On The Side

From the diary of Samantha A Gerry

Published 14 Feb, 2019 04:51pm

Ever since I saw Cynthia D Ritchie riding a bicycle on the streets of Peshawar urging women in Pakistan to cycle towards their freedom, I just knew that I too had to come to Pakistan and do the same.

I am a basic white girl from a small hick town in the States nobody has ever heard of. There is very little hope for me making it big. But I feel Pakistan is a place where I will matter, where people will listen to me, give me opportunities and lavish me with love just because I am there.

It will not matter that I have no skills or credibility to speak about complex local issues. I will declare my love for Pakistan and people will love me back. Jeremy McLellan and Eva zu Beck have taught me that Pakistan is a country where even the most average basic white person can make it big.

No longer do girls in my suburb dream the American dream, we dream the Pakistani dream. To me the country sounds like if La La Land was real and Ryan Gosling was brown.

I just joined Twitter to ask people about Pakistan and I got showered with so much love. People sent me their home addresses asking me to stay with them when I visit, some men even trusted me enough to share their most private and intimate pictures with me, and the who’s who of the country DMed me to invite me to private parties.

I think when Cynthia asks when will the US do more, she actually means when will the US do more to send more white people to Pakistan. They are the most loving and forgiving people in the world. White people colonised them for a century but they still welcome us with open arms.

Also, there is no racism in Pakistan. Whereas in the US it took years for people of different skin colours to marry, I have received at least 20 marriage proposals in a day from Pakistan.

CNN and Fox News never show this positive side of Pakistan. They focus on the terrorism. But all my friends who have visited Pakistan, have stayed at embassies and travelled with heavy security, tell me Pakistan is very safe.

I, for one, have decided that I will be visiting Pakistan. I will go to Peshawar and teach women how to ride bicycles. Recently, a group of women did not get to hold a cycling march in Peshawar whereas Cynthia cycled on the same streets barely weeks before. These women need to know how privileged they are to be able to freely ride bicycles in Pakistan and have their countrymen support them. By these women, I meant white women brought to Pakistan to show the world how safe Pakistan is for white women.

When I look into the eyes of poor Pakistanis, I hear them crying out to me, “Oh! Save me white saviour!” and it makes me feel useful. So what if I did not get that internship or never went to college? If I can go to Pakistan and change the lives of women and children all over the country by posting four selfies of myself travelling the country, then like Jesus, I will die for their sins.

Let me show you Pakistan through a different lens. Even though I have never visited, let me tell Pakistanis how they should see their own country. Pakistan is not just burqas and guns, it is also gutkas and buns; it is not just poverty and famine, it is also party and brunches; it is not just violence and crime, it is also violins and mime.

I have met people from DHA who have not been to Gulshan-e-Iqbal, people from Malir who have not been to Seaview, people from PECHS block two who have not seen PECHS block six because they are afraid and brainwashed by propaganda. Also because Karachi does not have an effective public transportation system, but mainly because of the propaganda.

The prime minister of Pakistan tweeted a video of the Markhor. The people of Pakistan are also like a Markhor. We make videos of them to entice the world to come to Pakistan but we also allow some people to come and shoot them. Internally, none of the policies are ever made with the Markhor in mind and honestly politicians could hardly care for the animal. Like I said, the people of Pakistan are exactly like the Markhor.

Thank you Pakistan for all the opportunites you have for a white girl. It is no surprise that Pakistani girls spend this much on fairness creams — maybe if they were as fair as me, they would have some rights in Pakistan too.

Disclaimer: I made a fake account on Twitter pretending to be a white girl coming to Pakistan. It was the best I have ever been treated by other Pakistanis. I dream of a day that I could also be a white girl. Sorry to break the hearts of everybody offering me their home — Samantha A. Gerry is not real but if you wish upon a star and believe, she will also be real to you.

This article is part of the Herald's satire series titled 'Newsbite', originally published in the February 2019 issue. To read more subscribe to the Herald in print.