Monday, 23 February 2015


lahore fort - pakistan - 2014

born with the pressure
raised with the pressure
living with the pressure.

the pressure of generations who have not evolved but linger in their old ways, pulling the strings of all the generations beneath them, stunting growth and stopping change. spitting on our hopes and dreams and taking turns to point the finger at each of us. we carry on our shoulders the stubborn ideals of the first generation, the oppression and deadly mistakes of the second, and the painfully hopeful hearts of the third, our generation. we spent our teenage years fighting for the tiniest rights. we have exhausted ourselves by hitting nothing but brick wall again and again and again. we have almost accepted defeat. we are so close to taking the place of the second generation, releasing the deep sigh that we have held tight in our lungs for so long before we collect all our hopes and dreams and place them in a box. closing the lid and sliding them onto the shelf next to boxes that contain the hopes and dreams of our parents. 

my mother is an incredible woman. confident, opinionated, fearless, unfathomably intelligent, eccentric, a rare beauty. i fear that this enormous community she married into twenty two years ago has crushed her spirit. stamped out her spark. it is a sign of the strength of her character that she still laughs with such genuine vigour. 

once upon a time we dared to hope, now we pray that our children - the fourth generation - can live the lives we once dreamed of. maybe they will not grow up surrounded by strife, maybe their lives will not be haunted by the horrific actions of people who valued pride above all else. who valued pride above family. above God. 

we will fight to break out of this tightly bound circle, for the sake of our children. this life of hushed up secrets and lies. of fake smiles and false blessings. a life dictated by 'what will people say?!' 

but the opinions of people only have the power to affect you when you give them permission to do so. when you prioritise them above all else. the fear of what people may say should never be given importance over the happiness of your children. will you never learn?

progress for us has been slow, and unwilling. but maybe our dreams will come true, maybe we will escape the net.


i will take what my revolutionary mother taught me, i will gather up my hopes and dreams, i will learn from the mistakes of generations past, and i will use this formula to raise my children.

we will raise our children to love themselves first and foremost. 
we will raise our children to work hard and believe in the possibility of their dreams.
we will raise them to value intelligence.
we will raise them to seek knowledge, always. 
we will raise them to fall in love with God, at their own pace, in their own way. 
we will raise them to understand that mistakes are ok, it's how you pick yourself up from them that defines you.
we will raise them to understand that family isn't bound by blood, but by unconditional love and laughter.
we will not limit their aspirations.
we will not force them to settle for anything less than what they deserve.
we will not force them to hold onto those who spread nothing but negativity.

our sons will know that a woman is worthy of respect, always. 
we will not raise our daughters under the pressure of inevitable marriage.

we will not plant the seeds of bitterness in their hearts. we will open their hearts to love, and contentment, and positivity and the quiet joy of living a good life. 

God willing.  


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