‘Happy Birthday, Bibi. You persist to exist. For us, you never died’

‘No matter what, I would always be back!’

Hemmed in by roses beneath the soil lie the very heroes of the soil. Within the hearts of masses they exist immortally... Puzzled by the unimaginable reality of her being taken away, my heart is jolted each time I commence to think if she no more exists. Emotions are suddenly burst into tears - thoughts are shattered, as with a violent blow, when I am recalled that the glimmer of hope, the gleam of ecstasy is no more among us. Nature could not be that savage, my heart wails. Life is not that meaningless, the soul cries. However, William Penn’s words, ‘Death cannot kill what never dies’ holds true for the persona of the enigmatic Benazir who chose not her life, rather a bullet - for the people’s sake.
Nevertheless, the anecdote of her valor is chronicled in the chapters of history extolling the valiance of my leader who gazed into the eyes of dictators and terrorists to rend them from the origins of her soil that has the essence of young blood of its soldiers and innocent citizens in it. Manifestation of her gallantry is such matchless that she continues to remain the strongest to hold millions of the people spellbound. Her true mettle, which at many times brought the nation out of obscurity and still continues to lead through her vision, is what signifies her existence till the day. Despite being physically departed to the other world, she could not leave forever. For she had pledged to return - return for her people and return to achieve what her father envisaged.
“With me coming and going, I always worried they were fearful I wouldn’t return, like their father didn’t return one day. I told them no matter what, I would always be back.”
For her own children, world was turned upside down when the streets of Pindi were reddened with her blood and for her people, every hope was shattered. Nevertheless, when roars the real lion, her son Bilawal, from Garhi Khuda Buksh chanting ‘Zindah hai Bibi zindah hai’ - pledging to uphold the legacy of her martyred mother - life is yet again breathed into the dead souls whose world ceased to exist after the fatal evening of December 27. She reemerges in her older daughter Bakhtawar who comes into prominence upholding the hopes of thousands of the destitute through her non-profit organization. My Benazir yet again leaves an everlasting impact on the entire world through her little one Aseefa, who leads the fight against polio saving the future of Pakistan from being crippled. Her children’s utterances as well as accomplishments explicit the existence of the vision of my Bibi Shaheed - vision that Bhutto articulated, Benazir passionately owned and is now being incessantly driven to realization by her children.
Never intimidated by death, she never perceived it as an end to Bhuttoism. Neither did her people let her imaginations for an ideal Pakistan fade away. Even after December, directing all not to give up, her vivid motto continued to save Quaid’s Pakistan. The pang of loss got converted into the spirit of enthusiasm and momentum, as the masses assembled to defeat the mindset behind the monstrosity that has been costing every sane voice. The disciples of Benazir marched on to mold her dreams into actualities. What all committed to carry forward is the paramount she left behind – the Bhutto legacy. This legacy is the cause she died fighting for and the evil mindset is still frightened of.
I find no doubt in stating that People’s Benazir exists. Not only through her own children, but in each of us who resists to the right wing forces of our system. For someone like me who never even met her, she is no less than a messiah. She is the spirit that keeps the fire burning in me. She has taught the millions how to live and how to die. “Life and death is in the hands of Allah, so live and die, not for yourself but, for others.” This is what I have learnt from a leader who was never terrified of the hardships. A leader who lived for the masses and died fighting for them. After her father, she has been the best leader Pakistan ever had – because she was not made one, but was born so.
Her sacrifices for a Benazir Pakistan can never go in vain. And soon there will be the day when the sun would rise flickering with anticipation.
Happy Birthday, Bibi. You persist to exist. For us, you never died.

The writer is an undergrad student of Social Sciences, a blogger and political activist. She tweets @MaleehaManzoor and can be reached atmaleeha.ppp@gmail.com

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