Displaced Afghani Children at a refugee camp in Kabul / Photograph by Haroon Sabawoon
In the playgrounds of tomorrow, happiness bleeds like a mutilated man. Your children and mine are descendants of a shrivelled landscape that has failed them. All around, a cold boneyard of startled death, weeping voices, growls of an empty stomach, a slow march of sleep into death. In the landscape of tomorrow, God is an almost dead man, a bleak apparition in the eyes of the lonesome boy. Who is going to tell him that in the wars between the good and the bad, there are no winners – only those who suffer and those who suffer in silence? When the motherland wakes again in the lap of the golden sun, she sees her children run. Some for their lives, some for the lives of others. A foolish mother knows not of the seed that has gone bad. She carries him in her womb and provides and only provides until someone removes the weeds and even then, this ungrateful child holds on to portions of her. When such a mother wakes to the tragic sight of her children crouched in despair, she sheds a tear- “Why”? She would rather be a distant barren land such that no child that runs on her is orphaned by the very world it depends on, no mother’s anguish is tested time and again and no man can claim her as his own. And when she stands stripped naked in front of her God, there won’t be complaints, no questions that can’t be answered and no answers that can be questioned.
When the world around crashes and crumbles, Hope is the hypocrite that watches from a distance, the wrinkle on a tired face that questions all that is known. As Amish Tripathi said, “The opposite of love is not hate. The actual opposite of love is apathy.” Pure ignorance of the injustice in the world. To stand on the brink of humanity and watch hands as soft as the smallest flower reach out, and still choose to look away. To have a heart as barren as the desert, to turn a blind eye to life’s fundamental right to live. And all of us watching will remember that each time we see the world burn, we also see that the mother that bore the seeds of humanity, also bears their despair. And when she counts her children coming home, she will count twice, and again and again until it dawns on her foolish heart that each time she does so, the number only grows smaller.