The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic attack about 70 years ago, are called the ‘Hibakusha’ – which literally means ‘explosion-affected people’. Apart from the physical damage, which included skin rashes, purple spots on the skin, high fever, swollen and bleeding gums, they suffered from mental torture and discrimination, which continues to date. The Hibakushas in Japan, albeit a small group has managed to relate their lives publicly, not to gain sympathy of being atomic victims but to let the world know how important it is to eliminate nuclear weapons from this world.
I am wondering aren’t we all ‘Hibakushas’ individually and collectively in a society, community or nation. The atomic explosions are no doubt relative, yet all of us have scars, fevers and rashes reminiscent of the past. While the real Hibakushas have suffered from genetic disorders and radiation related diseases, and haven’t we all suffered from seething pain, physical or mental?
Similarly, on an individual and collective basis can we not eradicate negativity, misery, pain and agony by just being honest in our communications, avoiding judgmental decisions, and being more aware of our own selves – so that we can stop harming ourselves and the society around us?
On a national level, Pakistan, our pride, our Nation is also seething with pain for all the harm it has endured, yet like the Hibakushas it has survived, although spotted with black, this nation continues to strive for white, and maintains its resilience and strong will. So here is a toast and prayer for our nation to always remain alive, free and united! Happy 68th!
Celebrating our Independence Day with a delicious ‘Kheer’ is as simple as it gets. Glutinous rice cooked is cooked in milk, cream and butter, and to further add to its richness, it is faintly sweetened with condensed milk, and finally topped with honeyed pistachios. Let it simmer to magic for about an hour, stirring occasionally and you will have a neat dessert on your hands.