Do We Not Bleed? Reflections of a 21st-Century Pakistani is a passionate, illuminating book about contemporary Pakistan. Comprising original profiles of diverse Pakistanis—some of whom are internationally feted and many others who are relatively unknown—as well as essays that examine the major fault lines in Pakistani society, the book offers the reader an insider’s perspective on the state of affairs in the country today.
The book is divided into five thematic sections, each corresponding to a subject that the author feels strongly about. ‘Religious Persecution and Other Discontents’ delves into the killings and oppression generated by religious discord that are now a routine feature of life in Pakistan. In this section we find stories of people like Ambreen, the girl who dared to take on the patriarchy and repressive customs and was burned to death for her defiance and Qandeel Baloch, the self-proclaimed selfie queen, who was killed by her own brother, for daring to flaunt her sexuality and contempt for the hypocrisy that permeated the society she was part of; ‘The Pakistan You Do Not Know’ shows us little known aspects of everyday life in Pakistan; ‘Remarkable Pakistanis’ tells the story of, among others, Muniba Mazari, a quadriplegic whose inspiring story proves the resilience of the human mind and spirit and Shazia Mushtaq, the selfless educator of Yahounabad;‘Family and Friends’ contains personal narratives about members of the author’s immediate circle; and ‘The India Connection’ crosses the border to profile aspects of India that the author cherishes, including Delhi and Amitabh Bachchan.
Written in her inimitable style, Mehr Tarar’s first book is a remarkably honest account of her beloved country.