Well, we’re here. We’ve made it to Karachi, and by way of a lawn chair, parked by a CPU on the floor and sitting in front of a monitor that’s perched on someone’s dresser, we’ve also made it back into Blogistan.
Right, so back to blogging.
The flight from Islamabad to Karachi was short, and like all turbulent flights, it was great for restoring the digital clarity on your fear of Allah that you sometimes lose over time. If you’re ever feeling a little disconnected from your Deen, or that you’ve gotten some static interference with you direct link to Allah, just board a plane, take it zillions of feet into the air in cloudy weather, and then let it drop a few times, and maybe do a little pitching. Not only will that put the fear of God, death, Qiyamat, and accountability back into you (Astaghfirullah, I’m not ready to die!) but it will also cure hiccups.
There’s nothing like a little perceived brush with death to remind you of your own mortality. I highly recommend it to everyone. But you know, if you can’t afford to board a plane on a windy day, and if you happen to also live in Karachi, I would recommend this great new chauffer service that not only:
1. Gets you from point A to point B, but also-
2. Dashes any delusions of immortality and-
3. Reacquaints you with the possibility of your own demise.
I call it, “Qasim’s Qiyamat Prequel Tour,” or, “Corolla of Death.”
Here’s how it works. You hop into the car fifteen minutes before Iftar with half an hour of road between you and your destination, and then watch as the driver (Qasim) breaks ever traffic rule known to man, and then makes up some new violations as he goes along. It really is most exciting, and the brushes with death or dismemberment that result from running red-lights and tailgating petrol tankers do wonders for your Taqwa. And for the hundreds of near-misses, we really only hit two cars on the way home from the airport.
One smash into a van in the airport parking lot, you know, to raise the adrenaline right at the start of the tour, and then one with another car half-way through the journey to keep that adrenaline rushing. Damage done to other vehicles was ignored (this is Karachi) while the damage done to ours (knocked a head-light out, the whole thing, complete with casing) was easily mended with the supply of spare head-lights kept in the house. Apparently these head-lights fall out easily, and often.
Contrary to common belief, this tour is actually exhilarating and even….fun. Of all the near-death experiences I’ve ever had, these last 57 in the car yesterday were the only ones where I’ve been laughing and seeing my life flash before my eyes at the same time.
Driver: :::Swerving to avoid pedestrian while being squeezed between cement median and truck loaded with sides of beef::: “Who am I to blame if these pedestrians keep trying to jump out at me? I swear, every time I drive all the crazies come out and try to hit me…Hey! Stop clutching at that handle, you want the door to fall off? Ow! Stop hitting me Ma, you want me to crash into something? :::swerve, screeeeeeeech, more swerving::::
This may have been the only time in my life where I was unable to recite Ayatul-Kursi properly due to the fact that I was cracking up. For the heart-attack my cousin’s driving gave me, it also gave me a belly-ache from laughing.
Driver: :::upon hitting another car and watching the head-light fly off into space::: What was that noise? That other guy must have lost a bit of his car then. Just a bit of plastic off of his cheap car. It was falling off anyway, I saw.
His mother, Aunt: Our car made a noise too then. It was our car, we lost something!
Driver: Oh that? Just the engine. You want me to go back and get it?
Unfortunately, even with my cousin’s new and improved driving skills, we didn’t make it home in time for Iftar. We did make it half-way across Karachi in ten minutes, only to be blocked in pre-Iftari traffic five minutes from home. There was then some debate about whether or not the azhan had been called yet, which we tried to resolve based on whether the pedestrians still looked hungry.
Aunt: Look at how far the sun has set already, why don’t you eat one of the samosas I brought?
Driver: No no, it’s not time yet. See that fat guy? If it was Iftar he’d be running. Not walking to wherever he’s going.
Aunt: But he could already have broken his fast and would now be walking to the Masjid for Maghrib.
Driver: That guy would still be eating. No way it’s Iftar time.
Aunt: Those men on the corner were eating dates….
Driver: Shame on them, eating during Roza. Couldn’t they have waited five more minutes until the azhan was called? I swear, people these days… Look, there’s the house! See? I told you guys I would get you home before Iftar.