a while ago I found some pictures of when I was working in the Punjab, (Sialkot) in Pakistan, less than 400 kms. east of Kabul, Afghanistan, if you can fly like a bird and don’t care about borders. The idyllic picture above is from when I was guest of honor at a wedding there. This morning when I woke up I heard that Taliban had overtaken Kabul, and therefore the whole Afghan nation, and I immediately thought of this photo.
I wrote “idyllic”, but what I never mentioned was that I was NOT allowed to be alone on any photograph with a woman, let alone with the bride, especially since I was not married, although I lived together with a Russian girl, Yulia, in Spain, something that apparently was not appreciated somehow. As you might know, Muslim men can have up to 4 wives, as long as they’re married.
Nor did I ever mention waking up at sunrise, 5 am, every morning because of the Fajr, the religious morning chants and first call of 5 daily prayers, which is totally fine with me if it were not having joined quite a few “illegal-men-only-late at night-alcohol parties” in rented rooms at international hotels right after the Isha, the last prayer of the day, a bit before midnight, when it’s dark outside.
Nor did I mention the dry staccato noise of an AK-47 firing somewhere in the distance, multiple times a day. Even I eventually was not too shaken up anymore, after all the Punjab was a be-twisted region, so what do you expect? Although it did feel somehow surreal with the eternal Himalayas in view, with the top of the K2, world’s 2 highest mountain majestically towering over us little insignificant ants.
Nor did I mention the lack of religious freedom, watching seemingly abandoned Christian churches with Muslim propaganda on the outer walls, always with their doors open during the day, in an in my opinion false governmental statement that monuments of “foreign” religion are “acceptable”.
All this hypocrisy bothers me. It bothered me then and it bothers me now. But I will NOT allow myself to hate it, because as soon as I do that, that hate will immediately turn against me.
Back to today; as I’m writing down this Minimosquito, I remember not to hate the hypocritical egocentric shouts-outs like: ‘Masks? No way, no-one touches my freedom’, ‘Immigrants? F**ck them, they’re all thieves and liars’, etc etc.
Instead I am even more determined to stick, at least for today, to my own “religion”, which embraces simple compassion and the capability to “walk in the shoes of another person”. That alone is at times difficult enough, at least for me it is, but it does keep me busy, in a positive sense.