Better Safe Than Sorry

“It was all unplanned. We didn’t want to but we ended up doing it. I don’t know what to do. Abortion is the only option I have.”

Several girls each day have such a conversation with people they confide in. Several women opt for secret or illegal abortions every day being a part of a conservative society.

Why is it that these women aren’t provided with the much needed sex education? Why is that its 2017 and our society, our country is still playing victim to the very idea of sex? Its something that’s celebrated wearing expensive clothes and serving delicious food under the event category of Valima every day in Pakistan then why is there no education provided beforehand?

Childbirth is one of God’s most wondrous miracle that a human eye has seen, that a human heart has experiences and yet we fail to provide the preliminary precautions and and prevention for it?

While I’m at it, let’s see a few facts here about women, pregnancy and contraception:

  1. In Pakistan, almost one-half of the women are anemic throughout their pregnancy.
  2. More than 2/3rds of the women deliver at home, without the supervision of any trained assistance.
  3. 45% deaths of under 5 years of age occurs during the first month of life, primarily as a result of poor maternal health and nutrition and complications during delivery. This indicates that maternal health has a direct impact on child survival..
  4. Less than 2 years of interval between children doubles the risk of infant dying.
  5. 34% mothers in Pakistan are said to be underweight according to their age and BMI.
  6. One woman in every 38 dies during childbirth.
  7. More than 1/3rd of Pakistani women wish to space the next birth or limit the family, but is unable to do so.
  8. Households spend considerably less on women in the event of illness as compared to men.
  9. 3 women lose their lives EVERY HOUR because of pregnancy associated complications.
  10. We have more than seventy five thousand villages all over the country without proper road network. People living in mountains, forest areas and small islands have no access to centre with EmOC available.

The lack of contraception, health and sex education, and precautions is taking so many lives, physically and emotionally.

To address this, Greenstar recently came out with a powerful campaign – #NoMenWithoutWomen.

Several women came out with messages to show a woman’s struggle. The campaign didn’t just raise awareness but had several others speak up about so many issues. There definitely is #NoMenWithoutWomen and kudos to Greenstar SM for highlighting this issue, putting forward a progressive Pakistan.

A Blessing In Disguise.

“Hello. Yaar suno what are you doing abhi?”

“Hey nothing. I’m in my room reading a book. Why?”

“Yaar idher ajao lets order something. I’m bored and hungry.”

“Acha gimme five minutes, okay?”

“Alright.”

I grabbed my phone, wallet and key, locked the room and walked over to the next room. He had left the door open for me and since it was always very informal between us, I just walked in. His two room mates were fast asleep so we decided to go over to my room because it had the extra sitting area and order the food.

“Two Chicken Cheese burgers and two cokes please. Room 101. Thank you.”

We made small conversations, laughed a little and fiddled with our phones until the room service guy arrived with our food. Though the food there was pathetic, we ordered it every night nonetheless. Anyways, the guy arrived with our food looking sleep deprived and slightly high. We paid him and he left without saying a word.

“I have always hated eating alone. And some of my not-to-be-remembered memories are of the times when I had to eat alone.” I said. “I know me too but sometimes its good like that. Loneliness can be a bliss sometimes you know.”

He had told me everything about himself earlier that night and the friendship between us changed in an unimaginable way. I can’t remember the last time I was able to talk my heart out in front of someone without thinking about being judged. We ate while making small conversations about current hot gossips in our social circles and our existing but hopeless love lives.

“Lets finish eating and go sit downstairs in the garden. Its kinda nice out there and I need to smoke too.” He said.

We left the plates outside my room and walked over to the garden. The hotel was deserted. Shady as we liked to call it. The view however was breathtaking. The night was unusually quiet and the moon was shinning proudly against the dark sky. We walked over to the far end of the garden and sat on the slightly damp grass. He lit a cigarette and we started to talk. It was one of those conversations where you confess, find something about yourself and get to know the other person all at the same time.

“WHAT?! WTF?! How did you know that?” He said, utterly shocked.

“I know. I’m very observant. And sometimes its very easy to see through some people”. I laughed.  

Haaan but phir bhy how? Its not like I don’t know you or something.”

“You know about me but you don’t know me.” I said and winked at him. 

He looked so different under the moon light. Contend. Beautiful. Not the same person I met in the morning. It was as if he had removed an invisible mask and now he sat in front of me with all his expressions naked.

“You know what I mean, right? That something. Yaar I know it exists.” He said.

“I know. You know nothing can happen and there’s possibly no future but you still hold on to these hopeless shreds just because its so beautiful the way it is.”

We talked about all the things possible. Relations, life, families, society, social circles, men and mostly men.

These men are chutiyaas, I tell you.” He said while lighting up his fourth cigarette.

“Pata hai yaar phir bhy kasam se. Itna frustrating hai yaar.”

“Frustrations ki tou baat hi na karo bhenchod khatam hokey nhy deti!”

And we burst out laughing on that.

We were still laughing when we heard Fajar ki azaan. “Hum kitney haram hain kasam se. Azaan ho ri hai hansna bandh kero.” He said between the fits of laughter. “Blasphemy ki hadd hain aap.” I said

Seclusion is such a bliss sometimes. Sitting there on the damp grass of a shady hotel while the world slept and  was far beyond our concerns, I found joy after such a long, long time.

He helped me stand up and we walked back to our rooms leaving a night full of memories behind us.