Archive for December 28, 2007

Trajedy

Thursday – 16 Zilhaj 1428 – 07 Pausa 1929 – 27 December 2007

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, chirperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the mother of three children; Benazir Bhutto was assasinated in a suicide terrorist attack today in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh.

I was at work. Suddenly a very senior officer burst onto the floor, consulted with the two most senior officers on the floor and then started telling all staff to immediately pack up and leave the office. Took two minutes to sink in. Then there was nothing but fear and panic. People were on their phones but the networks of all cell phone companies were jammed. People rushed out of the building in a state of panic and confusion. I got in my car and headed for home.

The city was not right. Things were not as they are. There was too much traffic and there was an extremely palpable quantity of fear and panic. Chaos. Everyone in every car was worried, everyone had rushed out from work to head home, safety seemed elusive at the least, crazy traffic. And then I got home.

And then it sunk in. My country. My people. Me. What a loss. What a loss. I did not support Benazir but I think she was a great politician of Pakistan. What a loss.

Violence in Pakistan has gone out of hand. This is not us. We are not like this. This is not my Pakistan.

Journey

Monday – 13 Zilhaj 1428 – 04 Pausa 1929 – 24 December 2007  

So, despite all the suggestions, ideas, opinions, advice and orders given to us, me and a group of friends decided to go on a Pakistan wide road trip. Starting on the day of Eid. Crazy you might say, but I would call it an adventure. That is life, what the boring goat killing meat eating morons call stupidity and crass idiocy I would call adventure and action. After all, I have learnt over a lifetime that I do not usually do what society expects me to do and I do things on many occasions just to be different and opposing to the trends to society. I used to think of it as individualism and non comformity, but now, I think it is just psychotic stubbornness.

So, the trip being so long and so intense can not be put into words, I would need to write at least 56,783 pages. But, lets not do that. I will just give a summary of how the trip unfolded.

Karachi – 07:38 – 21,069 Kms
Nooriabad – 08:59 – 21,181 Kms

Flying the car at 160kmph.

Jamshoro – 09:25 – 21,238 Kms
Sehwan – 10:52 – 21,372 Kms
Dadu – 11:44 – 21,416 Kms

Bad fucking roads; suicidal dogs who would just not get out of the way of the car; lots of roadkill; crazy people standing in the middle of the road and not moving unless I keep my hand on the horn; and last but not least the company of good friends to get me through this.

Larkana – 14:11 – 21,545 Kms
Sukkur – 16:21 – 21,651 Kms

Having food at Sukkur.

Sindh Punjab Border – 18:52 – 21,794 Kms
Sadiqabad – 19:15 – 21,821 Kms
Rahim Yar Khan – 19:31 – 21,843 Kms
Bahawalpur – 21:32 – 22,036 Kms

Calling twenty odd people who we knew and asking them if it is a good idea to go straight to Lahore and not stop over in Multan as we had planned earlier. Opposition from each and every one of those people. Despite that we decide to go straight to Lahore and not stop in the middle. If only there was one sane person in the car they would have told us not to go straight to Lahore and stop over in Multan. Global public opinion versus the people in the car. We win and we move for Lahore.

Multan – 22:35 – 22,118 Kms

Unbelievable amounts of Coffee in Multan. Hogging it.

Mian Chunnu – Haroon Service Station – 00:32 – 22,222 Kms

Used the restroom, again. Terrible.

Harappa – 01:10 – 22,276 Kms
Sahiwal – 01:24 – 22,296 Kms
Okara – 01:53 – 22,337 Kms

The journey just does not stop. Long, long, long, long, two drivers, eighteen hours. Amazingly long journey.

Getting to drive in Lahore for the first time in my life.

Lahore – 03:30 – 22,478 Kms

Sleep over in Lahore, getting up and going to Daewoo Bus service for a ticket to Islamabad. Got a ticket for 8. Traded in the ticket for an open position in an earlier bus.

Daewoo Lahore – 19:37
Ravi – 20:06
Bhera – 21:20
Motorway Ends Islamabad – 11:55

Get to meet four of my friends from college. They are in from different parts of the world, and the possibility of these people gathering in one place in one time is nearly non existent. So, enjoying the company.

Marriott – 12:30
Serena – 02:30
Marriott – 02:45
Home – 03:15

Started reading the Kite Runner.

Sleep – 04:00
Awake – 10:15
Full Quorum – 11:15
Heading out – 13:15
Buying Beers – 14:15
Having Beers – 15:15
Having Food – 16:15
Leaving for Airport – 17:00
Islamabad Airport – 19:00
Karachi Airport – 21:00
Home – 21:45

Travelled across the country and got back home. One very long road trip. One meeting with a group of all of my friends from college. Amazing journey for life.