By Fareeha Qayoom



he electricity just came back on. Its 1:00 AM and I am wide awake.

It’s usually a major struggle catching up on my sleep during the night hours what with one hour on, one hour off power conservation strategy – the load shedding schedule is quite crazy – WAPDA/LESCO shuts off the electricity at mid-night, then 2:00 AM, and then 4:00 AM and after that it’s anybody’s guess, I am too exhausted by then and usually doze off right before the dawn prayers! In the morning, it’s a struggle getting to work on time – most weekends I just catch up on my lost sleep.

I have also become quite adept at killing mosquitoes with my bare hands not to mention the useless corporate soft skill that I am slowly acquiring on the job (without any special training – thank you very much)– killing flies literally with any weapon at hand which is usually my writing pad every Tuesday.

Today I killed only one – four got away. (The flies are occupational hazard – every Tuesday we have a meeting scheduled with our biggest vendor at his factory. Unfortunately, because they have decided to remove the air conditioning from their small conference room – the flies love the warm, humid air and decide to join us without fail every week).

The stress of dealing with the flies, the heat, the thirst and the vendor usually means I like to drop by at Readings every Tuesday evening just to unwind. It also means that I end up buying a huge pile of expensive books that I never find the time to read and finish.

Unfortunately, today the meeting ran late. I ended up at Readings at around 9:15 PM – no, it was just a passing visit. I only spent twenty minutes there. By the time, I got home around 10 PM laden with books, including one each for my nephew and niece, they had gone to sleep.

I didn’t even get a chance to watch any interesting show today – (Gossip Girl or Once Upon a time for example) …my brother channel surfed instead. We ended up looking at some disturbing news footage – what with Javed Chaudhry, Jasmine Khan and Mehr Bukhari doing their bit to add to the general drama…it was just another day in Pakistan.

Yes, I read a news article today by LA Times that President Zardari was snubbed by President Obama over the NATO supply route…(well, apparently Pakistan was not on the list of nations that were thanked for their cooperation with USA/NATO for their “war on terror”) and Cyril Almeida of Dawn News also had a point that Pakistan is her  own worst enemy. I also ended up looking for the origin of the quote, “Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you,” yes, apparently, it was Mulder who said that in one of the X-files episodes, or words to that effect.

So what the heck is it? Are we just paranoid or are they really out to get us? They don’t let you sleep or work or have fun or even die in peace – is it a giant conspiracy, general incompetence or just plain dumb series of unfortunate events that dog Pakistan and her citizens every day? You decide.

Me…I am going to read until I can fall asleep. As they say, ‘Tomorrow is another day’ – or rather work day!

Oh yes –  one more thing, thank God for UPS! 😀


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Mosquitoes, flies and the paranoid, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating