I didn’t choose this life, life chose me. I didn’t choose my death, they chose it for me. I didn’t want my father to be imprisoned and killed brutally by the hand of a dictator; I didn’t want his burial in the absence of his family.

I didn’t want to breathe after his burial. I didn’t want to hold my tears back. I didn’t want to hide my agony with glory. I didn’t want to suppress my screams. And I didn’t want to believe that he is no more. But I did, because it was chosen for me to do so.

I had to bury him in my heart where I watered my grief with my unshed tears. I wanted to see him. I wanted to hug him tightly until I could heal all the scars from his bosom. I wanted to tell him how much he meant to me. I wanted to tell him how people are dying for him. I wanted to tell him that he is the real hero of an impoverished nation. And yet again, I couldn’t because it was not chosen for me.

All of a sudden I was an orphan of treason; a cursed child of a dead leader imprisoned in a homeless house filled with nostalgic screams, along with a newly widowed mother who was not allowed to take in the last sight of her husband. It was the moment when I wanted to burst out in tears. I wanted to scream like a child for the death of my loving father. I wanted to yell, I wanted to mourn, but I couldn’t because it was not chosen for me.

I had to face it with dignity. I was the daughter of a leader and I am supposed to be strong like him. Being a leader means you are not ordinary but brave and strong. When I was born, this world took away my right to be sensitive, to feel anything. Being a leader or daughter of a leader means you are not allowed to show your weakness, you are not allowed to cry on your father’s death – because only cowards cry.

So, I fought my tears. I wake up in the morning and I vomit. As I rush towards the restroom, I make sure not to wake up anyone. As I grasp the reality of his death a drop falls down. Half blood, half water. But no one can know what I go through. So I have to stop this. I look away. There is a lump in my throat, because I am holding back my tears. But it’s all right, I am strong. 

My younger brother was killed and the other one exiled, but I was not to be shattered by the death of my own brother. I was not allowed to cry because I was the leader of several sisters; yes I am brave and strong. My younger brother was killed brutally on the streets of Karachi, while I was in power. They accused me of his murder, but no I can’t cry.

You are a leader, how can you not tolerate this pain? You have to bleed every time without a sigh because you are a leader.

I endured the breakdown of my brave mother after my brother’s funeral, which was the only motivation in all my struggles. But no I can’t breakdown with her because it was not chosen for me.

I was exiled from the land that swallowed my flesh and blood. I was not allowed to enter the country of which I was once a leader. But I waited patiently like a leader. 

But I had become impatient. I was the leader and I have to show them. I came back despite all threats. I conquered hearts despite all obstacles and was assassinated despite all other leaders because I was the only “real leader”.

People were dying for me, they were mourning and shouting, just like I wanted to shout on the death of my father. Those shrieks were my buried screams and those tears were my unshed tears. I was not allowed to cry on my father’s death because he was my father. And my kids were not allowed to mourn at my funeral, because I was the “Daughter of East”.