When home is Hell

  • Everywhere and anywhere else is Eden waiting with open arms, armed coastal guards and barbed wires

For some home is not the place where their heart is. For some salvation lies elsewhere. The bliss they hanker after involves surmounting countless perils before they enter their Eden on earth. These sons of soil believe that the only exit from everything that plagues their existence is to sail away, make and send back money, loads and loads of money, out of guilt or gratitude they want to ensure prosperity of those they left behind.

All you need to do, dear reader, is look around and you’ll find them seekers of Eden in droves. It could be your younger brother who is sick and tired of everything out of ennui or a cousin who is jobless or a friend who is underemployed in a dead end job or a colleague who want out because he craves to make more moolah. These seekers of Eden come in all sizes and ages, hail from different socio-economic backgrounds, have varying qualifications, some belong to backward villages and urban slums others are well-educated, experienced fellas. The common ground? To leave their homes and hearth for promised land, where grass is greener, opportunities aplenty, and sun shines with a different hue.

These desperate souls were reminded day in day out that of they just hang on a little longer, sacrifice just a little more, brave out routine storms and live through the daily lethal tempests their motherland will deliver, one day some day. All the earthly miseries and heavenly uncertainties will end. These sons of the soil believed it for generations. But ultimately, like every good deception reveal its actuality, they come to know that they are being hoodwinked.

Seekers of Eden have varying reasons for their ‘jump ship’ act. Some find the environment at home stifling, other are of the view that earnings here are paltry and prospects slim and slight. The scions of wealthy barons and sons of hapless laborers can be found in this pool of renegades, all of them united in their discontent and are silently reciting, ‘Enough is enough, I can’t take it anymore’. The affluent get their passports stamped with visas, book their seats in fine airlines and fly off to Europe or Northern America. They do everything by the book and spend millions of rupees to exit a country they find unsafe, devoid of opportunities and destitute of imagination.

That leaves us with the riff-raff, the ill-fed, the human mongrels and the lot who has been left high and dry to eke out a living in a country where the only principle in the rule book is either to exploit like a savage or get exploited as if one is the fairest of the fair game. They think that they are children of a lesser god when actually they are forgotten, doomed creatures whose creator is ashamed of committing the horrific deed in a fit of madness.

They are left at the mercy of shady travel agents (read human traffickers), their lack of education and absence of skill cumulate in taking perilous journeys on land and sea. Their sole solace? They’ll hopefully end up in a country better than their own where they’ll earn and send money back home and thus turn the mythical wheel of fortune in their favour.

Every other day we hear that hundreds of Pakistanis are stranded in Greece, droves of our fellow countrymen are waiting in line to be deported from Turkey, thousands of Pakistani labourers have been issued their exit visas from Saudi Arabia while their salary for past many months still outstanding. We hear the statistics and geography of these statistics, desensitised to all misery that is not ours or our children, we move on. And you know why, dear reader? Because we can. So we do.

All of us don’t crave for glory. Some do. All of us don’t want power over our fellow countrymen. Some do

All of us don’t crave for glory. Some do. All of us don’t want power over our fellow countrymen. Some do. All of us don’t want to grow filthy rich and drive around in cavalcade of bullet proof SUVs. Some do. All of us are not corrupt folk always looking for an opportunity to mint money and rake in stacks of currency. Some are.

All of us want a decent life sans insecurity, sans threats, sans abysmal inequality, sans joblessness. And when we are denied the life we deserve at home, we try to look for it elsewhere. In times past, there was brain drain. In present even the dung and piss is abandoning the place.

When home is hell, dear reader. Everywhere and anywhere else is Eden.