Summer semesters are horrible because:
1) Days are freaking hot.
2) You have your classes in SEECS – school of robotic people with crooked sense of humor.
3) It’s been almost seven months since the last time you went home.
Each day is such a blitz that even if I manage to crawl out of it alive, later that day, i end up thinking about the most philosophical things in life. To begin with, what’s freaking me out is this recent realization that for an unreasonably huge part of the day, i am forced to stop being me. I am helplessly stuck in things which don’t really matter to me and my idea of life is only growing more and more obscure. I am not saying it’s not important to study or memorize the loathsome formulas or worse still, be a true nerd. It definitely is. Interviewers are often keen on asking such impossible little details of the four year degree program and then sneer at your miserable face. You ought to teach them a lesson and save the world. But if that makes you forget there’s more to life, you really need to think if it’s a life worth-living.
I want to believe that the world i live in is a lot more bearable than it actually is. Plus, i seriously need to rediscover my lost self, to find my own little space in the universe around. My room also gets stuffy by night due to poor ventilation leaving me terribly cringing for some fresh air for my worthy lungs which let me complete my excruciating runs to allow me the only high through an otherwise miserable day. So a mishmash of all these reasons brings out the Buddha in me and so i set off for a post-dinner stroll to find a solution for humanity. Okay, a solution for myself. After all, that’s the most i can do for humanity.
As soon as you come out you can’t quite resist the unmistakable monsoon charm suspended in the air and fall for it at once. Plus, the road is lovely. It runs up the hill to its very top. Yellow street-lights let out subtle, silent calls as if trying to bring back something to me; maybe it’s a memory that hasn’t yet surfaced but my heart at least speaks to me and for now i am content that it’s not dead not at least yet.
Islamabad is always breathtaking from this hill-top and you wonder why it’s not the same when you’re down there commuting to work or bazaar. The city had to be buzzing with noise at this hour of night but standing on a hill in the outskirts saves you that part and what reaches you is only the sprightly colors of night.
Sitting in a cafe at the hill-top, I had a flashback about how every year papa used to load all us four siblings in the back-seat of his Corolla 86 and so we traversed the most joyous of the journeys – the beloved annual trip to our homeland i.e Karachi.
An airplane takes off far away and fades away in the countless constellations above. ‘Like a diamond in the sky’, a faint memory whispers in my ears as I try to hum the right tune. Few attempts and I’m there. It’s funny how sometimes ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…’ is the only piece of poetry you seem to remember and still it has all the romance and nostalgia you want to fill a fleeting moment with. So you sing it to the city from the hilltop like a mad-man.
And just then, a train chugs its way through a far-off meadowy suburb leaving behind a deafening silence. The whole world quietens down. Even the frogs down the valley stop croaking.
And the only thing that runs through my head like a never ending song is Karachi.