Your Eid and Ours...

(Shahnawaz Sarmad, Lahore)

Have you eer realized that Police is protecting you 24/7?

Eid is such a great festival which unites people at their homes, no matter how far they are. Even people living abroad travel to their home country to celebrate true festivity of Eid with their loved ones. I had the same story last year as I planned my arrival around Eid days.

Going for Eid prayer is one of the most amazing parts of Eid day as you meet a lot of old friends and fellows there, once in a year usually. Everyone, otherwise, have busy lives and most of them work in different parts of the country, so such gathering is a blessing indeed.

I observed so many cute little namazis at Eid prayer, came along with their father, uncle or brothers. Few of them were behaving like gentle men while others communicating through whispers or sign language, as silence in a code of conduct at worship places.

As per tradition, right after Eid prayer, everyone started to meet and greet each other. Meanwhile I saw a police man standing at the gate of mosque watching the joy and celebrations, everyone was busy in.

A "built-in" feeling of annoyance for police struck through my mind, what this fool is doing here in uniform, holding a gun, even on Eid day.

This (unpleasant) feeling was not built on this particular sight, instead had a background, as whatever I had heard about police through media and friends in past years was negative, which created a feeling of antagonism and mistrust towards them. I had always felt blessed that I did not have any interaction with police so far.

But I realized that "Actually he was sacrificing his Eid day for us ", what was opposite to all my perception. So that unlikable feeling was washed away by a positive vibe.

What a shame, no one is greeting him Eid wishes. I moved towards him, escaping the so many greeters around, as I just wished to thank him. But on just a few steps, an old friend caught me, saying loudly "Eid Mubarak". The series of greetings started again which continued along all the way to home. During which I totally forgot that I had to greet him. I was saddened that I missed an important opportunity to thank a person who was solely there for us. Otherwise every government servant charges salary, and there is not a single department free from corruption and misconduct, but you cannot even compare duty of security personnel with other government employees. Life of a police man is always on risk. Is not it responsibility of us all to make them feel cared?

In afternoon, I took children to the nearby park. Surprisingly there was another police man on gate to keep an eye on security situation. This time I did not want to miss the chance and straightly greeted him. I introduced him to children and asked them too to greet that brave man because children learn from what we do or tell them to do.
After managing kids to stay in a safe area, I came back to gate as I wanted to talk to him so that he may not feel all alone on this special day.

“How are you Jawan?” He reacted with a strange look as he was not sure what he just heard or as he was ensuring that the question was asked to him really.
"I am alright sir" As he looked at me, he felt relaxed because of our recent interaction.

"So how is the Eid day going?" I summed up all my courage to ask the actual question.

After a silence of about half a minute, there was only a sigh that came out. It was like he was sorting out words in his mind to speak.

"It is not different from any other day for me, but I am happy to see that people are enjoying this day and I am of some help to them. But it hurts when people hoot on us and don't even realize how we are here on such special days as well for their safety and security. I am sure that even if I sacrifice my life right here while protecting them, they still will comment like, “It is definitely his fault, if he would have been doing his duty rightly, this would not have happened”. We try our best sir, at least we try!"

I had no answer to this harsh reality that we really neither care nor realize their dedication, services and sacrifices.

In further conversation, he revealed that he belonged to a nearby town, hardly on a distance of 40 Kilometers. It was a shock again as I had travelled thousands of miles to spend Eid with loved ones while he was already a few miles away but apart. How strange!

There must be kids at home waiting for him on Eid day to hold their hands while going for Eid prayer. He too would have a wish to meet and greet all his friends and fellows after Eid prayer as we all do as per tradition.

It is our moral and ethical responsibility to respect them who protect us 24/7 and especially during all important days like Ramazan, Eids and Muharam. While we worship inside the worship places, they do the same outside by ensuring security of our lives. Let’s say them all “Eid Mubarak” and “Thank You” this Eid

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