Let’s forget political manifestos for a while and take time out of our busy morning-to-night routine and have a party. Yes, incongruous as it may seem, let’s party!

Did you have a fun Valentine’s Day? Or did you as the streamers on the poles in Islamabad and other cities and burka clad banner carrying rallies suggest, have a “Haya (Modesty) Day?”

Now let me think, where do we want the party to be today, and a midweek party at that?

As we go about life, we come face to face with the stark reality of the disparate class structure around us. This is not only in social interactions but also in the overall confused world view about us.

On the one hand we have an endless “party culture” of the upper classes with high end sedans, SUVs, clubs, designer everythings, and vacations in exotic locales being the norm; and on the other end of the continuum are people committing suicide as they cannot meet the basic needs for their family. They have trouble dealing with family feuds that lead to killing; a thing called honor resulting in acid throwing; labels like Karo Kari, and the constant branding of religion as  a cult to control and enforce a particular brand of thought.

And mingled in all this are the ever present extremist factions of many hues and colors, whether in sheep clothing, in sleeper configurations, or openly unapologetic of their exploits; all vying to bring about a change inherently alien to the cultural norms of a once tolerant and benign society, and often even antagonistic to basic human nature!

So where is the party?

Or we lack a narrative for a party rationale? Are we so awed and subdued in thought, wish and desire that our individual thoughts become subservient to group think – based on a menace perception trying to erode the very fabric of life, family, society, and indeed civilization.

Looking around the middle class structure of society I see no party now, nor one on the far horizon, and I wonder where our narrative became flawed?

Oh yes the narrative. Invoking divine injunction on killing one person without reason being akin to killing the whole of humanity; suicide being “haram” (forbidden); and trying to put those who perpetuate such acts outside the ambit of any religion and invoking the wrath of Allah to bring fear in the hearts of factions trying to disrupt our lives, is obviously not working. For, if these narratives were actionable, there would be no extremism.

This narrative is not working. Even after being bandied about for the last many years this has not stemmed the flow of recruits to the extremist mindset. So does this mean that the opposition has come up with a counter narrative to our divine narrative in which the party is in the “paradise marquee,” with rivers of milk and honey and no less than seventy two “hoors,” awaits the believer? Surely this is more potent for we have many faithful talking this leap of faith.

So do we need a narrative? I say no, we need a narrative to counter the counter narrative. But then does anyone know the counter narrative which negates the “one equal’s humanity injunction?” for already the private high end English education medium system is no bar to the reach of the siren call of seventy two “hoors”.

But maybe I digress, we do need a party, not just candle light vigils and memorandums handed over to people who most likely throw them in the dust bins without even reading them. Maybe a grand party in front of the Press Club will reach more audiences than a candle light vigil covered by some obscure channel or newspaper, which even those who go for the vigil do not know exists in the bouquet of offerings by their cable operator.

But then status quo and quest for personal peace demands we party in the deep confined recesses of our minds and hearts. For, there forever hidden are our needs, wants and desires for a life of comfort and peace. A peace shattered every other day by someone desirous of the party in the afterlife.

And I pray that may the people be spared the horror and agony of looking for a loved one lost to the twisted faith of the searcher for seventy two!

Now if the wish to be spared the wrath of the bomber is not a cause for a party, nothing will be!