Apolitical and Pakistani
The C+G workspace was more politics-heavy than usual today. It didn’t get ugly or anything but we were on the lookout for updates about protests in anticipation of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s arrests. While some in my team may find this a super-fun topic, I didn’t.
Call me high maintenance, but I’m all for comfortable human experiences. You know, preferably not being beaten to a pulp every time I walk out of the house. This works perfectly for me (on most days), since I don’t have any definitive loyalties when it comes to politics. That’s not to say that I’m completely unaware of the political dynamics in Pakistan. I mean, I don’t have much of a choice there; it’s just a subject which ends up in your life, one way or another. Consent or interests be damned.
I just…don’t understand blindly supporting another human being, especially when there’s nothing stopping them from spewing outrageous shit. Let’s not kid ourselves; politicians spew some ridiculously outrageous shit. So while I’m all for voting (VOTE!), I don’t want to heart-react to your eleventh hissy fit on Twitter. Yikes.
Getting stuck in political discussions isn’t always an inconvenience. They’re funny too. For instance, there’s this unspoken decorum when talking to political folk, one that I’ve often remained oblivious to. Citing numerous allegations against the party they support is, apparently, messed up and rude. Doing the same for the party they hate? Perfectly acceptable.
And God forbid you accidentally offend them, which is something I involuntarily end up doing. Because they’ll assume you’re sympathetic to the party they hate, and try to offend you by dissing it. In situations like these (there have been many), I am faced with two choices: pretend I’m hurt, or explain that I don’t support a political party. I often go for the former.
Let’s face it, Pakistan in or near election time isn’t receptive to apolitical discourses. I, for example, am ill-informed, uninterested in the future of this country, or kidding myself. Somehow, I’d rather take that than have my presumed political dreamboat dissed to incite a reaction out of me. Any day.
Like today, everyone’s political energy is on a high. Great, good for you. While I’m concerned about the safety of Lahori citizens and may have an opinion or two on the justice system, you won’t see me at a rally anytime soon.
So no, you won’t find me joining the rows and rows of Hilux’s decorated with stuffed toys resembling lions. You won’t find me anywhere NEAR Lahore Airport because I’m prudent (mostly). And you definitely won’t have me offering victory mithai around my neighborhood (though I like gulab jamuns as much as the next man). You will, however, find me on the lookout for a pakora-stand because it rained in the morning, and I’ll be damned if I have to stray from tradition for anyone.