>Nothing much… but so much to see

>

My cousins
By Tehmina Qureshi
We were sitting by the roadside in Karimabad bazaar. It was me, three little cousins, my mother, and aunt who formed the Pepsi-party in front of Bismillah Pakwan Centre in the heart of Federal. B Area. It was my first ever visit to the bazaar in Karimabad, and a memorable one of sorts.  

 When we returned to our car, we found two tires had gone flat. One was punctured, and the other was deflated by some prankster. The little puncture stall beside us was closed. The nearest one was quite a distance away. So, Mamun took out the tire and went on the hunt for a repair shop, while we, the ladies and kids began to wait.

My mother noticed the Pakwan shop and took us all there. We were sitting in front of a large flat compound, with a flag of MQM hoisted on its main entrance and walls chalked with pro-party slogans.The place reeked of underground political activity.
Bikes rumbled past, driven by teenage boys, and cars honked loudly as people went about to shop in the bazaar. It was like sitting in the eye of a storm, everything about us seemed frenzied and buzzed with hyperactivity.
The pro MQM chalkings
It was then, that we noticed a heap of cloth lying beside a bag on the side of the road, adjacent to the flat compound. After a while, to our astonishment, the heap of cloth began to rise from one side. A hand emerged, then another, and then an old man poked his head out of the part of a tent he was wearing as a quilt.

He sat up slowly, rubbed his eyes, like we would when waking up in the morning. As the quilt fell from his clothes, I noticed that for a man who lived on the street, his clothes were surprisingly clean. He kept sitting for a while, searching for, taking out, and putting in little parcels in the bag he used as a pillow. Then he took a little bottle of water and rinsed his mouth while I, my mother, the guy at the pakwan centre, and another man (curious at our curiosity) stared intently at the man on the road who was busy in dusting his bed of cardboard sheets oblivious to the world. Just as I began to realise that we were probably violating what little privacy this man had on the side of the road by staring at him when he expected everyone to scarcely notice him, he yelled something, picked up his bag, and disappeared into the market.
The mysterious flat compound
 Mamun came back, we all piled in to the car, and started the ride back home, where we have lived for the past 7 years, since coming to Karachi.
 I cannot help thinking about the man and his next home on the road.
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14 Comments

Filed under Tehmina

14 responses to “>Nothing much… but so much to see

  1. >i hope that was your first visit of such Uncomfortable places,its also good to experience sometimes unexpected things.

  2. >Yes it was my first, Aden. But I hope not the last.

  3. >i think u were being paranoid:P

  4. >Quite interesting 🙂

  5. >u didn mention that ur Mamun was there in the beginning of the story!! =P hehe. btw nicely written!! 🙂

  6. >Sometimes you find beauty and wonder/intrigue in places you wouldn't expect. This might be an example.

  7. >Najaf: Read properly! Karim: Honestly speaking I often find beauty in unexpected places.

  8. >@tehmina' After a while, to our astonishment, the heap of cloth began to rise from one side. A hand …that was kind of scary and the best part… that's cuz i know what u can expect to see on streets in khi sometimes!keep up ur writing. i always look forward to it 🙂

  9. >Yes Maryam, the man rose exactly that way! Thank yoou 🙂

  10. zia

    >thats wht life is all abt…daily thrz something new comes up!!!

  11. >wat is the reek of underground politival activity ??:P not that i dont appreciate eloquence…im, jus being annoying 😛

  12. >Asma as long as you read, I don't care how annoying you can be!! 😛

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