Wearing greasy cloths with only top collar button of his qameez stringed yet not tied, 10-year-old, Muhammed Tariq Khirral, a hardworking child waiter at a tea hotel in Burnes Road area still seemed happy despite apparently having nothing much to celebrate except a bandanna wrapped around his head depicting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ written.
To what you will do for Pakistan, he replied: “I will win for Pakistan”, and briskly walked away. It could not be clear what he wanted to win and he had not much time to waste clarifying, because he had to serve other orders as well.
He had celebrated the Independence Day by roaming at seaside and other areas of the city with his cousins on motorbike in the night proceeding 14th August, he had told.
Do we ever think of the people like Tariq who are in one way or other facilitating us on these occasions, though they also have some self-compulsions, and are unable to celebrate the normal way?
This guy was packing nimcko packets in a roadside shop, while the journo accosted him. It had been around a month since he was in Karachi to do this job at nimcko shop, said Sanjay Kumar, 17, who was born and bred in Mirpurkhas.
“I have left school a few months back after studying up to grade fifth. It has always been very relishing to celebrate this day when I was at home. We friends used to ornament our school with buntings, flags and balloons. However, now I am doing job to make living and, being the eldest, supporting my father,” he said.
A shopkeeper in University of Karachi finds it equally enthusiastic to celebrate Independence Day here in the megapolis, comparing to his hometown, Abbottabad. He feels children in Karachi can buy more variety of flags badges and other stuff on this occasion than in northern areas.
Muhammed Khalid, 43, a city warden, donning grayish-green uniform posted near KMC Old Building, said he had never watched an Indian film in his life and had even locked Indian channels on his TV, because he did not want his family to adopt Indian culture.
He would prefer any Pakistani film over Indian one, he said.
“We do feel like going to spend these occasions out with our kids and family and visit our relatives, however we understand the importance of our duty. We were on duty during Ramadan and Eid too,” he said while a couple of his colleagues had come closer by seeing him talking to some stranger.
A Sindh Rangers sepoy, Allah Ditta, who hails from Sanghar, while standing alert with fully equipped with weapons on one of the most important artery in the city, MA Jinnah Road, said it was honor to serve the nation.
“It is our duty and that’s how we celebrate the occasion,” he said. It appeared as if he did not want to speak much probably because his commander was standing right in his face.