01 Jan, 2022

Wasim Akram wasn't exactly happy on the first morning of 2022 and there's good reason for it — hawai firing (aerial firing) was in full swing on New Year's Eve, despite the immense danger it poses to individuals near the site of shooting. There are safer ways of ringing in the New Year and the former cricketer took some time out to make a video message to remind everyone of just that.

Akram posted a short video message on Twitter to re-emphasise the perils of aerial firing. "Hope everyone had a safe New Year’s Eve last night," he wrote. "Please listen to my message carefully. If we want betterment for our country then we all need to work together to make a change!"

In the video message, Akram showed clear displeasure at the incessant hawai firing he observed on New Year's Eve Friday night, that too by youngsters. "Wishing you a Happy New Year on behalf of my family and myself," he said. " I want to make a very important request — can we please teach our kids to stop showing off. Why am I saying showing off? As soon as it was midnight, the gun firing began. Dhaa, dhuzz, dhuzz, dhaa, adey tussi Rambo therdey nahi [You are not Rambo]. Go buy some fireworks or patakhas [firecrackers] like I did last night for my daughter. Chotay anaar, chotay phuljari [small types of firecrackers], please buy these sort of things.

"Remember, the bullet that is fired up in the air eventually comes down as well and it can fatally injure anyone when it comes down. This can be your relative or some passerby on the street. I'm talking about all kinds of areas. We have to evolve as a nation and that is not happening. We're still doing the same stuff we were doing in the 70s. I hope you guys understand this message of mine," he asserted.

Akram's message was retweeted by cricketer Mohammad Hafeez, who was both amused by Akram's 'Rambo' comment and concerned about the practice. "Please listen carefully and do respond like responsible citizens in [the] future," he said.

Listen to your favourite cricketers. Realise that there are several ways of celebrating the New Year (or any other event) that don't involve fatally harming someone. Hawai firing doesn't make you cool, heroic or likeable, it makes you dangerously irresponsible and a threat to innocent lives. Like Akram said, if you love welcoming the New Year with a pop and a bang, indulge in safely playing with firecrackers or fireworks. Your 10 seconds of perilous enjoyment aren't more valuable than a person's life and wellbeing.