Warning: Before anyone starts reading this, I’d just like to say that almost none of my posts are like what I am about to write right now. This is a very personal story and it involves the slightly darker side of life, no actually the demonic nature of humans involved. This isn’t my usual rainbows and unicorns type of a post, however a story of a very very dear friend that when I heard brought me to tears and I took her permission before posting it. Your reviews and opinions are more than welcome, but for my friend’s sake I would like to say that we all maintain a level of respect for her to be brave enough to share this. However, I know that my writing might not do justice to her happenings, I just want to post this to show that no matter who you are your story is important and the fact that nowadays people have started taking relations for granted and we think of it as a burden to help or support someone. This selfish attitude of man was a reason for me to post this so that if one day, doesn’t matter how, but if one day those selfish people or somebody else going through a similar situation reads this, they would not just recheck their actions, but also try and change. And if it still doesn’t reach them, then it can serve as an example of how the cruel world can even break down the strongest of warriors.
P.S. This post is not to shame the country this takes place in or to offend the people of that country. I am writing this just to be a eye-opener for future purposes.
So well, here goes.
I am an 18 year old student and we all know that 18 year olds are getting into the mind set of learning to be an adult an still hang onto our inner child. Most of us are or have graduated from high school and are looking forward to our dream colleges and universities. We have our mid set to what we want to become and can see ourselves so close to achieving our dreams.
This story is however my friend’s (let’s call her Raven, like the colour of her beautiful eyes that may have been clouded by worry, but every now and then you can see them sparkle with the true joy she possesses. However, since she is a Pakistani so she doesn’t originally have that name)
Now Raven was, no she still is, a bright student. She has always been the brightest in her family and never needed anyone ever telling her that she wasn’t studying hard enough or her grades needed improvement, because being the responsible person she was, she never gave anyone the chance to point out her flaws. Now, she wasn’t completely a nerd, she was more of an all rounder. Raven, though a Pakistani, was born and brought up in Dubai and had never been to her homeland at all. She was accustomed and attached to UAE therefore, when the time for her to choose and pursue her career in medicine came, her family suggested that there would be no better place for that than her homeland, Pakistan. Slightly disappointed, mostly nervous, Raven accepted the suggestion and obeyed her parents wish to go to a land which she had never been her entire life. It was like she was in her homeland, but never did it once feel like home. Raven’s parents both worked and neither was able to accompany her in this journey and merely bid her adieu saying they’d come to visit soon and that her relatives we going to take complete care of her and support her. They mentioned it could be the independence the 18 year olds required nowadays.
Were they correct? Well, I’ll let you figure that out by the end of the post.
The first message I received from my friend Raven was: S.O.S. I’m stranded!!
I could’ve only imagined the situations she was going through but once she personally told me about them, they were far worse. Now I know that Pakistan faces many, wait no, A HELLA LOT of problems which do set a very negative image in the minds of people coming there for the first time, whether it be Paksitanis themselves. I thought that Raven would settle in like I did in another country for my university, because I know moving away from home is hard but we eventually settle in. However, in Raven’s case, she hated Pakistan and by the looks of whatever she’d mail me all the way to the other end of the world, it looked like that Pakistan hated her back. Not the country entirely itself, of course, but more like the people. She seemed to be a tree midst wood-boring beetles.
Now there is this myth-come-true opinion of us Middle Easterners that if you go back to your homeland or anywhere else apart from the country you were born and/or live in, people will think of you as brainless ATMs and will try and manipulate you and trick you into either end up getting married to one of their child so their child has a better future or they’d try and suck as much out of you in any way possible. Sadly, most of these parasites end up to be our relatives. Nowadays, the word family has lost almost all meaning, and people only tend to use it to emotionally black mail people into getting things done. There used to be a time, when having guests over was the most joyous feeling ever, and helping them and treating your guest well meant everything to the host. But, nowadays, people think of guests to be a burden and a hindrance in their personal and social life. We’ have knitted our circles so tightly that any one who disrupts the circle instantly becomes hated by all.
Similarly, Raven, bless her poor soul, was finding herself in a weird and completely unnatural situation. The first week or so, she felt restless and found herself constantly crying and being homesick. The slightest words would upset her and she’d have no one to comfort her as her so called relatives were too darn busy to even give a damn that someone sent their daughter to them believing that they’d take care of her.
The world is a funny place, you know. Sometimes people who you think are close to you are the ones who never were and will be but however you find non-blood related people who make you believe in the world again. For Raven, there was no sight of anything as such.
She was once the most carefree and chirpy person I had met, But, after her recent breakdown on our last Skype call, I realized what she’d been forced to morph into. A sad, fragile girl who was trying her best to put up a brave face for her parents to see but truth be told, she was rather crumbling inside, devastated and searching for answers to questions no one would understand but her. People thought she would over react and be over sensitive towards things, but they failed to see their fault and never did anyone offer a hand to pick her up, dust her off and place her back on her feet.
Medical in Pakistan is a very stressful period that one must go through. It is a physically, emotionally and mentally draining process and the worst fear is of rejection. More than 42 THOUSAND students apply for medical entry tests out of which barely 800 make it into government colleges and then a few financially strong enter into competition for private seats. To avoid rejection, students apply into more than one medical college and every college has their own entry test as well. So by the time you get selected, you’ll already have given about 5-6 entry tests hoping to get in.
When we normally have these kind of fate deciding exams, we are usually supported, pampered and encouraged by our family, but once you’re out of the nest, it’s a cruel world. Not one of Raven’s relatives offered to drive her to her test centres, no one asked her about how’d her tests had gone or if she needed something, all because they were too busy wrapped up in their life, they acted if she wasn’t there. Being roughed around in Pakistan is tough for anyone, but especially for a GIRL, that too a girl who is here for the first time, it’s more than hell.
I am more than proud of my friend making it so far without any help from the people she called relatives and not failing to get herself into a very good university. She has had a lot more to go through, but that out of respect of her and mercy to the people treating her that way, I will not post.
I know it’s a very long post, but the moral of all this is that family is important. Don’t let your child go, just by thinking that they’re ready, in a world full of gadgets and technology, your child may spend a little less time with you than you would like, but when they come to you for help and guidance, don’t repeat what they did, but rather show them what they missed by not being round so much. I have to confess that I do sometimes believe that Raven, no matter how much she loved her parents, may be starting to have doubts about them loving her back, to leave her stranded in the middle of nowhere. If you think that this is what independence is like then I’m sorry I woudn’t agree with you. Never push someone so far, so hard that they snap and re-mold into a demon who’s gonna lash back at you. Keep love as foundation and your relationships will blossom.
To those people who go out of the way to help people they even barely know, I salute you and YOU are what makes this world a better place and my faith in humanity restored. God Bless
Until next time…