Today was a hectic day.
Since last night there had been a power outage for 18 hours and the electricity only came a couple of hours ago. Three transformers in our street had to be changed. I was standing right there, submerged in water all the way to my knees when the power lines (a whole two miles of them) burst a billion fireflies and sent lightning crackling down the whole stretch of wires that provided juice to the street–the three transformers that got replaced a few hours ago, they’d exploded in mini-mushroom clouds of blue smoke and yellow as a result of the surge. I had seen all that while standing right under the wires. Of course, I didn’t know that it was going to happen; I was just taking in the view after a cloudburst of immense rain. And I was thinking of my death; it seeming so imminent at that moment. Funny, my life didn’t flash before my eyes, my unfinished writing projects did, begging the question: is writing my life? LMAO!
The UPS gave away earlier today and for 8 hours we were without any form of electricity, normal or backup. Subhan, a dear friend came to my rescue, though when he did he didn’t know it. He had come to my house after having lost his phone at the university to some kid whom he had given it to take care of while he went to give his summer semester midterm. The kid ran away to his house, and well, I knew where he lived; so, after I’d done the favor, of tracking the kid and ergo Subhan’s phone, to my friend, I asked him one in return: take me to your place because there’s no power at mine. He obliged. It was a very serene 45-minute drive on a motorbike to his place, punctuated by pristine rain soaked sights and little children playing in muddy pools, singing songs, fighting their little children fights. Pristine.
He lives in a predominantly Christian area of town. It’s a ghetto, of sorts; poor people, brown people, illiterate people and drunk. Booze flows free in that area; the country’s laxed its prohibition laws for all non-muslims. I waited at his doorstep for him to open the door to the drawing room, and while I waited I heard the most beautiful sound ever made: a hymn to mother Mary the virgin being sung in half Latin, half English; and those kids of the choir in that dingy church sung it better than any choir I’ve seen on YouTube or on America’s Got Talent. It was a wonderful moment: me just standing there, listening to mother Mary’s praise, nodding at places that I understood, straining at phrases that I couldn’t. Those kids did not understand a word of English, let alone Latin, but they’d memorized those verses by listening to their father who had listened to his father who had listened to the England colonist priests who had settled down in this area a hundred something years ago, giving it the name Lyall-pur (after Lord Lyall), which later became Faisalabad (after the Saudi King Shah Faisal).
We killed time and a few cockroaches at his place, time in which he showed me his new laptop, his collection of 4K movies, his Banger and Olufsen speakers, and gave me tea. I’d taken my copy of Salem’s Lot with me and tried to read a couple of chapters but failed. There was just too much to do there that my copy lay forgotten, albeit in perfect care because I’m neurotic like that.
We went and watched the afternoon show of Spiderman Homecoming. It was a good movie; in my opinion, better than the Andrew Garfield remakes and right up there with Spiderman 2. The score was at par, though not better, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
By the time I returned home after my entire day out and after watching the movie, the transformers had been replaced, the electricity humming its cautionary hum in the overhead wires, my room all cleaned and combed of garbage by my siblings (thanks, if you’re reading this), my wi-fi working, my keyboard crisp after a day’s of nonusage, and my spirits a thousand times better.
A dear friend of mine, dearer than Subhan and others, said she was worried about me staying indoors all the time and that it was a good thing that the power went out when it did; said it got me to get off my ass and go out there in the world where things were a’happenin and where there were things to be seen, to be heard, to be said, to be concurred, things with their dynamicity, and things with their raw beauty that I could not see sitting behind my desktop. She’s got her heart in the right place, and her brain too 😀 We should all be so lucky to have a friend like that. Yo, haha, what-the-f am I saying? I already am XD.
Aight Constant Readers, peace out.
The picture that you see, it’s of a golf course in Islamabad which I frequented in my teens. The golf course, not Islamabad. Islamabad I still frequent. In my opinion, its the best city in the world, and NYC comes at a second. After my uncle retired from being a Navy Commodore he moved from Islamabad and thus it made it impossible for me to visit the golf course; it’s only available to army officers, foreigner diplomats and tourists, bureaucrats, aristocrats, and those local people who are neither but can afford to pay the big bucks for the place: them high rolling millionaires and billionaires. I’m talking like at least 10,000+ dollars for a membership. To my American friends that may not seem too huge an amount, but in Pakistan its the equivalent of a 1,000,000 rupees. You can buy a long loaf of fresh bakery bread for 50 rupees and a bottle of half litre Coke for 40. A cigarette pack for 140. So yeah, most people can’t afford spending that much moolah at a golf course membership. But still, it’s a beautiful picture. Just thought I’d share.
Aight, peace out for real.