Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chapter One: Karachi Heat

My alarm rings every weekday thrice in the morning, 8:20 am, 8:30 am and 8:40 am. But this was not the case since the beginning. Khair, we will talk about that some other time. As every other day I kicked sheets, A.C was already off (I have set a timer so it automatically closes at 6 in the morning, bijli ka bill itna kon dey ga?) so the room was already getting warm. I opened the door of my bathroom and then only realized that this day is going to be really hot.
It’s not even May yet and the temperature outside is already 41C. I turn on the tap and jet of steamy water pours. I had to wait for a few minutes to adjust myself to the warmth of the water. Fast forward 15 minutes and I was on my way to work.

The car was blazing as always. Bosco (my office driver) has a different (read weird) sense of car d├ęcor. Black leather seats, tinted black glasses, black velvet cushions and a plush tiger (which needs to be washed) on the dashboard.  I sit uncomfortably in the stifling car and open the window. A polluted pale blue sky welcomes my gaze. One could feel that they are inhaling dust and one could see sidewalks begging for cleanup. Withering shrubs and limp trees are all one can see. 

Inside the office, there is no relief as well as the chillers stopped working cause of the intense heat. From 9:15 till one my eyes are glued to a laptop screen occasionally flicking on the phone a well.  Two back to back meetings are setup after lunch. That means I will have to go out again.

I could see sweat trickling down the neck of the tea boy as he was carrying a heavy tray full of tea mugs. He swiftly moves across the hall handing everyone steaming mugs of tea. It feels like even he wants to end his shift as soon as possible.

I close my eyes at 4:30 for a minute and dream of diving in the sparkling blue pool outside( our office has a gigantic pool which we never use). I wonder how cold the chlorine filled water would be.

It’s 6:20 pm. I pack my bags, sling them off my shoulder and dump them in the car. It’s not so hot anymore. The car has it's tinted window rolled down. I can hear hundreds of birds chirping, heading back to their homes as the dusk approaches. Sun is set low in the sky and the wind is now a welcoming friend. I can feel it on my face and in my hair. I can smell the salt from the sea. The sky has an explosion of colors. Blues, pinks, oranges, reds and faint purples. The traffic sounds fade in the background as I drink in what mother nature has to offer. 

Karachi is not so suffocating anymore.  The heat is bearable. 

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