The heart goes out while watching the kids answering some absurd (I toned the word down otherwise it would never have been printed) questions on news channels by our respectful reporters and anchors. The incident itself undoubtedly moved us as a nation, however what has disturbed more was the way the kids involved in the incident were mishandled by ‘all of us’. The purpose is not to get into an institutional debate of whose fault it is, or what went wrong. The most surprising fact that stuck my mind was the innocent eyes of the two daughters, the questioning face of that son, images of the little girl carrying a feeder in her hand all dressed up for the wedding and in the end the same poor angels being interrogated in the most bizarre manner on media and made an object of sensitization of the whole issue. I am forced to doubt if anyone would have thought of keeping the kids away from whole situation to avoid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those eyes had been haunting me since the incident took place. I was ashamed to tell my kids a made-up cover story so that they are not psychologically disturbed and that feeling revealed a hypocrite mother within me. For a moment the thought of those three kids’ psychological state comes to my mind and am so horrified that the hair stand on end. The children may be requiring psychological assistance, help and counseling. Instead of flashing the incident in front of them every day, they require to forget those ill-fated glimpses. Instead of making pseudo-appearances only for the sake of ticking the boxes, a substantial plan for the future grooming and upbringing of those kids would heal their bleeding wounds in a much more effectual way. Scapegoats and blame games are above the comprehension of those little minds to understand at the moment. Sentiments, feelings and emotions aroused by the unfortunate incident are required to be driven in the right direction. Taking it as a wakeup call and moving ahead, yet not closing eyes to harsh realities seems like the need of hour. A state is more than a government; that is clear so far Are we as a nation gone insensitive? Dead? Numb? Every day, without even feeling guilty, we pass by the poor and needy around us on roads seeking help. Then how can one ask the government or other state institutions to stand for us and to carry out reforms overnight and revolutionize the country where every individual living here is responsible for the state of affairs we are going through today? Am I fulfilling all my duties at the individual level as a responsible citizen? This is the question every Pakistani needs to ask oneself. The anger behind which a mother may have taken cover over the words is very right though. The passion and sentiments must be funneled and worn to highlight the true and futuristic perspective. I think what we can do on an individual level to comprehend our leadership sitting at responsible positions is trust. Faith in our state institutions, trust in our government and belief in our law enforcement agencies, though keeping the healthy criticism to crop side by side, would take us as a nation another mile ahead. Although the time may not seem appropriate keeping in view the chaos created around, however the testing time demands atleast a mature and appropriate behavior from “all of us”. Sentiments, feelings and emotions aroused by the unfortunate incident are required to be driven in the right direction. Taking it as a wakeup call and moving ahead, yet not closing eyes to harsh realities seems like the need of hour. A state is more than a government; that is clear so far. Thereby the components and units at individual and national levels stick together, headed straight ahead, and could take the ship out of the whirlwind. If we as nation keep on acting like what Walter Lippmann rightly defined as a “bewildered herd”, the emergence on the shore after current deep dive would become complicated. The ‘change’ the nation is seeking for and looking up to, would not come by using the unfortunate children to objectify the situation. Published in Daily Times, January 29th 2019.