Showing posts from 2015

The Logic of 7/11s in Bangkok

Day 1 
The best thing about having a job is taking off from it. As soon as you buy your first ticket, a little butterfly breaks out of its cocoon, fluttering about from Tripadvisor to, going a little nutty looking at photographs of deluxe rooms and aqua-colored waters, then laying back to dream of a wide expanse of land with no office to go to…
I actually made a word document scheduling my vacation, and I’m only a little embarrassed about it. I did have Fahad with me, to slow down the planning and cut off sunsets that require 40minute bus rides and snorkeling trips that warrant a 7am wake up time, instead replacing it with slow walks down bright streets and swimming in the most amazing clear sea in Thailand. The first thing I loved about our trip was not starting with a sleepless night. The flight was comfortably scheduled at 11:55 pm, giving us the whole day to relax, pack (who am I kidding, I was packed two days before) and have some chai before leaving for the airport.

Karachi Likes to Read

Karachi Scribbles VII

Well, not really. To quote Mohammad Hanif, “humein parhney likhnay ka shoq kum hai. Humein BBQ ka shoq hai.”
However, for most of the year we may prefer barbecued kabobs to books, but come the first weekend of February and we forget that for a couple of days. Instead we gather around to listen to writers, activists, politicians, showoffs, playwrights and more; we walk around blue, green, yellow, orange books laid out like bright candies across tabletops and stacked on shelves, the glistening dirty water of the creek by Beach Luxury Hotel catching the sun in the backdrop.
I remember the first Karachi Literature Festival, back in 2010, and how incredulous I was at the idea of walking in for free and listening to some of my favorite Pakistani authors and those I hadn’t ever read, of getting the chance to hear a heartthrob former instructor talk in that articulate way that makes you believe in things, going over a program to figure out if I wanted to hear views on pol…

Pulling the Reins on 2015

Karachi Scribbles VI
Many, many years ago, time used to be slow. Like an old goods train that ran on coal, chugging forward at an agreeable pace and sometimes breaking down, creaking to a stop, catching its breath, letting everyone else pause for a bit too.
I can still recall the phrase “I’m bored” – but barely; a time when when computer applications were restricted to Paint and that mines game which I never understood but continued to play; when the summer days would stretch in front of us in languid luxury, the total number of TV channels under the count of five, when there was actually so much time that I would do my summer vacation homework: which was to buy stickers of fruits and vegetables and paste them neatly in ‘scrapbooks’ (the term scrapbook had a different meaning then – multicolored pages inside an ugly cover of a thin notebook), not exactly an exercise of critical thinking. I mean seriously. Fruit stickers?
We had so much time we would make up races like the Titanic race (i…