Tuesday, June 23, 2009


After five years of living independently, away from my family, I'm always a little apprehensive going back home for extended periods of time... I've visited frequently, sometimes three or four times a year and each time it's a different experience. People have changed; my grandparents seem older, more frail than before; my dad has more silver hair and gets tired quickly and my mom's more conservative than I remember (or maybe I've become more "liberal" ?!). It takes a while adjusting to the changes, observing things through a fresh lens. Things I took for granted growing up (health, family, physical and financial security) seem ever more precious...

Then of course, there's the extreme lifestyle makeover: intermittent electricity, intermittent water supply, dependency on servants, the never-ending round of social commitments, a curfew :p

Last time there was no electricity at the airport, so people were filling out forms manually at immigration, the conveyor belts weren't running and there was complete chaos at the airport... it's terrifying when you think about how backward we are compared to the rest of the world. Even a simple task like checking your email becomes a chore. Plus, I feel like an ingrate complaining, knowing there are millions of people worse off than me :p and frustrated because I'm wasting precious time doing routine stuff that could be taken care off by machines (hand-washing clothes and dishes, doing jharoo poncha (sweeping and mopping) etc.) or supervising others to do it...

Then again, there's no greater bonding experience than sitting in one room in semi-darkness in my pjs (in an effort to conserve the UPS/generator) playing ludo or snakes and ladders with my siblings to while away the time or simply going to Seaview for a long drive (with the car ac on) to wait out the blackout.

Of course, not everyone can afford three meals a day let alone UPS or generators or even a car with ac. In fact, while we sweat at home, people's livelihoods are at stake- men are sitting idle in tailoring shops, workshops, photocopy/binding shops, offices and bazaars. In local hospitals without power, hundreds of patients are lying helpless. At times like this, we Pakistanis become resigned to our fate... Indeed, what will be will be... and I have to say, I admire our patience and fortitude.


  1. Nice reflective post. It was rather shocking to hear about the situation at the airport -- I would have expected some sort of backup system over there.

  2. Your life sounds really interesting :):) Especially by the post just below this one .. :P