Friday, January 25, 2008

Benazir Bhutto - Rest In Peace, Pinky

December 27, 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. I was saddened by the news, even though I don’t personally have much knowledge of the woman or the politics and country for which she gave her life.

I remember the first time I became aware of Benazir Bhutto; I had read an article in a magazine, the name of which escapes me now, written by a Harvard classmate of Bhutto’s. The classmate remembered how everyone called her “Pinky”, what a sweet and sheltered girl she was.

Something about this article struck me and stuck with me; whenever I would hear Benazir Bhutto’s name over the years this article would always be my reference point. Bhutto was not much older than I and in my imagination she shared some of the qualities that most girls do in college; young, somewhat innocent, still years away from what would be truly life changing experiences.

I don’t know if anyone really knows why he or she is impacted by the death of a person they’ve never met. Millions cried for Princess Diana though she wasn’t a close friend or family member; if I had to speculate on the reason I’d say it’s because people saw some aspect of themselves in her, so that when she died it was like losing a piece of themselves.

I again found myself reading an article about Benazir Bhutto shortly before her assassination, this one also written by a former classmate. The writer wrote about Benazir’s troubled marriage, her aging mother who was ill with Alzheimer’s and whom Bhutto took care of, about Bhutto’s loneliness and her children. I realized that I saw aspects of myself in Bhutto; I too had been very lonely in my lifetime and had entered into unfortunate relationships for what seemed like good reasons at the time.

I think the loneliness is what resonated most for me. Bhutto was a woman who would never really be able to live her life because her life was meant for so much more. She could never have the luxury of selfishness, she must be concerned with the needs of her people at all times; it seemed like such a weight…and I guess it was; one that she gave her life for.

Rest in peace Pinky.