Two figures walk in the dark night. The crunch of gravel defies the heavy stillness in the monsoon air.
Crawling creepers outline vacant garages, their open doors resonate the echo of crickets in the lush surroundings.. The walls continue, on and on, the empty pitch black panels make them like gaping toothy smiles on the face of a wrinkled old man.
They walk faster, one trying to keep pace of the other – pulling the other out of the way of approaching trucks, speeding bikes that sharply pull around the bend, and escape the wooden pole that bars the way. .
Paved road gives way to muddy footpaths dotted with rocks and small stones and little tufts of grass that light up with each passing car. The zebra stripes come to life as the heavy traffic zips past. The first drops of rain fall on their face. Handbags are held closer, dupattas wrapped around more firmly, footsteps somehow more audible, kohla puris slapping firmly against concrete as they rush into the building, and out of the glare of the oncoming lights, away from the little gusts of wind from rushing busses and all of karachi’s finery..
Standing in the rain..feeling it drip down..drip drip drip..the silent dripping in the bottomless night. The lights had gone as soon as they entered the apartment, and fell onto its white couches, breathing heavily. Street lights poured through the window through the slanting blinds, like the slit eyes of a jungle cat…
They fumbled their way up to the roof, and stood in the rain, torch light in hand. Cigarette smoke from the lit tip resembled a smoky wood fire in a forest drenched in rain. The roof was deserted. They spun around, arms outstretched… A phone rang.. One of the two went to attend it… and she stood alone. Solitary. Watching the cars snake by.
A sudden poof! The street seemed dimmer somehow. The street lines were pitched into sudden extorsion, one segment of the road after the other going from white to black. The ocean roared in the distance, waves roaring open to receive the pellets of acid goodness. The scenario became more surreal somehow. The road was illuminated solely by the cars, hundreds of red and yellow lights, alternating like a hundred eyes for the hundred legs of a giant centipede. Nothing else mattered excepted the glowing bulbs, a string of fairy lights in a dark night club, the ugliness of reality pitched in the shadows. The moon shone down like a crystal ball and the world danced in its glory, the shore drank in the saline sparkling purity.
She turned to face the rain, the wetness hitting her face in soft peaks.. getting harder and then gentle again. She turned front, and back, and front again – almost like sunbathing, trying to absorb all of natures goodness. Footsteps approached… her partner in crime was back. A silvery smile appeared.
The rain had finally slowed. The lights had returned. She had dried off for the most part. They drove home in silence. Deep in thought.
She looked out the window, feeling the fine spray of water fly as the tires caressed the road . Her damp hair matched the world outside. They came to a halt at a signal.
The road was beautiful, almost glowing. The white lines ran like dividers in a swimming pool. The path ahead was slick, shining, the head of a man freshly washed and combed back. She wanted to touch it. The cars that sped ahead of them seemed to be blinking flares reflected in a river. Like torpedos. Like little fish that swam quickly, darting into the reefs, before they could be sighted again. An Enigma. The streetlights shone down, constants, wavering slightly, like pool lights in the underwater world.
The moon smiled down on her. She leaned back and sighed. Sleep came.