Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Swat trip....

Swat, the name once used to remind us of tourism but now all we can link to it is terrorism. But no matter how dark the night is, it is always followed by a bright day. The darkness in Swat has passed and it’s a bright new day. As time passes by, the life in swat is turning back to normal and heading towards a better future.
I have always loved Swat from the depths of my heart, even though the lifestyle is not that of a city boy like me, but maybe because I spent my childhood there, and I must add, it was one hell of a childhood! I would spend my mornings at school. Afternoons in one of the trees in my house, along with my then-best-friend, my sister, eating its fruit, and throwing the seeds at farmers passing by in the farms behind our house. Then as the sun would approach the mountains around the valley, and the farmers start returning to their houses, my siblings, my cousins and I would take our daily trip to the nearby river, where we would play in the cold water, and share fairy tales, hoping that we might find a Thumbelina floating in on a Lilly leaf or a mermaid on the river bank. And then as the sun would go behind the mountains, and birds take a flight to their nests, we would turn back home. I still remember how I loved the time before bed, when our mom would tell us stories. We didn’t really need a TV, and we hadn’t even heard of internet, without which I can’t imagine my life now.
When my parents told me they planned on visiting Swat this year, I wasn’t sure if I was going to join them. Not because I was too busy, but probably because I had memories of the good old beautiful Swat, I wanted them to stay that way. I wasn’t sure if my old school was going to be there or not, if it was still okay to visit the river and the list went on. But the moment I reached swat, all my insecurities turned into surprises. It was just like old times, peace again, chirping birds, farmers in the fields, I could smell my childhood in the scent of fresh loam after a shower. Living in a city, you don’t realize what you’re missing out on until you get out of its fast-paced life and spend some time close to nature.
Swat now truly presents a picture of two extremes, one of natural beauty, and the other of human destruction. We tend to forget that our actions today might affect our future generations worse than they affect us. What we sow today would be reaped by our future generations. All we have to do is to respect our fellow men. Our appearance and belief doesn’t make us superior or inferior to others, it only defines our individuality. Swat carries a lesson for all of us. As winter passes by, the last of the dry leaves fall off the trees, as if carrying away all the sorrows with it, and new buds are appearing, bringing a message of peace, tolerance and a better future.