December Mumblings

As the political debate heats up, it’s getting colder here. Cold in Karachi would be defined by the desire to wear a sweater for an hour in the mornings. Yes the early mornings when parents like me wake up to drive their wards to school at the ungodly hour of 7am or so. I wonder why they cannot start school at 9am? I feel like I am going back to school again and the dread of doing that every morning is the same, no matter how old u get!

As each wintry day passes though the politics gets murkier and murkier and the day shorter and shorter. We are losing out not only on time but the publics patience it seems as exhibited by the angry and may I add very successful protest by the students of the LUMS University in Lahore a few days ago. Perhaps the foggy nights are not only confined to the weather but on our collective conscience as well there seems to be a grey mist descending.

I personally have come to a stage where I could care less who is going to be the next prime minister, what’s the point? They are all the same, wheeling and dealing to get themselves into power in which ever way possible. In fact I have decided to not go and vote at all for any of these buffoons. I would rather show my protest by not voting then voting in a sham election!

The only bright light in this week’s haze has so far been the incredible fight back by Pakistan’s cricket team in India as they have now clawed their way back to a draw in the seemingly doomed Kolkata test. Courtesy some very gutsy performances by Younis Khan, Misbah and Kamran Akmal. Who knew they would be so solid in their desire to take it to the opposition. Yet Kumble the Indian team captain has bitterly remarked “there was no moral victory for Pakistan” Hah sour grapes Kumble?

The Bakra(Goat) Eid is also drawing closer and closer, and the animal market filling up with all sorts of “cuttables” so the papers say, I do think however that this year the people performing qurbani/ sacrificing animals will be even lesser than last year, such is the performance of our so called economy for the last year. People have less and less money to spend on luxuries such as religion with each passing year.

I’m dreading the looming holidays too now as after a couple of day’s life gets so weird when just doing nothing in this city. One just gets more and more bored and ends up making so many plans with so many people that in the end of it all…a person comes out of the long holidays more tired than relaxed. I make plans to clean up all the old stuff every time these holidays come around but when I look through it all I end up keeping most of it back. Too sentimental I know, but I am approaching the fragile mid life age where people often become listless and disenchanted with it all. The road down the slope they call it.

Well cold dark days are the perfect sort of thing for one to reflect are they not? Think about what could have been and what is, not to mention the bloody what ifs. I wonder how we will celebrate this New Year? Oh I am sure the usual balls and parties will happen in the name of all that is good and charitable as nothing seems to stop that lot. However how will we as a individuals go forward in the next year? With some sort of a plan or just stumble in as i have been doing in the recent past.

How many of us I wonder make resolutions and then forget about them in the next week as they get thrown back into the rat race of living in Karachi. Yet I am dead sure they would not trade it for any other city in the world. I would not, even if given the choice and unlimited freedom to live anywhere. There is something just so alive about this city, its teeming jams, its throngs of populace, its delicious food, its serene beaches. It feels like it’s not a city sometimes but a heaving, breathing entity with all of us being its cellular organisms. Who knows… maybe we even are, maybe we are dreaming when we have our eyes open and awake when they are closed? Maybe that is the actual life and not this routine of chaos?

I still remember the days when December used to be all about woolly clothing and dry fruits, of cozy dinners and Weddings galore not to mention the sweet smell wafting of cart vendors cooking corn in the dusky lanes, but hey… at least the people getting married this time around can say i got hitched under the great emergency? though the way i see it, when one is short of security, everything is always a bloody emergency!