As a teenager, when I was supposed to be enjoying life, making friends, watching movies, playing games, socialising and talking about our little dreams, I was thinking of pleasing God and hating His perceived enemies
“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love” — Anais Nin.
According to Wikipedia, “Abnormality, in the vivid sense of something deviating from the normal or differing from the typical (such as an aberration), is a subjectively defined behavioural characteristic, assigned to those with rare or dysfunctional conditions.”
Some might call me judgmental, others label me as cynical and delusional while some associate me with a class that thinks nothing can go right in Pakistan but still fails to understand what actually is wrong with this country. To understand this abnormality, I have reflected on my own life here — a journey where I was growing up in a religiously conservative and culturally oppressive society.
I recall how Hindus and Jews were my sworn enemies, even though I had not seen any. Christians were there to work as sweepers and cleaners and we were told not to shake hands with them or take any food from them, thus making me believe, as a child, that all Christians were sweepers and dirty. I did not know of Ahmedis and Barelvis but I was told that they were not good people either. Shias were not Muslims; once a student asked our Islamic studies teacher why a section of the Islamic studies book was titled ‘for Shia students only’ for which he was beaten mercilessly because he did not know the difference between a ‘Musalmaan’ (Muslim) and ‘kaafir’ (non-believer) as taught by that teacher in my school.