The narrator gives a description of events that took place before they left Pakistan and how they had influenced their life since then. Living in a nation where people do not respect the law is a difficult task. There is no guarantee of security and democracy is not given a chance. One thing that is clear though is that parents are still expected to be responsible in ensuring that their children are safe. In this case, the narrator explains how the father protected her when there was an attack on their way to the hospital.
Looking at the culture of Pakistan, they try as much as possible to carry out their cultural practices like funerals even in the very volatile environment. The narrator, together with the parents make that journey from Lahore so that they may attend the funeral for their aunt. Suffering in Pakistan is evidently elaborated by the fact that citizens cannot get basic services due to the insecurity that looms in the country. The same way the narrator did not make it to the hospital for medical attention for the infection of her ear, it means many more are undergoing the same challenges. It is because of this that the narrator explains how memories are a part of their lives in Pakistan. He says, “Pakistan is a nation of memory keepers. We feed our memories as if they are guests at tea, pay homage to them” (Afridi 1).
(Word Count = 236)
- Skim (Verb) – Move quickly over or on a surface
“Past and present skim close, brushing arms like almost-lovers strolling in a desert park.” (Afridi 1).
- Squeamish (Adjective) – Easily made sick or disgusted.
“My mother, squeamish about germs, is convinced I’ve been infected by a villager who kissed me on the ear.” (Afridi 2).
- Frontier (Noun) – A border separating two countries.
“In the Frontier, it is customary to remain indoors after sunset – kidnappers and robbers are everywhere – as it is lawless country, outside the government’s jurisprudence.” (Afridi 2).
- Internally (Adverb) – Relating to the inside part.
“This memory plays constantly, a frangent layer of film that dissolves and disperses into daily life. Fuelled by a will of its own it streams internally.” (Afridi 4).
- Visceral (Adjective) – Associated with deep inward feelings.
“That moment in the trench when my father extricated me from my mother’s arms is visceral.” (Afridi 5).