BACK STORY Four months ago I participated in a media coup. There were students of reputable colleges and institutions from all round the city. We made films and ads, conducted seminars, danced, sang and had the best time of our lives in those three days of the coup-competition.The best part of it all was the livelong friendships that we made. Below is a memoir of those friendships.
THE STORY I haven’t been very well for the last few days but I have been a thorough professional by being present at my internship every single day despite the ill health. Two days ago, I just couldn’t manage to get out of bed, it was that bad. Extreme fever and weakness just did not allow me to move. But it wasn’t the worst that had happened that day… I got a message from Abbass (a friend), saying a plane has just crashed in Islamabad and our friend Owais was on board so we all should pray for his well-being. I was shocked to hear this (to say the least).
I ran to switch on the TV and there they were- the headlines on every single channel: An Airblue flight carrying 152 passengers from Karachi to Islamabad has crashed into the Margalla Hills. There is no news as to how many have survived the accident and how many are injured, or have lost their lives.
Just then my phone rang again and I got to know that two of my other friends, Bilal and Rabab, were on the same flight as well. A student (of mine) who was online that time told me his relatives just got married four days back and they were on the flight, going for their honeymoon… Another friend (Hafsah) called to tell me her friend’s father was on the plane as well…
A report on TV showed a man who had gone completely out of his senses because his sons, daughters and wife were on the plane as well, the only reason he could not accompany them was the unavailability of a seat. He was to join them by the next flight.
Every individual had a unique story. A family was going to attend the funeral. Two young men were going to their cousin’s wedding. Six young students were going to attend a session of Youth Parliament of Pakistan.
An airhostess who wasn’t scheduled for this flight was facilitating as an alternative to another airhostess who wasn’t well (thus couldn’t be on the flight). A family did not even have to go to Islamabad, they had to go to Quetta (another city). But since they could not find a direct flight to their intended city they opted to go through Islamabad…
God, please keep them safe! Please make a miracle happen and help all 152 passengers to survive the crash. Please…please! All my mind could think of was, this. Nothing else. But the news just kept going worse…the place where the plane fell after bumping into the mountains was only accessible through narrow hiking trails.
No ambulance, cars or vehicles could reach there. And it made the rescue process a nightmare. The bad weather was acting against the situation as well. And it took just a few hours to discover- there were no survivors, at all. No, this shouldn’t be.
How can God take away 152 innocent people in a sweep? They have their families waiting for them! They have their friends dying to hear from them! They have their country crying for them. But no, they were gone. Such that no one's body could be found in a single piece and all the body pieces were burnt. How will they be recognized?
Only God knows. The country and I have been mourning over our irrevocable loss for two days now. It will forever be continued. Because the loss will forever be felt…
May God give patience and strength to the friends and families of each of the crash victim. May each departed soul rest in peace. Amen P.S- 1. Owais’s body has been identified by the family. But only the upper half has been found, that too in a dreadful state. He is being brought to Karachi. 2. Bilal’s funeral is being held as I type on my screen. 3. Rabab- I am yet to find out about her.