It is pretty hard to find out that your loved ones might be in trouble and that you can’t do anything about it. Words cannot explain that feeling of dread that creeps up inside you and blocks all your senses. The deadly attack on Karachi Airport sucked all life out of me. Though I tried my best not to feel completely helpless, all I could think of was my relatives who are about to arrive and the huge risk they are taking by coming here. Even though I am extremely eager to meet them, a part of me wanted to tell them to cancel their flight.
The airport attack was not a flimsy event and the fact that I was far from home made it seem more horrific. Considering that I live in Karachi and have sadly become partly immune to such attacks, my reaction surprised me. What kept me calm was the fact that I was in Karbala. Many might not understand this statement but it was this piece of land that kept me sane. Like one of my friends put it, it is the best place to be.
The fact that we don’t get Pakistani channels here helped too, because from what I have heard and read so far, our channels delivered everything but news.
What I don’t understand is that if people hate this insensitive struggle for ratings so much, why is this practice still prevalent? No one can ever forget the heartless coverage of Owais’ death, a young man who fell off a building that caught fire. Everyone was a tamashayi that day. And after the poor man met a death he could have avoided had the people there tried to save him, the condemnations started flowing in.
This time, the situation was more sinister, however. The ‘live coverage’ compromised national security by apparently giving away the positions of the forces. And though people updated angry statuses on Facebook and wrote numerous blogs lamenting the heartlessness of electronic news media, doesn’t change the fact that they joined the frenzy.
Yes, it is important to stay updated, but my point is that it is not just the news channels that feast on human and national tragedies. It is all of us. We enjoy the constant fear, the tension that others are going through. We choose to act as tamashayis.