The year that was

  • Looking back at the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2018

2018 will be remembered as a year when some realised their dreams and others had no other option but to live their nightmares. Just like every other year, it made some, unmade others and left many the way they were. Although, for many it was just another year that came, passed and ended, for few in the realm of power it either ended their long, mighty reigns or just thrust greatness upon them.

Their Lordships in Big Marble Palace ruled the year. They spoke their mind through their remarks and verdicts, their hints reflect apprehensions and doubts they had about doings and dealing of House of Sharif, Bhutto-Zardari dynasty in their various decisions. They unearthed many a shady alliances, dubious deeds, hidden cabals that worked to stash money abroad. A year back the masters of Big Marble Palace had chucked out a prime minister on a ground that initially seemed so slight, so miniscule that even the most ardent opponents were in disbelief for first few hours after the judgment. Now, the greater blunders have surfaced. There are JIT reports, appeals, Kot Lakhpat, a father and son on precipice and many other things. 2019 will kick off with a greater bang, so brace yourselves and watch another year go by.

Remember 2017 when thousands of pages of JIT report, hundreds of hours of arguments, counter arguments, presentation of countless documents by both respondents and petitioners, and a whole nation was held in limbo over the fate of their Prime Minister. And when the decision, the final verdict, the ultimate judgment was out, we come to know that it was something by the name of ‘un-withdrawn receivables’ that sealed Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s fate for good. Sounded silly and vindictive. It all changed. This time around references on companies were filed, in some there was acquittal, in others there was a sentence. And there is a long list of other references that await investigation, hearings and verdicts.

The times ahead would be strange as we’ll find it hard to understand anything yet we’ll feign to know everything. Questions that do us no good will pop up again. And we in our honesty will try to find their answers, settle for explanations and be content. Our understanding of the world craves a change and our wise wise ways are in for a overhaul.

If Pakistan could be described in a nutshell, the only statement that can do so aptly is the more things change the more they remain the same. The roles change, the characters remain the same while the script gets a little alteration every now and then. Our Lordships are on a crusade to end all corruption, our executive is on defensive while the sword of Damocles hang above many of its members, our legislators have reached the fag end of their temperaments and have to make tough choices in the future, our khaki warriors have a new B-Doctrine to put their trust, lives and faith in. While the institutions are doing whatever can be done to keep themselves afloat, for the good many people in Pakistan the endless struggle to make ends meet continue sans reprieve, sans support.

For many, like you, me, and majority of Toms, Dicks and Harrys the best, or rather the only way, to make sense of volatile things and nebulous happenings is to be totally, utterly and completely indifferent

And in this race to the top of the summit, those who ride the tide of time and not hindered by the watchdogs will prosper and ascend. Those who fail to tame it will wither away.

Be it 2017 or 2018 or years before it or years that are yet to come,dear reader. For many, like you, me, and majority of Toms, Dicks and Harrys the best, or rather the only way, to make sense of volatile things and nebulous happenings is to be totally, utterly and completely indifferent. Then, the mantra is to stay aloof, don’t give a damn to anything or anyone no matter how provocative it gets, maintain a safe distance from all that makes one uncomfortable and live life like a stoic-accepting the highs and the lows with sheer equanimity. Or, and it’s a very dangerous ‘or’, you become a blind follower of one of the either men fighting in the arena. You bark your Man’s opponents down, you bite once they are down. Sounds familiar? Because it has been written before and will be written again for truth needs repetition more often than necessary.

May this year bring happiness and resolve in your lives. Happy New year, folks.