Native in a foreign land

Standard

“I’m from Pakistan.”, I say and my gut suddenly starts to churn. I’m anxious about how they will react. So I search for signs that show their discomfort.
“Phaa-kiss-taan” someone pronounces. I’ve always hated how the lips come together like they’re breathless when they take the name of my homeland.
“Yes, Pakistan”, I nod.
I’m labelled even before I tell them that my country is not all bombs and barbarians.
This label I did not ask for.
My passport is green and my language originates from Arabic and Persian. I’m a mix of cultures but they define me with words that I abhor just like them.
“Isn’t that where they caught Bin Laden?” they ask and I nod.
I want to say, “aren’t you the ones who made Bin Laden?” but I nod and look at the floor. My heart bleeds red, just like the hispanic man who sits across from my table. But he’s afraid of the wall that Trump is going to build and I’m afraid that one of these days someone will jump my nephew and I won’t be able to do anything about it.
There is a lot I want to tell the world as I skip continents. Make way through paper planes and travel roads that lead nowhere.
“No, bombs and barbarians are not the synonyms to define me”
“I am the courage of a nation still standing even when the world said that it can’t stand a day on its own.”

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About Bano

I’m trying to find a better introduction but since, I can’t? Hi! I’m Sheher Bano Zafar and I write. I write not because there lies aspiration to be a writer someday but because, it keeps me sane. I love the color silver, black and grey. I also realize that they fall under the same color tone. Whatever, I write is a result of my 3 a.m blues or insomniac depressive tendencies. I can’t write during the day. I’m addicted to caffeine and well, anything and everything (if I like it). Also, I suck at conversations. I bite my nails. Most of the time I’m clueless about the world around me. I love politics and youth activism. People tell me that art and politics don’t belong in the same mind, but I’m passionate about both. One day I might be drawing on a canvas or writing a story and the very next day I will be heading off to attend a summit on the role of youth at the United Nations. I have multiple people trapped in the same body. Each side does try to express itself, in minimal ways if not fully. I’m currently going through a rough patch in life. I guess, I’m adjusting to the world through multiple perceptions. I absolutely love talking to myself because an expert opinion is always required. Most of the time, I just play scenarios in my mind that would never happen. I’m very contradictory in my thought process and actions but it is okay, people get to be what they want to be as long as no other soul is hurt. Peace out!

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