Food eaten. Dishes done. Chairs pushed back, squealing in protest, until they hug the dining table once more. We wait.

The smell of fried eggs hangs in the air. The dark sky won't turn blue until the sirens announce dawn. All is still. We wait. 

The wind playfully tousles a tree. A lone car glides along the street outside making soft splashing sounds as it wades through a small puddle reminiscent of the last time Karachi pretended to have a tropical climate. All is silent once more. We wait. 

Stress does not exist in this limbo between yesterday and today. It would be nice to wait here forever.    

Apologies From Us

Happy birthday, Pakistan. Another year has gone by and you've pulled through. You're sixty-three now, but only in age. You haven't really made any progress in these past six decades. And for that, I - no, we - are sorry.

We're sorry for not seeing problems while they unfolded, for not nipping them at the bud, and for letting them grow into the thorny, parasitic vines they've become today. We're sorry for not seizing power away from the feudal elements right at the beginning when we should have. We should have been suspicious of them from the start. Most of them had been Unionists only until the Congress declared that it would abolish all princely states and what not. Was it not obvious that they would choose to cling to their power until hell froze over? But we put up with them at the time, perhaps because we needed their support, which was fine. But we should have taken action afterwards. The descendants of these very people still hold the country in a deathly vice-grip, denying those under them basic human rights and considering themselves above all forms of law. We should have foreseen this.

We're sorry. Sorry for not having our priorities right, for keeping our heads down and minding nothing but our own business. True, many of us had left everything we had in India and needed stability. Stability is important, agreed, but is there such as thing as financial stability in a land teetering at the precipice? We're sorry for screwing shut our eyes, ears and mouths and ploughing on while the ignorant were left to twist our religion, our beliefs, and our traditions beyond recognition into something brutal and horrifying.

We're sorry for turning you into a training ground for a war that wasn't yours. That really was a boneheaded move for us.

We're sorry for becoming numb to the crime and corruption around us, for accepting it as part of who we are for 'this is Pakistan, this is how it is here' and for only worrying about the taint ruining our clothes and that within our boundary walls.

We could list hundreds of grievances you have every right to hold against us; one meager blog post couldn't contain it all. The point is, we're sorry for pointing our fingers anywhere but towards ourselves. This is our fault, all of it.
I love standing by the large window in my room after sehri with my ear pressing again its slightly damp jaali as I try to separate the sounds from the kitchen and the fan whining about the fluctuating voltage from those coming from outside. Are those the first sounds of the azaan? No, you idiot, that's just a plane.

I love the deep, intoxicating sleep that embraces you once you've stuffed your face at 4 in the morning. I hate waking up from such a sleep to go to school. It is the hardest part of fasting for me. 

Dates are overrated. The eating kind, I mean.


The moon and sun rise and sink
In a never ending cycle
'Tis their fate to live a thousand lives
And die as many deaths
Forever onlooking the earth
And the humans' self-destruction


What do you do when the pillar that stood strong and firm all your life, the pillar you imagined would stay that way forever, begins to show signs of age? What do you do when you see cracks in its once flawless surface? You probably always had a feeling, deep down, that one day that pillar would no longer be there to keep the sky  from crashing down on you, but what do you do when you realize that it crumbles faster than you thought it would? What do you do when you realize that the day the pillar finally falls isn't obscured by the unfathomable mists of the future but could be tomorrow?
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