Safar Badnamah: Season 1, episode 7 . . . “Unity of the Crows”
After KESC’s blessed morning alarm of load shedding I was woken up by a call from my school and I reluctantly left my sweat soaked pillow to get to the call. I was asked to meet someone in the administration department.
The wonders of load shedding and the stress caused during the semester was such that I was neither a night owl nor an early bird, in fact I was both and during late night and early morning studies Gmail was always there to accompany me, it’s just one of my very good friends that scares loneliness away. And another interesting thing about my semester nightmares was that I couldn’t even stop thinking while I was asleep and used to get the entire . . . literally the entire day’s recap in the my nightmares! A very interesting character in those nightmares was my Advertising teacher, although he is the best teacher for this course and I would advise my 10 generations to study from him, some of us had developed a phobia related to Commander Safeguard, yes he resembles him . . . J
So coming back to my travelogue . . . I left home and waited for the bus making sure that I keep the weapon with me, the most essential item, a shield with me against this weather . . . yes my miniature perfume so that I stay a tolerable social animal. . . Well animal is something I become at times in a public bus; one has to be equipped with trace amounts of rude temperaments while travelling in public transport if my readers know what I mean.
What I didn’t realise and finally realise after being there in the bus for 10 minutes was that I had forgotten my school ID card without which I could be deemed an outcast . . . a recognizable student but truly an outcast without an identification to proof my SZABIST existence. I did some cost benefit analysis and found out that I would only lose Rs. 16 if I go back home but walking back did appeal to me so I decided to take the risk and get myself in a do or die situation.
In the meanwhile a lot has changed on the roads. .. Yes the billboards, especially those adventurous Mountain Dew billboards, they are pretty decent when you compare them to their pretty indecent TV Commercials. The dust cloud, the ‘in your face’ train engine like the ‘in your face’ extreme weather . . . It’s all really amazing. I wish I could take a better picture of the billboard but the driver took a sudden turn and my mobile phone felt awfully cheap trying to take a picture from the inertia affected bus.
When I reached school, I just counted the number of guards at the entrance and felt ridiculous at the sight of the majority of them being there, it just seemed that all of them had poured in from the other campus as well. This was the second time I had forgotten my Id card, the first time, well this week only when I forgot I took undue advantage of my duppatta behind which the card usually is, hence, male guards don’t question much. I gave my purse to be checked near the detector and just barged in. What really made me really feel bad is when I lied to the guard, he asked me for the card and I said, ‘Let me just take it out from the purse’, and I went in . . . Oh the ‘heart pounding ferociously’ moment stayed for a while . . . but I finally made it inside . . .Ahhh Prison Break ! :P
A few days back I got to have a chance to snap a picture of Sting’s billboard and it is one piece of Art, it’s eye catchy, the colour stays in your retina for long and attracts people more, this is one of the concepts relevant to marketing and advertising.
The journey back home is often painful and scary and it becomes scarier and horrible when the bus gets to take a route from Jinnah’s road which is roadless and helpless at the same time. There were and still are barriers at both ends of the road which have now left a little room for buses to pass by and in a capitalist world co branded with the sights of police men’s bribe consuming swinging belly’s no chance is spared at consuming bribe at this turning point . . . well the tangent of hopelessness. In order to let the bus drivers take a direct turn towards Regent Plaza at the cost of our lives, these moronic, bribe consuming police men often ask for Rs. 30 as bribe and let them drive through. As the flyover starts, the road at both sides finds itself completely absent and finds it’s potential existence in the future, if you remember the topic ‘Plateaus’ from class VII geography, you would recall that there is a plain area and a sudden steep portion then . . . ‘Dhuzzzzzz’ and yes that’s how the ground is over there. God knows how many times the driver put his foot on break and lift the bus off the ditches with the overcrowded vehicle and the angle swayed from 90 degrees to even 60 degrees may be even 45 . . .
The potential fall of a few stinking people on me made me say my prayers silently, I recited the first three kalmas and regretted forgetting the other three. Though this wasn’t the first time I expected such a sandwich death, the thought of perishing on some KPT under construction site really got to me . . . arrrghhhh!
Finally as the bus turned towards the what we can call ‘road’ I felt thankful to see Regent Plaza again in my continued life . . .
As I was walking home after getting off from this adventurous vehicle I felt moved at the sight of unity displayed by a bunch of crows. One of them had probably just suffered a squeezed death and all the crows from around the trees came mourning together creating too much of noise. They were all together and united at the mutual suffering . . . a brother crow had died and there seemed to be no discrimination and the unity shown. Can we as a nation not even be like these crows?