As if being in Karachi wasn’t enough, add to it whole lot of food from around the world, bestest of company of people to remember every single moment and gallons of rain-That’s a special magical recipe one could use any time any where to brighten up any day or night.
|PIA Boeing at Toronto Pearson International Terminal|
I landed in Karachi after 5years 15 days 19 hours amidst scorching sun and humidity levels reaching 36degrees. Everyone before and during my 14 hours long, non stop flight kept trying to convince me that Pakistan specially Karachi is a mess, there is terrorism, there is street crimes, dirt, pollution, no electricity, unimaginable mehngai and what not…and that I am going to run back in maximum a month (Some even called it 10 days)….
Well the moment I landed at Quaid e Azam International Airport, Karachi, my heart skipped a beat. No literally it did! I looked outside the window and it felt like a scene out of the Johnny Depp starrer BLOW where he lands in Mexico for some drug trafficking.(Not that I matched his intentions in anyway:) I was confused-Let me say I wanted to feel at home being back in Karachi, however at the same time I wasn`t sure if I would.
I got into the line at immigration looking at which I thought it would easily be another hour before I could finally get to the luggage belt. To my relief, I was offered an instant rescue by hiring a porter, who would push, pull, hurt, hit, drag, even slap any one to take me to the front of the row-just so he can get his money fast!!
|Swiss Cheese & Mushroom burger at Hardees|
Outside, the same sticky humid air hugged me, kissed me…..There is magic in this city…Or may be I only feel so because I have spent my life here….But I know a lot of people, in fact most people, who leave their birth place after ages and live happily ever after in one place or another…..For me, I could never pull myself out of the trance…..I’ve missed Karachi, every single day, that I lived away!
|Shahrah e Faisal in rain|
My family told me that today was one of the hottest day after long. Ramadan has been cool and great but just today it was hot-May be it was mother nature’s way of giving me a jolt back to the reality. The moment I reached home, my cell phone started ringing….Yes my local Pakistani number…Thanks to my ever caring friends like Shakila, Sana, Anju, Aquil and my huge family who remembered I was in town now. My FB was also full of messages of those who didn’t have my number. Itni muhabbat aur kahan milegy??
The next day wasn’t any different. I’d planned (yes I really did) to go for some beauty routine-facial, mani and pedicure plus to buy some grocery stuff from the new local chains like Metro or Naheed and also to buy some trendy clothes from Zamzama for Eid.
|Steak with Chardonnay sauce at Forty 4|
Not that I failed entirely. I managed to get a facial, reach the nearest Metro for some quick stroll across the aisles and finally picking up a little fight at the checkout counter and thats it. The heat wasn’t letting me move any single step more. So much for Zamzama or even Naheed’s!!
The whole day of Eid was spent confided in a room, with air conditioner and laptop. Thanks to KESC there was no load-shedding that day. The second day came. Barely eaten anything, I was still in the one Pakistani dress my sister got for me. That was the only one that would keep me cool. I waited for a friend to call as an escape-NO CALL!!
And then came the third day-Dressed in a 100% polyester chiffon dress, in full makeup, I landed at one of the Eid dawats at my uncles. By now, I was in full Pakistani swing.Garmi hay toa kia hua??
Today is my 26th day…Ahhhhh really?? My god….I am scared…Why is it passing so fast??? I have had a blast- From shopping at Bahadurabad for clothes to kachchay amrood, from Zahid’s Nihari to Forty 4, from Flamingo’s chaat to dhagay walay kebabs, from shopping in Hyperstar to Imtiaz, from endlessly and aimlessly driving just to stay out a little more, from Ahmer to Shakeela to Urooj to Prof. Moiz; from khala’s, phuphoo’s to tailors, from T20’s thrilling matches to the most beautiful rain in the world, I cant even count it all. The blessings are endless!! The joy is super!
|Crowd cheering in the Cricket stadium|
To all those who warned me and still are warning that “Jub tumhari gaari gunpoint per snatch hogy toa pata chlega” (When your car will be snatched at gunpoint, you’ll know) or “Jub traffic main jaogy toa samajh aaega” (When you’ll go out in traffic you’ll know) or “Jub baarish k paani main gaari band hogy toa maza aaega” (When you’ll be stuck in the rain, you’ll enjoy then)-PLEASE STOP!!!
I have been driving in this crazy city with the craziest of drivers for about 2 weeks now. I am still fresh. I had a little diarrhea-I’m still energetic. I have been out thrice; I want to make it umpteen; I had been stuck in rain twice; I want more!
Nothing, absolutely nothing in the world can make me not like this city.This city gave me friends, family, education, knowledge, food, money, status, strength, confidence, charm, memories-simply myself!!
Karachi I am in love with you…all over again….