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! :D


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