Besides spending time with Aboo, I also spent about a week in Karachi with my khala's and littttle cousins there. Karachi is the antithesis of Islamabad. Karachi is alive. Islamabadis seem to be in a perpetual elitist bureaucratic polite slumber. Karachi has a vibe. Islamabad doesn't even have a pulse. Karachi is easygoing and relaxed. Islamabad is stiff and stuck up.
I'm only gushing because I had such a good time.
And honestly, I could have had a lousy time in Karachi if it weren't for my family. They just made sure I had an awesome time.
I haven't seen them for a long time so it was great to catch up with them and get to know them face to face (besides what I know from Facebook).
I was at first confused because they were all quiet. I wondered whether their invitations were just fake ones and they didn't really want me there. But it turned out they were a little bit shy. Thankfully, the shyness fell away to some great times. We watched movies, played cards, goofed off, talked and talked, went shopping, went driving, made plans and on and on.
On the eating, I A-T-E. My stomach fully remembered that Karachi was the city where one would end up eating three lunches. The reason I say this is that the last time I went to Karachi was from Islamabad when I used to work as UN national staff. I had told both my khala's about the time I was coming there. I got mixed up about which house I was supposed to go first to. Moreover, my boss was with me was hungry and I had to accompany him for lunch. After I deposited him at his hotel, I headed off to my first khala and I ate a very delicious lunch with biryani. After that, I went to see my other khala who was upset I was late and the lunch was already cold. I tried to squirm out of it but whoops, that would have been the height of rudeness. I ended up eating that lunch too. I had three lunches that day.
On this trip too I ate like crazy. Don't get me wrong. It was great fun. I had biryanis, the most awesome kebabs, karahis, more biryanis, parathas, ice-cream, gol gappas, pani puris, kulfi, you name it. But my stomach did feel like it was having a hangover in the end. I just lay down the first day I got back to Islamabad.
I also shopped like crazy. Karachi had some great malls so it was fun to shop there. I got some beautiful kurtas, chappals and bags.
I met my cousin's little kid for the first time. He's so friggin cute. Played a lot of hide and seek with him. We took about 200 goofy photos with him on my Photo Booth on my Mac. We watched loads of movies. Slept late, woke up late.
The most amusing thing to watch was how much planning went into it. My cousins were figuring out places to go to so I could max out on all the fun I could possibly have. It was very sweet.
Apparently there's one cousin who no one hardly sees. I was told that I should be honoured he was giving me so much time because 'bees saalon ke baad us se miltay hain.'
Hey I was told I was so politically correct I used to correct them way back when I was 15 or 16. I used to snap at them. Ha, that was funny when I heard that. Man, we all become our own miniature personalities right when we're young, eh?
We also saw old parts of Karachi. It reminded me of Cowasjee's passionate columns about preserving Karachi's heritage and landmarks.
I had my heart full when I left Karachi. I am really grateful to my cousins and khala's and uncles for their hospitality. I probably can't express in words how much the Karachi trip means to me.