in, but I guess the love for which runs through their veins too.

The silence in my house reminds me of the constant sounds that my home in Lahore was abuzz with. The silence only makes the aching stronger.

I decide to go to the mall to get away from the silence after sending the kids off to school. I turn on the CD player as I settle behind the steering wheel in my car. The song playing reminds me of my sister’s wedding, the endless dance practices, the clothes and all the colours. I turn it off and force myself to concentrate on driving. I look around and try to be grateful for the big clean roads, the stop signs, and the fact that no one is driving towards me on a one way road. But I miss the frenzied state of panic that all the drivers seem to be consumed by on the roads in Lahore. I miss the blaring horns. I miss the adrenaline rush of having defied death simply by changing a lane without being hit by a car.

At the mall I walk around purposelessly. Nothing catches my eye. I miss the obsessive trips to the mall in the weeks before leaving for Pakistan, in the quest to hunt down good deals on gifts. I walk into an expensive store, deciding I will treat myself to a statement necklace that I had my eyes on before the trip. It must surely be on sale by now. I inquire with the sales lady about the necklace and she brings it to me, I got lucky, she informs me in a chirpy voice that it is now 30 per cent off, bringing the price down to around $150. I look at it and suddenly I feel a tug at my heart and that ache remerges, only stronger this time. I tell the lady I changed my mind and walk out of the store feeling miserable. I miss the 20 minute haggling sessions with the ‘choorion wala’ over Rs300 bangles.

I miss striking conversations with random aunties in bazaars, doctor’s offices or beauty salons which would end up with you revealing your entire family history in a matter of four minutes. I miss the beggars wishing for my happy married life in return for a few coins. I miss the fact that most shops wouldn’t open till noon and everything would be closed on Fridays for prayer.

I miss, I miss, I miss…

I miss the all night chat sessions with my sisters, I miss the ‘halwa puri’ breakfasts, and I miss tea time which occurred every two hours. I miss the non-stop parenting advice from everyone who has ever had a child. I miss the never-ever feeling alone feeling. I miss the phone ringing after every three minutes and the door bell ringing at least 60 times a day. I miss the unannounced family visits and hugging my aunts and uncles so tight, making it seem as if we hadn’t met in years even though they had been over the night before and left well after midnight.

I miss squeezing into one car with all the siblings and their kids and making the long drive to Upper Mall just for a cup of ‘Chaman’ ice cream. I miss acting unbelievably silly, the way you can only be around your family, totally and completely uncaring. I miss constantly bickering with my siblings. I miss screaming at all our kids for making noise but only adding to it by shouting at them. I miss the uncontrollable fits of laughter even at the most serious of moments. I miss lugging my camera around everywhere. I miss the stray cats at my husband’s home that would not blink even as my son pulled their tails. I miss having to clean my kids’ hands 15 times a day.

I miss driving through half of Lahore when I had to take my kids from ‘dadu’s’ house to ‘nano’s’ house; taking in the sights and sounds of Lahore, with all my senses every single time. I miss the sound of the ‘Azaan’. I miss the joy rain brought to everyone. I miss wearing my sisters’ clothes every day. I miss having so many opinionated people around me, telling me how I look or what I should wear. I miss complaining about the load shedding. I miss being annoyed that there is not enough hot water to take a shower. I miss speaking in Urdu with everyone.

I miss the aura of hope in the air, sometimes so palpable I could taste it.

I miss the impossible amount of love and attention my kids receive until they are spoilt rotten by the time I come back. How everyone believes they love them the most. How the whole household will gather around like a flock of hens, three people will volunteer to go to the hospital with you at even five in the morning if you or your child is sick. I miss the utter lack of privacy and independence. I miss the cheekiness of family listening in on your phone calls, and then discussing your entire conversation over tea afterwards! I miss everyone that I managed to meet and those that I could not.

I miss the things that drive me up the wall and I miss the things that I could not imagine ever missing. My heart keeps on aching.

The thing about leaving home is you never get over it. You make a new life, you make new friends, you live happily ever after, until you go back home again. Every time you say your goodbyes and turn your back as you walk through those glass doors at the airport, the aching begins all over again. Then from time to time, you feel it again, at the most unexpected of moments. It’s almost like how an amputee must feel- as if your hand was removed from your arm. Despite it being no longer being a part of your body and you having embraced life without it, you still feel your phantom fingers press into your phantom palm every once in a while. The reality that a part of you is missing becomes agonising once more.

I don’t know why exactly we leave our homes. It might be to find a better life. Maybe a life where our kids are safer, our roads are cleaner and our bank balances higher. I can’t quite remember the reason just this second. Right now, still in the throes of nostalgia seven days after walking away from my family through those glass doors, all I know is, there is no place like home. And in my heart of hearts, “home” will always mean Pakistan.

Read more by Tayyaba here.

T Hassan

T Hassan

The author is a writer, dreamer, social activist and a Communications Major at California State University. She does Social Media and Marketing for various non-profit organizations and blogs at tabzy.wordpress.com/

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

    You and every other overseas Pakistani. Unfortunately, with another bomb blast last night (Lahore), any responsible parent able to move abroad probably should.

    It always amazes me whenever I come from an overseas trip back to Pakistan how massively we are falling behind every year. Recommend

  • Zubair Ali

    I’m the same. I miss the beautiful chaos also. Recommend

  • The Patriot

    Beautifully written. Can relate to each and every word of the blog. Recommend

  • Waheed

    Load shedding of Lahore???Recommend

  • Kiran

    Very well written. I can so relate to what you’ve said…especially the phone and door bell ringing at the same time and the general activity in a Pakistani household. The ache never goes away, but one should always wish for friends and family to be safe and in good health back at home. But do tell me, despite the loneliness…if your husband came home and said one day that you guys should move to Pakistan in a month, would you welcome that or be disappointed? I often ask myself that…and I’m not sure..Recommend

  • JD

    True.

    But the perks that you mentioned should not be the limelight for us.

    Its about giving these perks to every single citizen of ‘our home’ … so they too can write a similar article, and express their love towards their country.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Please pack your bags immediately, there is no reason to miss the things you love. You never told us why you are abroad though, when you prefer living in Pakistan a lot more.Recommend

  • excalibur

    Tried to relocate in Pakistan after three decades overseas. Moved lock stock and barrel on a transfer of residence.

    Within a month of arrival dacoits paid us their coutrsey visit in clear connivance of the local police and we are now left with nothing except our lives and for which we are grateful.

    Some homecoming !Recommend

  • Quantum_Singularity

    @Feroz:
    Please pack your bags immediately, there is no reason to miss the things you love. You never told us why you are abroad though, when you prefer living in Pakistan a lot more.

    Is it not obvious? Load shedding, violence, insecurity, corruption, lack of economic opportunity, and the list goes on (for awhile actually). Small pangs of nostalgia do not mean that you will flush yourself down into a toilet. Unless the author has gone beyond daydreaming and into downright hallucinating.Recommend

  • well wisher

    U also be missing those cute, little bomb blasts??Recommend

  • ahmed

    one always long for the thing which he/she doesn’t have with him. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @author

    Please keep on writing about hollow nostalgic patriotism. are you for real leave your comfortable sunny California abode and move back to chaotic Lahore, hotbed of Sunni takfiri extremism and terrorism. What Pakistan today needs from expat in the form of opinion and blog, writings that includes how to strengthen women rights, providing rights and protection to minorities, how to reform education system, speak up against institutionalized corruption. Moreover plans to fight and eradicate extremism and move the country towards securalism. Once this is achieved, I will personally shower Urdu couplets to praise Lahore. FYI – I am not a pakistani.Recommend

  • Parvez

    This is not the first blog on this subject nor will it be the last, but what comes across is that from your sheltered comfort zone you exude a sense of nostalgia, avoiding mentioning the other harsh ground realities that exist, in the other pan of the weighing scale.
    I feel you suffer from the malady of ‘ being in love, with being in love ‘.
    Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Feroz:

    Sir, an expat house wife from pakistan, needs to spend their day productively and penning a blog, expressing love for her country is a good way to spend those free time :) If you compare the women of your neighboring enemy country, they are busy toiling in the IT sector to support an ever increasing expense of American household and the needs of their school going children. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @author

    Who paid for your car in Lahore and expensive shopping trip to high end Lahore mall. Madam this is the problem in Pakistan, where people don’t pay their taxes, but would like to show off their wealth to the masses. In US people don’t have time to carry on the activities that you beautifully penned in your blogs, because they are busy earning money to pay for their living bills. I respect your right to blog about anything, it is your right as a human being, but penning love for Lahore when there is myriad of problems plaguing the city, gives wrong impression to the people about your city.Recommend

  • Sidra Jawad

    Tayyaba u have put my feelings into words. I started to cry when i read it. Even though i’ll be going back home on Eid. I guess its true ;’ Home is where the heart is’ and our hearts belong to Pakistan.Recommend

  • A. Khan

    Another habitual moaner. There is nothing and no one stopping you from going back. Don’t live in the West and moan about missing Pakistan. Given the current situation, you should be grateful that you are not there. A lot of people there would give an arm and a leg not to be there.

    In my view, Pakistan looks so much more appealing when visiting than when living there.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @well wisher:

    Very well said and the Cupid aftershock that paralyzes you from neck down :) Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Quantum_Singularity:

    Don’t worry help is there in US, just need to visit your local psychiatrist :)Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Sidra Jawad:

    please don’t forget to buy a comfy tissue boxes from your neighborhood Safeway or Dominick’s grocery store. You will need them to protect precious tears.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @author

    My apologies to you for wrongly claiming you to be a homemaker, you do consult for non profit organization, which is part time work. Recommend

  • Fareshteh Aslam

    As a Pakistani who hasn’t left home I read your blog with tears flowing and heartstrings tugging. Beautifully written. But I often wonder at all overseas Pakistanis. Would the country have been in this poor state had all of you not left? The emptiness you left behind has allowed in the vermin. Recommend

  • Hassan

    Beautiful portrayal of the most amazing city in the world! I can understand every single word as I too live abroad and whenever I go back it takes me months to shake off the nostalgia. Great to see a positive and different portrayal of our people and family values and for those bitter souls some of whom seem to be offended at a love lorn view of a pakistani, you all obviously prefer to only always high light the negatives. I agree completely with the author, home will always be pakistan despite the blasts, despite the bad stuff, no place like pakistan!Recommend

  • Yas

    I agree there are certain charms of living here in Pakistan, however the truth is that all these blogs are from overseas pakistanis who have the luxury of writing in comfort. You had a privileged place in Pakistan. It does not change the fact the country is in turmoil and it certainly isnt this cute charming place for most. You’re feeling nostalgic, and I understand, however give it a few more months, maybe years. You will be greatful you are not in Pakistan. My honest sad opinion.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Feroz: Please pack your bags immediately, there is no reason to miss the things you love. You never told us why you are abroad though, when you prefer living in Pakistan a lot more.

    Most of the things author misses don’t mean much when they are part of ones every day life. I am sure she never missed most of the things when she lived in Pakistan. When she was in Pakistan she dreamt about moving to USA. Because she lives in USA her family treats her like a Queen. She did not say she misses every day bombings that happen in Pakistan. She misses beggars. Did she even care about beggars when she lived in Pakistan. She has very little to say about the country that has provided her a secure and better life. Relatives treat you better when you are RICH and live in a foreign country. When you are a Pakistani living in Pakistan you don’t miss any beggars.

    Whole household gathers around like a flock of hens, three people volunteer to go to the hospital with you at even five in the morning if you happen to live in USA and give them gifts you bought on end of season or Black Friday sale. I know some people who buy “gifts” in yard sales.Recommend

  • Zuni

    @mehdi you are obviously a chauvinist of the worst kind because you think a house wife doesnt spend her day productively so apparently more than half the women of the world dont do not real work and then u peevishly grant ‘part time’ work for a non profit, why dont you stop making assumptions about all women especially pakistani women and pay some attention to pakistan’s neighbor’s women which u mentioned,who are gang raped with iron rods in the middle of ur most ‘advanced’ city yet no one stops to help her and she eventually dies, perhaps pen a blog about their plight? Why dont u leave pakistan’s problems to pakistanis and direct ur hate ridden ‘constructive’ criticism to which ever country u belong! And since apparently ur full time job is commenting on pakistani blogs why dont u start penning some useful blogs for your own country which u never bothered mentioning exactly whereabouts it is. Pakistan is a beautiful country and i agree with every single word in the blog! No place like home!!!Recommend

  • Zuni

    Every country in the world has its problems. That doesnt mean we are not allowed to love and miss our country any more and to remininse about all that is wonderful and unique about our country. Loved every single word i miss pakistan now after reading this!Recommend

  • Shamy

    i miss the constant mobile snatching and the bomb blasts…and dammit i’m glad i’m missing them.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Author “I don’t know why exactly we leave our homes.”

    Some people die trying to get to foreign countries for better life.
    Most people leave homes for better life, better financial status. Money can only give satisfaction up to certain point to people who don’t have money.

    Pakistanis send billions of dollars home every year making life better for people back home.Recommend

  • http://avoiceforislam.blogspot.com Faroha

    I feel that ache right now. Every word of this blog resonates within me. I always felt I loved Pakistan with a passion hard to understand. it increases with every passing day.Recommend

  • Motley Fool

    So if pakistan is such a Heaven on Earth, why did you leave it to settle aboroad, and what is preventing you to come backRecommend

  • bangash

    What nonsense. Recommend

  • Gp65

    Why are people so annoyed at the author? If she had criticized California or talked I’ll about it while enjoying its benefits, that would be worth pointing out. But here she is missing her loved ones and expressing it. I can totally relate to little things like how the phone and doorbell keep ringing back home and how they are completely silent in US.

    Take another example. When a girl marries and goes to her sasural, is she not allowed o miss her maika? She may love her husband and be happy in her sasural but still memories of her maika may make her heart ache. What is wrong with that?

    I too am very happy where I live and i have chosen to live where i do for a Wolfe range of reasons, but every time I return from vacation, I do miss the people, food and the chaos back home. Recommend

  • Khawaja

    @ Tayyaba

    You never mentioned the Jubba :( :pRecommend

  • Babur Sohail

    A Pakistani American can’t claim to be in love with US as he can for Pakistan. Its natural and genetical. There’s no other choice. One love one Junoon PAKISTAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • maestro

    Very well said. I have returned back to Islamabad after almost 20 years in the US. I originally came back just for a 2 week visit with a return ticket three years ago – I am still here and the return part of the ticket has expired – lol! I am staying for good this time. Even with all the chaos,loadshedding, etc., there is simply nothing like a best friend calling at 8 am to go have breakfast with him, his wife and kids on a Sunday morning (yesterday), then go swimming. Or to get an invite to a Zoe Viccagi concert from another friend on Friday night. Or halwa puri in aab para at 6 am. Just say “bhai” to someone here and see the reaction. I have travelled from Kashmir to Karachi in the last few months,including Lahore, Swat, Kaghan, Multan, Kot Addu. Each experience has been simply exhilarating. The food is as amazing as its people. Treat them with respect, and you will get so much respect back that no other country in the world can imagine! Something breaks down in the house, call the electrician or plumber and he will fix it no matter what – ask him how much? He says “joh aap kee marzi!” Just that moment when your flight is coming for touch down in Pakistan, and you see your land again after years abroad, tears well up in your eyes. All my Pakistani friends who live abroad say this. That is my Pakistan and I will always love my country! Never leaving again! ;-) Recommend

  • Proletarian

    She should be kicked back to PakistanRecommend

  • A Citizen

    You only miss the uber rich vacations in Pakistan and want to have a settled permanent life elsewhere. The things you miss in Pakistan are actually all the signs of failed/failing societyRecommend

  • Milind

    @Gp65 – Agree with you.. Everybody here (and on Dawn) gets nostalgic after reading Nadeem Paracha’s columns on Pakistan from 70s (and longs for that era). However nobody is ready to extend the same privilege to the author..
    The comments here clearly show that most of the readers are hard-hit by reality (cannot blame them completely, given the turmoil in Pakistan) and have lost their ability to dream.Recommend

  • Naila

    I love my Pakistan <3Recommend

  • hareem

    so much love for pakistan still there?
    pretty amused but home is home after all! :)Recommend

  • Hussain

    @Mehdi:
    Clearly, you are not in your senses…Recommend

  • m

    So well written. LOVED IT!!Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Zuni:

    I am not indian. You can call me whatever you wish, I am expressing my opinion about misrepresentation of a country’s political situation. FYI half of women folks are not homemaker. They are more working mom in the world, get your facts. Blogsphere is a global domain, anybody from any where are entitled to their opinion. Pakistan has created extreme security situation for the globe, and it effects my security, so I am penning my opinion. If a person from South Korea or Australia penned an article about missing her/his homeland, I would have been supportive of the writing. Thanks for reading.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Hussain:

    No I am because I showing the true picture of a country that is a global security threat. it will take a lot of introspection to what I am trying to convey.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @maestro:
    Something breaks down in the house, call the electrician or plumber and he will fix it no matter what – ask him how much? He says “joh aap kee marzi!”

    Are you an American citizen? Are you getting some retirement, social security? Probably the “whole neighborhood” knows you are an America returned person and treats you as some thing special. YOU LIVED IN US TO MAKE DOLLARS. Part of your experience is because you get 100+ Rupees for one dollar.

    I am sure Pakistani plumbers and electricians don’t ask every one “joh tumhari marzi” from other Pakistanis. If you just give them one dollar extra it means 100+ Pakistani Rupees.

    I know some Pakistanis who are plumbers and mechanics (not even licensed) in USA. They try to rip off every one especially old people in USA.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gp65: Your opening question warrants an answer and I shall attempt to give you one, to try explain the issue of anger and I shall be brief, there most probably are other answers.

    Over the past 30+ years we have seen a systemic loot and plunder of the nations resource by those who rule and those who shamelessly exploit the system. This wealth move out of the country along with the exploiters and their offspring’s, and these were / are the people responsible for the well being of the masses at home and the masses condition only gets worse…….. thus their anger increases.
    Yes lumping everyone into one basket is wrong, but one rotten fish is enough to cause the observer to pinch his nose……………unfortunate it is but it is reality.

    This again is my attempt to answer only your question and nothing more and I agree with you that the author may have been unfairly treated,
    Recommend

  • Consultant

    @Mehdi,

    Firstly, thank you for your delightful satire and rebuttals to everyone, they are fairly funny. Are you a comedian ?
    Assuming you are not, i dont really care where you are from, i am a PAKISTANI, and proud to be one, i have lived outside of Pakistan for the last 13 years, left at the age of 18.
    Lived in the land of the free and home of the brave, lived in the land of the queen, and now living in historical Europe. Rest assured, my occupation allows me to live a better life than half of your compatriots combined with you. And despite all the apparent comforts and luxuries, my longing and love for my country has never ceased to exist.
    I do accept that Pakistani´s are an emotional lot, they think with their heart and not their mind like the mentioned ” neighbors women “, i wouldnt want to comment on the thousands of jobs i have helped move back onshore due to the disgusting service by some of these women. And i took pride in each job i helped cut. Yes, im a consultant.

    I am sure by the end of this, either ET wont post my comments, alternatively, you and my other compatriots might think pretty lowly of me, i will still sleep peacefully at night because i love my country, and i relate completely to this blog, and your crappy comments really will not add much to my thinking. Recommend

  • Consultant

    @ Mehdi, ET removed one of my comments, hence posting again. Your apparent conclusion that your security is affected by Pakistan, seems like a little bit of a stretch. Even if your attempts at bravado are actually working, let me assure you the crime rate of alot of countries, other than the Nordic countries and some burbs in the US, are enough to deal with you.
    Obviously, my implicit agreement here is that your someone important, problem remains that with all the rebuttals you are providing, seems quite to the contrary. Do us all a favor, get a life, a job, a dog, whatever floats your boat. Your comments on this blog are affecting my mental security, so please shooo.
    PAKISTAN ZINDABADRecommend

  • AP

    Why don’t to you stay back in Pakistan… ?
    First one runs away…and next say that I miss the place i ran away from…!

    What hypocrisy!! Or is the author is being delusional..

    I suspect it is a bit of both…

    I am very clear ..the moment I get a chance..its goodbye Pakistan! Recommend

  • Khan

    You forgot I few things

    I miss the hours of loadsheading

    I miss the lack of gas in the winter

    I miss the water sheading

    I miss the smogRecommend

  • Mehdi

    I do enjoy humor. Thanks for the compliment. I respect your love for your beloved country. Great to hear you are successful in your career. I do hail from the land of brave and have been successful in enlightening many young minds.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Consultant: “Rest assured, my occupation allows me to live a better life than half of your compatriots combined with you. And despite all the apparent comforts and luxuries, my longing and love for my country has never ceased to exist.”

    If you had loved Pakistan, you would have never left Pakistan. At one point, you or your dad wanted to go to land of plenty to make a better life.

    It is in those countries you learned to see things differently, treat people equally, justly.

    If you truly love your country, you would have gone back long time ago.
    Part of this love is most likely because your inability to socially connect with people in whose country you live to make money. Money is a big factor that you live outside Pakistan. That means you love money more then Pakistan. Most of your close family still lives in Pakistan.

    I know many Pakistanis and Afghans whose extended families in US. I have never heard any of these people saying they love their countries and want to go back. A few of them think about moving when their girls grow up fearing their girls may become like American girls. They are Pakistani and Afghani at heart. They want their kids to marry their cousins.

    People who really love their country, don’t care about money, just go back to serve their country. Lonely people miss their countries moreRecommend

  • gp65

    @Parvez: Thank you. That provides a perspective I did not have. Most of the Indians I know who are in the US are from middle class/lower middle class and came here through their jobs or scholarships. The really wealthy people – even if they come for studies – go right back. So I had not considered the possibility that the resentment is to the privileged Pakistani elite who get their kids settled in US – regardless of whether the author falls in that bucket or not.Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com h.Mani

    @Mehdi: You say you are not Pakistani,but knows so much about us,(India& Pakistan),your observation are ‘bulls eye’.See ,she can lose weight by laborious dieting,while those cute little cherry bombs can do the job of ridding cumbersome limbs in a jiffy,ever thought of that?No one ever said we are not phony/balony as a people.Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com h.Mani

    @Mehdi: You are my kind of man.I’m retired and delight in making fun of ,& ridiculing people who live in West and write this total farse,and I know wild horses can not drag them to beautiful Lahore or Delhi,but if horses were wishes,they would all fly like pigs,won’t they?Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com h.Mani

    @Gp65: This my some what of a return ,after long sabatical,but one time only.I confess I am a regular reader of both TE and Dawn,and do not miss you, or Blackjack’s comment as a .fan .Your defense is good to a point.One has to understand,reading Pakistani or Indian news paper is next best thing,as you get best of both world.I can understand author as well as Mendi,her worst critic.I understand Mendi more and in tune with him,as after living in US for almost half a century,I no longer feel ever home sick,as my home is USA.I never plan to visit India again and when I willed that my ashes be dumped under the Brooklyn Bridge,I made my sons day.He was releaved and delighted.You and Blackjack are good,rest I can live without.Now I go back to silence again,be good.Recommend

  • Partner

    @Consultant: Rest assured, my occupation allows me to live a better life than half of your compatriots combined with you.

    way to rub it in! who cares if you earn loads or not, what does that have to do with the blog?! and then you say that you wouldn’t want to comment on the thousands job you cut, but you wrote a para on it! the consulting firm that hired you made a pretty big mistake!Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com h.Mani

    @Mehdi: I’m with you.I have no dislike for Pakistan or India.Even though India has not created problem for me as a kingpin of terror,still I ‘m very anti India & critical for several reason.I do not write in TE,I once did,but there is lot more abuse and hostility in Pakistani papers,people love Pakistan deeply and most Indians do not care so they do not abuse me in TOI or H/T,so I write a lot there.One should be free to express an opinion.No need to call names,it shows lack of class and good breeding.You don’t have to defend your nationality,even if you were to be Indian.Now I will follow you,like GP65 and Blackjack,don’t develop cold feet.Be good and true to yourself.Recommend

  • http://tradersutra.com h.Mani

    @Consultant: You say you have lived in West for long.good for you,but it has not done much for your tolerance of the point view of others. Mehdi has his point of view,and I happen to think,it holds more water than yours.Your is emotional,and there is nothing wrong with that,as always there are two schools of thought,logic,reason and rational (2) heart that is Faith.One is free to chose either one,but without malice and calling Mehdi name.You take care and love wherever your heart’s calling.For me Mehdi makes more sense.In USA,we temper our view about our former mother land,for,they will ask us to go back,if it was this nostalgic,pure and good.,and I don’t blame them & as I know I do not intend to go back..It is the TRUTH,lump it if you can not.No one has put a gun to her head or yours,hop in and go to where your heart is.Fair enough?Recommend

  • Emmron

    This is totally silly nd naive romanticism at best. I never for a second miss all the ugliness of roads, trash, load shedding etc. these wont trade for lahore over suburb in washington dc. Its jst impossible to live miserable over luxury life. Recommend

  • Faryal

    Beautifully written article. It is true that Pakistan is lagging behind in times and living here can be downright frustrating at times but there is no place like home. The sense of belonging that you have while you are in Pakistan you won’t get anywhere else. But the author should be thankful that she is not permanently based here. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It also makes one more tolerant towards things like crazy traffic and load shedding. Recommend

  • Munda Lahori

    If i have a house in DHA Lahore, a 1600 cc car, 3-4 lak rupees monthly income (and no load shedding), i would love to live in Lahore, until than i am enjoying in Dubai.Recommend

  • Gp65

    @h.Mani: Thank you for your kind words Sir. Much appreciated.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @gp65: Small clarification is due. The resentment is not towards the privileged elite who mostly return and enjoy the best of both worlds. It is towards those who impoverish the country under the guise of serving it ( and there are many ) and their hypocrisy is very apparent.
    Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Consultant:

    Truly said Pakistan zinda bhaag.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @h.Mani:

    sir thanks for your kind words. If you ever visited cnn or bbc blogs, people are pretty hard on others intellectually that’s were I learned my trade craft :) I have great sympathy for poor/ lower middle class ordinary pakistani who are honest hard working people, who are unfortunate to live in an exploitive society, as much I feel for Indians, bangladeshi,srilankan and Nepalese down trodden. Only difference that sets apart Pakistan are religious bigotry, extreme corruption and implicit support for terrorism by significant populace.Recommend

  • Z

    Whenever I read these blogs where one laments about his/her beloved Pakistan, this quote comes to my mind:

    “If you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second.”
    ― Johnny Depp.

    If Pakistan really is that dear to you, then you wouldn’t have made such a big life changing decision such as that of relocating. I myself have dual nationality but prefer to stay in Pakistan by choice despite all its setbacks. If you’ve moved to another country then please acclimate yourself to its customs and norms and stop whining. The things which you’re missing are most probably the reason why you considered leaving in the first place. If you miss your dear country so much, then return. Nobody’s stopping you!

    Good day!Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Z:

    You Sir simply hit the bulls eye with your astute analysis. I am a big fan of Johnny Depp :)Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Z: I myself have dual nationality

    Do you have income from your other Nationality? Things are different when you have income in pounds and dollars and get to spend in Pakistani Rupees.

    If situation get bad, you can always go back.Recommend

  • Sofi

    I am a British born Pakistani, have lived in UK for the past 26 years however I have an attachment to Pakistan and always have. I am moving to Pakistan soonRecommend

  • Rafiaaaa

    LOVED EVERY WORD AND CAN COMPLETELY RELATE!!! I too live outside Pakistan and after 4 yrs still think Pakistan is home. BTW PEOPLE, incase you are unaware because u live in la la land a lot of Pakistani girls move abroad due to husband’s relocation or are sent off after marriage…. so what???? they are not allowed to miss home because they were sent off by their parents to a foreign country and instead of whining and complaining they made the best of it?! some of the men here are such chauvinists and this Mehdi character is really annoying me dude u need to get a job…or a life! BROUGHT TEARS to my eyes every word hit my heart strings!!!!Recommend

  • maestro

    @Insaan:
    Hahaha – I renounced my US green card when I returned buddy – I was 1 year away from getting an american passport. Whatever I have, I earned through hard work in the US, Brazil, Egypt, Chile and Pakistan! I have travelled all over Pakistan in the last 3 years doing development and communications work. The example of the plumber and electrician is meant to give an idea of the simplicity and humbleness of these workers. Not to show case my higher standing in society here. I am a worker bee just like them. Warped minds like yours are what destroy the fabric of this nation. Cheers and you continue living your american dream while I build my Pakistani dream. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Rafiaaaa:

    Didn’t know that the most functioning organ of the body called heart is composed of “string” tissues, so that it can be easily played with. Amazing discovery :)Recommend

  • Insaan

    @maestro:
    Hahaha – I renounced my US green card when I returned buddy ….. I have returned back to Islamabad after almost 20 years in the US. I originally came back just for a 2 week visit with a return ticket three years ago

    My friend you were even not sure when you came for a 2 week visit about your love for Pakistan. You worked hard 20 years to make dollars. Experience abroad has given you a big edge over job opportunities in Pakistan. You waited for many years to get a green card.

    I think you have some good friends that you like spending time with. You see that as LOVE for Pakistan. Well important thing is you are happy.

    Different things make different people happy. Having breakfast with friends may not mean much for some one who has 6 kids?Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Rafiaaaa: some of the men here are such chauvinists and this Mehdi character is really annoying me dude u need to get a job…or a life

    Some thing in you is making you feel annoyed. Not every reacts to Mehdi the same way.
    Do you get upset with people who disagree with you?Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Rafiaaaa:
    they are not allowed to miss home because they were sent off by their parents to a foreign country and instead of whining and complaining they made the best of it?

    I thought many parents marry their DAUGHTERS to Non-resident Pakistanis so they can have a better life abroad.

    You can’t force people not to miss home. It takes time to adjust to a new country with totally different culture. It is natural to miss your families. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @Insaan:

    Such a heartless parent who are sending off their over protective girls for a better life in the land of infidels :) Pakistani psychiatrist should address the issue of theses heartless parents. Love your logical reasoning.Recommend

  • maestro

    @Insaan:
    Oh give me a break – I was earning dollars to gain experience in the international arena to feed my family who had spent thousands of dollars (which they didnt have but borrowed) to send me to university abroad when I was 17 including selling our house! I came back when my father was ill and I was seriously missing Pakistan. He passed away within a year of me coming back and I closed his eyes shut. But beyond that, I loved being back in Pakistan and thats why I said I will never leave again. As for your 6 kids. You only have yourself to blame, not the society at large! Recommend

  • nazia

    It was written very beautifully .. so emotional.. but the fact is .. you and your family have to for save life ..
    in Pakistan, things are getting worse, no matter how much you miss Pakistan if you want to see kids alive, husband around you .. leaving Pakistan is the fair option ..

    yet, the place where we born and live our childhood, and all beautiful years of life is unforgettable. Recommend

  • shekh b

    What a hallucination about pakistan.
    In one hand hazaras/ahmedis/shias are fleeing the country for asylum in australia/us/europe anywhere except pak.
    saudi/iran is fighting with petrodollar in pakistan for increasing theior grip.
    the comments are absolutely devoid of reality.Recommend