There are some memories that are so perfect, like powder fresh snow, that you’re scared to remove them from the shelf in your brain, afraid that if you transport yourself back to the sidewalks that served as your everyday sitting areas, the paper cups of tea that strange bees would attempt to sip and in their attempt to sip they would drive you mad, zipping around your hands in circles; to the green benches, the photocopied reading packages that were perfect for straightening out crooked postcards; to the nights spent playing games and just talking, leaning back to put your head on somebody’s bag, the nights spent fighting sleep to reach that stage of delirium when everything is funny and everything is okay and oily halwa poori seems like the only thing that make sense; you’re afraid that if you are able to turn back enough to see all that is over, your heart will crumble, like a moldy cake, or an over-baked cookie.
Basit Koshul was so cool and so were Peirce and Allama Iqbal in the way they saw opposites as the different ends of the same coin – happiness that was so complete it drenched you like the monsoon rain in Lahore, the everyday joy of being, the series of moments up on the wall of amazing in your mind and your heart, that now stab you with a blunt-edged knife, or pummel at your innards slowly, with the gloved hands of a child, but persistently so that it eventually starts to hurt really bad.
I like the fact that I remember the past in the shimmery lovely light of the afternoon sun but it makes it all the harder to think that it’s kind of over. I say kind of even though it’s definitely and utterly over.
But since I’m an optimist and an idealist, I think of a bright(er) future too. And I know we’re all growed up, and we might not have the time to stand around a slug, draw a chalk circle around it and start an hour long dialogue on which direction the slug would take, where the slug had been, and where it would go – does it really notice the circle of chalk around it? – I think Gollum still dances all the time, Teeru still loves to nibble on sweet and salty stuff, Reem’s face is still like a baby which makes her no-nonsense attitude so adorable, Hera still laughs at all my jokes and almost-jokes, Rouje still has mild trouble articulating her profound thoughts, Dija still snorts occasionally and then laughs even more uncontrollably because of her snorting, Mony would probably eat her children’s share of cheese samosas, Barri still annoys the living daylights out of Gollum and Hisham when he talks about all bloggable things, Billu reminds me forever of how much I suck, Hisham is still the goofball who makes everybody laugh, and the list goes on.
And I can picture it now – meeting up in London or a tiny town in old England, in Canada, observing the desis in Toronto and then taking a four day trip to Montreal, riding the psychedelic waves at Hawksbay, making a hundred lists of things to see in Karachi and ticking most of them off.
Watching a video from senior year of college is as bittersweet as the word gets. I don’t even want to calculate the number of years (three) since then. It feels like it was perfect. And I’m pretty sure it was.