What if…

Last night, there were some resounding gunshots as I lay down to sleep. I grew anxious but after they stopped, my anxiety died down, realising that they must have been fired at a wedding celebration. It was this dying anxiety and my own indifference which made me think of so many what ifs.

What if I was a child at the Peshawar massacre and those gunshots were coming from next door? I could only wait for myself to go through the same fate as my friends.

What if I was a child in the Gaza conflict zone and those gunshots were coming from outside my house? They could be aimed at anyone who I knew.

What if I was a child living in a Lyari district where there are gang-wars going on daily? And those gunshots were right there in my vicinity, threatening to pierce the walls or windows any moment?

These very thoughts made me shudder. In the silence of the night, I could do nothing but ponder on my own state as a rather indifferent person. What efforts had I made to perhaps offer them atleast a word of condolence?

The silence of a winter’s night then grew upon me when the echo of the gunshots had died away. The same thoughts returned.

What if I was one of those girls captured by Boko Haram and the silence was that of being enslaved and captured in an unknown place? I can only imagine the distress of the parents who have lost their daughters.

What if I was an IDP who had fled from her beautiful valley and the silence was that of the empty night outside my tent where paths led to unknown places?

Every thought led to the same conclusion like a maze, what have I done to lessen such misery uptil now? My conscience pricked back at every thought – nothing.

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