Meray Paas Tum Ho star Hira Mani is currently vacationing in the US with her family and has been sharing her experiences on social media, much to her fans' enjoyment. She recently shared a post where she filmed herself fuelling up a car and made comments that we found rather odd.
In the Instagram post, Mani is seen standing at a gas station, filling fuel in the car herself, an odd sight for most Pakistanis. The post was captioned "apna khaana khud garam kero [reheat your own food]," a chant that was popularised by Aurat March protesters in 2019 and became the subject of much controversy.
"Something I appreciate very much is that women here do all of their work on their own," she said of life in the US. Comparing it to life in Pakistan, she said, "We live in a very fortunate country where we have a Tasneem or a Nazeera baji who we can call out to if we need anything. And when you’re at a gas station, there are so many people present to help you fill up your car’s tank."
And while it's true that labour is cheap here, we wouldn't exactly call it a fortunate country. The "fortunate" among us are able to avoid learning basic life skills because we can afford to hire people to do that for us but there are many, many more people — a majority of our population — who have to do it themselves.
Our "good fortune" essentially boils down to other people's poverty and the lack of quality life in Pakistan for the majority, which we consider a tragedy, not a "fortunate" occurrence.
It might be harder to clean your own home or fill your own gas tanks with fuel but we hope Pakistan can one day become a country where Tasneem or Nazeera baji are also fortunate enough that they don't have to clean someone else's homes.