Posts Tagged ‘fear’

3 bombs in 3 days–Too close to home

March 18, 2008

As some of you know, my life in Pakistan is split into two places, geographically–Lahore, where the Saiban project is and Islamabad, where my wife/home is.  So, I end up travelling about 1000 km/week due to this arrangement.

Last week, as I was travelling to Lahore, I received a phone call from my mother frantically asking where I was.  Once I told her I was on the highway (far away from any civilization) she told me there were two bombs that went off in Lahore and many people had died.  My mother was actually in Lahore at the time, and she said the timing was ‘almost perfect’.  Since my parents live only a few kilometers from both bombings (in Lahore)–they heard the explosions and said it was only a split second between the two bombings, and the targets were very clear–seemed very well planned.

A few days later, as I was still in Lahore, my wife called me up from Islamabad and told me she was going out to dinner with some friends. Two hours later I get a phone call from a friend, ‘Is your wife ok–there was an explosion at a shopping center not too far from your house–and they say many foreigners have died’….without him finishing his sentence, I hung up the phone with a thousand thoughts racing through my mind as I called my wife…’when we go out to eat, we almost always go to that shopping center–what are these suicide bombers thinking–God, I hope Asiya wasn’t there–what if she was in the explosion, I am 500 km away…’

 ‘Hello’….I hear her voice and finally exhale…’Yeah, we are all fine, we decided not to go out and cooked at home’

The bomb went off at an italian restaurant that is walking distance from our home, and my wife and I have gone there several times…

About six months ago the bombs were in different cities than where we lived–and selfishly, I did not give it much thought beyond a general frustration that the ones that end up getting killed are the security guards, the gardeners, and other support staff (who were probably supporting large (extended) families with their income.

Then the bombs were within the same cities as my residence, but far off enough that we could steer clear of the troubled areas.

Now, the bombs are exploding in our own neighborhoods–the thought that a bomb will explode while you are grocery shopping or at the park with your family–is now a harsh reality