It is Saturday. I woke up this morning with a renewed thought of maintaining my diaries. I had stopped writing it for more than a month. I had felt it was a boring, tedious and painful exercise writing about life in Karachi. But now back to put things on paper. All is not bad in Karachi, I suppose. There are positive stories coming out as well besides the violence in the city. The resilience of Karachiites is amazing. I have made some good friends here besides friends from work place and professional circles. Wahab, a fruit seller in the Clifton 's supermarket is one of them. He lives with his wife in Hijrat Colony. He spends winter in Karachi and summer in his native town of Kalam/ Swat. He considers Karachi as his home. He strongly feels about the city. Known as Khan in the market, he is a popular guy- very generous and a likeable individual. He gives away fruits and vegetables to beggars at his shop, strongly believing that the needy have some share in his business too.
Husan Zada, 12 year old waiter and cleaner in a local restaurant is the next one. He calls me kaka ji (uncle), I call him brother. Extremely courteous, polite and intelligent young boy, he lives with his mother and 5 siblings in a poor neighbourhood of Hijrat Colony- predominantly Pashtun settlers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas. None of his brothers went to school for formal education, while his sisters are currently enrolled in a madrassa. I offered him a place in one of the schools in his neighbourhoood which he refused saying that he wants to support his family as his father died 2 years ago, and that there is no adult at home to support the family. I offered him teaching basic Maths, English and Urdu which he accepted. Now we spend one to two hours a week in the restaurant outside rush hours. He enjoys reading and writing and drawing pictures. He wants to become a doctor and serve people. In these people, I see a purpose of life, in them I see an inspiration to believe in the goodness of life. Karachi is beautiful, after all!
Karachi, February 9, 2013