I AM IN A VERY DEPRESSED STATE OF MIND right now. I love traveling; particularly traveling by air, but everything feels very yellow when my heart is not with my destination. I am headed to Karachi - Heartbreak City I call it. The city and I share a love hate relationship. It has wronged me in so many ways - some unforgivable - and yet I keep going back. Sometimes, I don't want to - I have to.
The gorgeous Butler's Cafe cappuccino I treated myself to
FRIENDS ARE ALWAYS WELCOMING and they have so many ideas for adventures. In the past few years hundreds of coffeehouses have sprouted up in Karachi and they know I have a thing for cappuccinos and lattes. They use these places and the charming photos to lure me into the trap! *smiles peevishly* I am pressed for time. The trip is pure business, and perhaps, a little dose of family drama. Each date is reserved and there are breathers in between which I will use to sneak away and meet girlfriends.
THEN THERE ARE THE GHOSTS OF KARACHI who switch on ghost mode when I announce my arrival. There is a sharp contrast between their lives and mine - considering I am still rolling single. Desi women; perhaps it is all women, only tag along with others that belong their relative social club. Mommy clubs don't welcome me unless I bring my niece over, married or getting-married club would cause my ears to bleed because they wouldn't know when to shut up and ask about my life in general if not specific.
I WAS NEVER A PERFECT FIT in the City of Heartbreak. My parents decided to put me into a strict disciplinarian school in the heart of the city with girls from all mixes of life. Their grand idea was to raise a kid who was humble and down to earth unlike the brats and spoiled rich kids attending fancy heavy priced schools around me. They thought those low-on-discipline school were responsible to create snobbish children who held their noses a bit too high up in the air. They did wrong. I realized I was not on the same page with the girls around me and they never accepted me and my lifestyle. They stopped asking me about my summer holidays and I stopped sharing after I realized speaking about Disneyland would make me a laughing stock. Either they wouldn't believe me and I would have to bring photos to show. Or, they wouldn't hear me out because that was not their idea of a vacation. I was bullied for carrying premium crayons, a Disney backpack, and watching Disney movies. I stopped talking because nobody wanted to listen, and lived as a misfit throughout my school life. There were one or two close friends who could relate and they lasted. But I always found myself telling them an edited version of my happiness because I feared the real version would just draw them apart. I switched to a different high school of my liking but the damage had been done. And the bully lot was always in the majority. There was an implied stereotype associated with girls of my type. I was always the 'Burger' or the 'Mummie Daddie' kid for being an obedient child who respected parental curfew, and for being the girl who was blessed by Allah SWT financially and intellectually. In college, my A grades did not fit right with the lot and I only made bitter, cut-throat competitive adversaries for friends. Teachers too would attempt to sabotage my grades because they engaged in favoring their pets or were too sadist about giving the worthy a high rank. Why didn't I transfer to one of the super duper rich kid schools? Because I was terrified of the horrors of superiority and pompousness there. Plus, my defense mechanism against bullies was broken down. Socially, I was not ready to hit the dance floor and did not win praise from the cool college lot. As I became religiously inclined, people just turned into ghosts.
THE COSTS OF BEING LOVELY, as a friend's wise mother said to me once, were so high. I tried extra hard to make friends and relationships and keep them. Nothing seemed to work. Gifts, favors (emotional and financial), a friendly ear, a helpful hand, car rides, standing up to them in tough time, moral support, motivation ... nothing I did could win me sincere friends. They say there could be a fault in our stars but I failed to understand.
FAMILY (OR SOMETHING LIKE IT) used to be pure and full of sincere emotions when I was a child. Birthdays were celebrated with great love, festivals were full of sparklers and colors, and every occasion was so happy! I was loved, pampered, and treated like a princess. And the very same people somehow started changing. I fail to understand why they changed when I stayed the same? They moved on in their lives and somehow their emotions, their purity, and their passion towards family just got tampered. Family is said to be unconditional love and when that is adulterated - nothing is left.
And so, I leave with a heavy heart for the city of so much heartbreak.