I think the conversations between my father and I are a mirror to the larger debate going on in the real world, outside our living room. So here’s one:
Mom: Today is Jinnah’s death anniversary.
Me: So I hear. Jinnah once said “Failure is a word unknown to me.” Well, here’s failure. (I said this pointing towards the television which displayed scenes of a fire in a factory placed right within a residential area.)
Dad: Lo Ji! He now has problems with Jinnah! Dear God.
Me: I don’t necessarily have problems with him. But yes, I do disagree with him on certain issues.
Dad: What? Look, he made Pakistan. He was a brilliant politician. He is a role model.
Me: Alright. Let me ask you something. It was not anyone else but Jinnah who said that Ahmedis have a right to call themselves Muslims and nobody can take that right away from them. Do you agree?
I’ve got him right where I want him
Dad: Ugh! Usman, can you declare somebody a Muslim when they distort the kalma? Or will you add “Ahmed” at the end of it?
Me: I didn’t ask that. What I simply asked was that this was Jinnah’s perspective regarding Ahmedis. Do you agree with it or not, regardless of what I believe?
Dad: No. He was wrong. But I never said that I have a blanket policy towards his policies or ideas.
Me: Then why do you expect me to have one?
And with that, we did not speak for the rest of the day. Although that can partly be blamed to me breaking the tap. Love you Dad