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Friday, August 31, 2012

JUST DIFFERENT (On the Move) : Special Guest Hijacker Lubaina E.

          Our hijacking visitors have taken us throughout the world and today is no exception.  Lubaina is a teenager from Pakistan and judging by this guest post she is one intelligent young lady.   This was an eye-opening read for me and I hope you will gain some insight as well.   

Lubaina E.
What if my life were a movie and I was the audience watching it?   I wouldn't accept any action, nor any horror for that matter.  Yes, there would be many lame jokes like 'What's green and says I'm a frog ?' 'A TALKING FROG!' and much more of travelling and shifting homes.  We sure have moved around a lot.  The home I'm sitting in right now is the ninth one in eighteen years of my life! :D 
Well, seventeen years and eleven months to be exact. (Yeah, my birthday's next month)
Here's how my experience has been of the most recent moving from Islamabad to Karachi last year. (I live in Pakistan)

Disclaimer: This piece of writing is no criticism and nor an attempt to devalue any city or citizen of Pakistan. 

Shifting from Islamabad is a one of a kind experience. Having spent almost a year at Karachi by now, the packing boxes, saying goodbyes and letting go of a place that held memories will always be remembered. Not because it was a very happy one, but because it was just different. And we all love adventures right ? :D
My home at Karachi

From getting used to a city with greenery, the peace and quiet, the early nights and a weather that could not stay warm for long to having to settle in a city full of life, with crowds of people and sudden bouts of rainfall. Being a rain lover the thought of missing all the rain spells was saddening (very saddening indeed), but what has to be done, must be done. 
So, this free citizen packed her stuff, got onto a plane, with her family of course, and landed at Karachi.
My home after it rained in Islamabad

First Reaction as I set foot in Karachi: WIND!
Second Reaction as I set foot in Karachi: WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIND! 
Third Reaction as I set foot in Karachi: DADDYYYY! (Yeah, the wind was getting old by now and my dad who had already moved in was there to pick us up at the airport)

Even then it was settled, that even if I make no friends, stand out in the crowd and do not adjust to living in ‘the Karachi way’, the winds will always be there to whisper comfortingly and to push the newcomer into the crowd. Yes, shifting to a new place does bring with it fears and I-don't-know-how-will-I-fit-in-phobias, but by my third day I had already begun to fit in. Of course, not entirely but a part of me felt like a part of Karachi.

So here’s rule number one of settling in at Karachi; if you want to be accepted, you have to accept it first. Because walking with a smug look on your face and brooding over what you would have been doing if you were not at Karachi does not go down well. Be positive and think positive, that should be the aim.

Most importantly, make sure you do not let all the “news” get you down. (Well, the news abut Pakistan is devastating usually, but my homeland is more than that. You'll see.)
The news comes with the experience of what Karachi has become now. How Karachi comes out of its grasp is a different debate, but for now enjoying all that this injured Karachi has to offer is my top aim. For when one’s injured and in pain, seeing the other’s smile makes the injured one smile too. 

Having spent exactly a week and three days in Karachi back then. I knew one thing for sure, the ‘Karachi-ites’ have not lost hope and that someday it is all going to be A-ok. 
The greens at Karachi are going to be back :D
The political rivalries are going to end :D
My overseas friends will then finally come visit without fear throbbing in their hearts :D

(The news sure is exaggerated at times though)

Apart from all this, Karachi can be very confusing. An ‘Isloo-ite’ like me is not used to living in a city with so many flyovers and bridges. And the inevitable has already happened.
The other day I was going to a friend’s place and was told to tell the driver to take a left turn before a bridge. I saw the road going upwards and immediately took it to being the beginning of the bridge. Well what do you know, I got it all wrong. After asking many passers-by, making calls to my friend and the ones who had instructed me to turn left before the bridge we found out where I had gone wrong.  The road going upwards was merely a road going upwards, not a bridge. For the bridge came after the upward road, with signboards and cemented railings on its sides, I am a newbie and I sure made a show of it. I mean who sees an uphill road as a bridge! Answer: ME :P

When we reached the beginning of the actual bridge, the driver stopped the car deliberately to show a red-faced me what a bridge looked like, all through heaving uncontrollably with laughter. (He would have let out loud guffaws if I hadn't looked so embarassed) 

Well, I still have to get used to the roads of Karachi and I still have to visit the 'Hawksbay' beach, but that experience is for another story. For now this newbie has said all she had to say. Oh and, the ice cream melts faster at Karachi than it does at Islamabad. A fact I thought you should probably know.

        Does moving to new places excite you or does the idea make you apprehensive?   Have you ever been to Pakistan or thought about going?  Does Lubaina's story intrigue you to learn more about Pakistan?

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  1. Thank you so much for an incredibly well thought out and intelligent guest post Lubaina. As weird as it sounds, for a long time Karachi has intrigued me. There was an old character in a British soap opera called Eastenders who had lived there and he would constantly tell his wife that everything would be better when they went to live in Karachi and it's been somewhere I've wanted to visit ever since. Love this post.

  2. Great Post......I like the covered veranda on your house in Karachi. We built one on ours when we moved to our present house just under a year ago although it looks very different.

  3. Thanks for a little insight into your country and city!

  4. I had no idea a house in Karachi could look like one from the Midwest. LOve your account of moving. Me? I moved to Mexico recently. Lots of adjusting. And I can empathize about the media exaggerating the news.

  5. such a lovely experience getting to know someone from Pakistan! Greetings from Europe to Lubaina!

  6. hahahhahha.. I am karachitie by birth...all my life I am here. And I don't have big house like Lubna( Both houses are big)
    Anyway, Islamabad is quite and peaceful. Rich peeps, clean big roads. We say it is 15 miles away from Pakistan.

    Karachi is alive. Till 4 paratha Chai (tea) shops are open. Here Roads are crazy. Traffic is crazy.
    Every thing is crazy.
    I love this crazy city.

  7. Really nice photos you have shared...

  8. Awesome post. My hubby is Israeli and I love traveling abroad. My daughter will be moving to Israel next year and will be married in Cypress. It is possible that I will be moving there one day my self.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  9. You have a lot of plants.

    Moves are exciting, but no so the packing.

  10. Dear Lubaina.
    What a fascinating and witty much to have experienced in one so young. Great sense of humor too! Wonderful interview and I love the photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Thanks Arlee. I've just realized this is the same Lubaina who joined me and several others this week over at my monthly collaboration blog, Lovers' Cove. What a coincidence!

  11. This was a very fascinating post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life in Pakistan.

  12. Great and enlightening post. Well done.

  13. So interesting! Love the line about accepting it first - that's true in so many areas :)

  14. Lee, I enjoy your hijacked posts; it's great to meet other writers. It's great to meet you, Lubiana! Thanks for sharing a little of your experience with us.

    Moving, in general, makes me apprehensive. It can be a good thing, and as you say, it is the attitude that can make the difference.

    Have a great weekend!

  15. Tk U4 This Info..It has been vry hlpful!

  16. Thankyou so much for the positive response everybody!
    I'm truly humbled.

    @Yeamie. I can assure you that a trip to Karachi will be worth it. Plus the ladies are always satisfied with the shopping here, just saying :D

    @Rob Z Tobor. That's nice. Covered verandas help keep room near it nice and cool.

    @Alex J. It's an amazing place to be at :)

    @Em-musing. Well as they say, it's a global village now. And yes, shifting brings with it lots of adjusting. Best of luck at the new place.

    @Dezmond. Greetings to you too :)

    @Izdiher. Nice to see you here fellow Karachiite.

    @Sandeep. Thankyou.

    @shelly. Well best of luck to your daughter. And to you too, for whenever you move. :)

    @L. Diane. My mama loves gardening, so yeah :)

    @Andy David. I hear that alot, I sure have travelled alot and met many new people. It has helped me grow in terms of humanity and respecting other traditions n cultures :)

    @Sherry. Glad you liked it.

    @leopard13. Thankyou.

    @Jemi. It sure is. We have to accept what's going on with us and around us, living in a state of denial does not work.

    @Karen. Thankyou :) And yes, the attitude counts.

    @Carmelita. No problem.

  17. Oh and this one's for you Lee:

  18. I've moved a lot. Your description of learning to like and accept where you and not compare it to someplace else is spot on.

    Hi, Arlee :)

  19. This is a beautiful essay! I know that feeling of change and longing and confusion brought on by new places...and I love how you find solace in the winds of Karachi after missing the rain of Islamabad. There's something wonderfully poetic about your description of being soothed by the weather of a place.

    As for finding hope for Karachi, that's marvelous, too. We could all do well to take your advice, no matter where in the world we are.

  20. "So here’s rule number one of settling in at Karachi; if you want to be accepted, you have to accept it first"

    YES! So many things are like this.

  21. I like hearing about Pakistan from a 'real' person who lives there and is not a news reporter or a politician.

  22. This is beautiful. I enjoyed getting to learn about Pakistan from a real live person who is there and also knows the history. Beautiful photos and I love your veranda.

  23. @Carol Kilgore. Yeah well experience is the best teacher :)

    @Jericha. Thankyou :) I'm always amused by the weather of the places i visit. And I love it when it rains :)

    @She Writes. TRUE (Y)

    @Susan Gourley. Pakistan's story is best heard from Pakistanis :)

    @Melissa. I'm humbled.


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