Getting Back To Karachi Amidst PIA Fiasco
I was finally frustrated. The constant bad news, regular killings, frequent thefts and infurating talkshows caused me to snap and i decided to go out of Karachi. I have an exam coming up and couldn’t study for it in all the mayhem. I took advantage of this and left for Lahore to meet my sister and her family.
I stayed in Lahore for nearly two weeks, studying for the exam, enjoying the weather, going out with Lahori friends and enjoying the peace of Askari 10. I had a few deadlines to meet so it was my plan to return back by February 8. I went with an old buddy to get Airline ticket, my preference being PIA while my friend insisted on AirBlue due to better service and economical fair. Turns out PIA’s fair was cheaper so I purchased my return ticket and prepared to enjoy the remaining days in Lahore, not realizing that an ordeal was headed my way.
When the employee strike came to my notice I was a bit worried but did not cared much, not until I ended up making repeated trips to Airport for 3 days in order to catch any PIA flight actually willing to take off. Baton-charged news from Karachi didn’t helped my nerves and the looming deadline of 15 February was scaring me as I had to courier several letters and documents by that day.
I ended up calling my friends and relatives who rushed around gathering my passport sized photographs, recommendation letters from teachers, making copies of my educational certificates and sending them through courier to the address I conveyed them through text message. For nearly four days I was hooked to the phone, calling in favors and getting things done so that I would not miss the deadline, my extended stay in Lahore becoming a nightmare.
In the days at Airport I realized the effects of the strike on various people I met. Some were heading to foreign countries, others to local cities. There was a newly married couple waiting to go back to Karachi, a very cultured man headed towards the same city so that he could catch his flight to London next morning, a group of Koreans talking jovially in their native tongue and headed back to Korea via flight from Karachi, a businessman who had a meeting to attend the same day, a guy whose sister was getting married the next day, a pretty but very worried woman who needed to attend interview for her dream job, a laid back guy enjoying music despite the fact he was missing his flight to Turkey … there were thousands of souls, each having its own problems and facing them one way or the other, and I was no exception to that rule.
While I managed somehow, others on shorter notice or with more complicated schedule suffered greatly. With the recent PIA fiasco I ended up spending additional 11,000 on AirBlue ticket while at the same time unable to get refund for the previous one. When I landed in Karachi and headed for home in a broken down white cab, I got the chance to feel my city and smell the air I had come to hate in recent times.
For unknown reason it was more refreshing to me than anything I have ever felt before. The annoying sound of Rickshaw didn’t annoyed me at all, the constant blaring of horns from bikes and buses felt lively, the recitation of naat from a nearby Majlis while we stopped for fuel felt peaceful and even the tobacco chewing by the driver didn’t troubled me at all. In recent past I had allowed the negativity of the city to overcome me so strongly that I had forgotten to appreciate its positivity. And while traveling through Shara-E-Faisal I came to realize that despite all my efforts at acquiring peace from my surroundings, I really felt it from within after getting back. Despite the fiasco that occured with PIA, its employees and the passengers, at least I got the chance to rationalize myself and found peace in the mayhem. Even if you dislike something, you should not forget its positivity and even with all the negative news Karachi has, it also has equal good to offer which you just need to feel it.