On this Valentine's Week, a special series on the mixed-sex dynamics of the country.
[Text by Mayank Austen Soofi; picture by Sajjad Ali Qureshi]
Some thinking people scoff at the absurdity of St. Valentine's Day, but they do not need to. There is no Red Heart Revolution under way in Islamabad. Roses are not likely to be exchanged in Waziristan hamlets. Occasional lovers will continue to confront harrowing times in rural Sindh. Brothers will not fail to keep a strict eye on their college going sisters in the town of Multan.
Besides, there are sad rumors of Benazir Bhutto's 20-years-old marriage with Asif Zardari being on the verge of collapse.
No February mood this, yet spring is not far. Perhaps, even as you are reading this line, someone, somewhere is making plans in Rawalpindi. A card is waiting to be sold. A flower is waiting to be plucked.
Pakistan is said to be a conservative country, but has that ever restrained the passions of growing kids? Pimpled people, be they in Kansas or Karachi, are driven by the same substance - hormones. No matter what their religion or nationality, they all close eyes when Roberta Flack swoons "Killing Me Softly With His Song". They all feel Julia Roberts's disappointment each time they watch her watching her best friend's wedding. Love and sex remains a combustible mix for all times and all societies.
On this Valentine's Day, Pakistan Paindabad presents a special series to probe into the mixed-sex dynamics of the country. Do youngsters date in Pakistan? Where are the meeting places in cities like Lahore and Karachi? What role does Islam play in shaping their romantic lives? How the conflict between the Old and the New is handled?
In trying to get a glimpse into the modern life of this nation, many young Pakistanis, both men and women, have come forward to offer their versions. Starting from February 14th, their stories will run through the entire week. While these guest writers do not represent the entire country, their views are important. They, too, are a part of what makes up Pakistan.
Pakistan Paindabad – Long live Pakistan.