Sunday, 24 July 2011

Story of the Lost Bag

We all have a story about our bag(s) that we have lost once in our life at least. Personally I have lost many things let alone a bag. For example, a wristwatch, mobile phones and even a laptop! Though I totally regret the mentioned losses( each of the them calls for a story) but what I don’t regret but rather sort of cherish is the story of how I lost and also found my bag. I think the reason this story has found its way into the ‘cherish able memories’ is because I eventually found it.

This was once upon a time back in 3rd or 4th grade. It was a bright sunny, in fact a hot summer day. The school was dismissed and we were free to run and play while we waited for our bus/van. My routine was to put my 5kg school bag in front of the white fence near the school gate along with my water bottle and run towards the playground. This is what half the school kids used to go. Hence there used to be a party of bags squeezed together within 10 minutes after school hours.

That day it got a bit unusually late for my van driver to pick me up from school. By the time my van’s uncle came and easily found me jumping around in the fading crowd of kids, I ran to pick my bag. But lo and behold what was that? My bag was nowhere to be found! I looked and looked and panicked; my bag, home to school books and notebooks, stationery - the treasure of life. What will I do without it? How will I take my exam? Who took my bag and why? Tears were already crowding my eyes as I helplessly searched.

Suddenly, the van driver called out to me from near the gate. Apparently he had found my precious bag (he knew how the bags of his van’s kids’ looked like). I quickly made my way soon to be disappointed that it wasn’t my bag. Only that it looked like mine. Aha! Now it made sense.  There must be a student with exactly the same bag as mine. The girl who most probably took it, thought it to be hers! Silly girl! The problem, however, persisted. What do I do? How do I find the non chalant, careless girl? Then came to my rescue the calm driver uncle.

On his suggestion we opened that girl’s bag, found her homework diary and from there got her home number ( as kids we used to fill all our home details in homework diaries, mobiles didn’t exist then plus we were kids!). Since it was not age of cell phones, my driver uncle had to call the girl from the school office and first explain ‘why we were making the call’.

It was already late and on top of that, the girl hadn’t gotten home! So I had to take her bag home with me worrying and crying all the while about my homework due the next day. It felt like the end of the world.  Came the next morning and I thankfully found the girl in school and exchanged bags. And yes I got a new bag from ‘abroad’ to avoid having same bags as others: p (just made that up)

Now as I look back at this silly episode and compare it to bigger problems we have to face as an individual and as a nation, I feel nothing but hopeless. There are a lot of unwanted baggage that we as Pakistanis carry and feel burdened by it. The bag of load shedding, the bag of drone attacks, and the bag of tried and tested politicians and the bag of terror we as Pakistanis carry each day of our lives and then question is it our war or is it not? For one we are not able to get rid of any of these bags no matter how much we want. Sadly no one is going to come and mistakenly think it theirs and take it away…

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