July 19, 2009

I've had an amazing couple of days. And by amazing I don't mean oh-my-god-this-is-wonderful--the-best-things-that-have-ever-happened-to-me. By amazing, I mean precisely the opposite. I'm currently sitting at the Karachi airport on my way to Islamabad, yet again. And the more I travel, the less inclined I am to look upon certain categories of the human race fondly. Were it not for tce fact that I have managed to charm my way into obtaining both a seat upgrade and access to the internet, I would have been committing homicide right now. (Ofcourse, if I did, it would put me in the same category as Lord Voldemort, and THAT as you will all agree must be avoided at all cost). Plus even though I can't see my blog (*sniff*), I can - intermittently - access blogger, a fact that brings me some sort of relief.

The first in a series of amazing incidents is undoubtedly a series of phone calls from my latest admirer. I would be more flattered by Mr. Kamran's interest were he actually aware of who I was. As it is, he seems to be in love with the slightly acerbic way I say 'hello' on the phone. Given that his number, +92-308-5863221, is now saved on my phone as 'Crazy Crank Caller' it would be safe to assume that I don't grant him with the pleasure of hearing my voice very often. In fact, whenever possible he hears the gruff unpleasantness of my brother's voice talking to him in a not-so-polite manner. I must admit that if the other men in my life were as persistent as Kamran, I could count myself fortunate. As it is, Kamran does not understand the depths of my irritation with him when he calls - over and over again - from 7:00am all they way until the middle of the night. I may understand Kamran's passion, and in another man perhapseven applaud it, but his declaration that unless I befriend him (in urdu he says: agar tum mujh se dosti nahi karogi) he will 'out' my number to the rest of his disreputable friends does not, somehow, endear him to me. It seems that he's well aware of the 'choose a lesser evil' dictum and aspires to use it to his advantage. Nothing seems to discourage this lovely man, not me telling him in no uncertain terms that his calls are extremely welcome, not being ignored every time he calls (if my phone has been unattended recently, it is because Kamran's devotion forces me to keep it on silent), and not my brother's crudely worded requests that he stop devoting his life to my cause. I have even had a complaint sent Mobilink, but nothing has really been done to stop the misbegotten low-life from reaching out to me. At the end of the day I think I shall have no choice but to find out who he is, where he comes from and then pay someone to run over him with a truck. Repeatedly.

My last post, as devoted readers will know, was dedicated to the rain. As some of you may have 'appreciated' it was quite 'emo'. Emotions other than just sad nostaglia were evoked by the rain this weekend, given that out of the past forty eight hours there has been electricity for only 2. The rest of the time we have been depending on our trusty generator which has used up over Rs. 2000/- of fuel. And yet we thank God we have a generator, because that makes us one of the lucky 5% of the country who have the energy to look beyond the woes caused by the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (K.E.S.C). Apparently, a day and a half of heavy rains caused enough transistors in the city to blow up to ensure that no electricity was available for the city en masse uptil now. Even as we speak, the airport generator has been running on standby and my flight is delayed by four hours (minimum). It would have been nice if the sms I just got (at 9:45am) informing me of this delay would have reached me BEFORE we left my house at 5:30, battling an amazing amount of water and unnecessary delays caused by traffic police who hinder rather than help. The chaos at the airport was (yet-again) bolstered by systems that did not work, and it took them about 30 minutes to print out my ticket so I could enter the building. Meanwhile the McDonalds (once-upon-a-time my brother's salvation) had run out of coffee, so it seems that today, hell has no exit.

Upon reaching the terminal, I managed to get the internet working by conveying to the CAA a sense of obligation at making me wait forever-and-ever for my flight. I know that atleast two other passengers benefitted from my machinations, one of whom thanked me for it with a lovely cup of tea. But my laptop is running out of battery now, as is my phone since neither of them have been charged in a long-long time. I have checked my email after 24 hours now, which for an addict like me is enough to have me shaking like a twitchy rabbit. (It turns out that my internet guy melts in the rain so naturally he couldn't brave it to his shop to turn the generator on so that I could check my email. Who-would-have-thunk-it?)

While waiting, and then waiting some more, I had a series of political conversations with everyone from PIA officials to the nice gentleman who bought me tea. Everyone is conscious of the myriad problems we have (and-how-can-they-not-be?) and all of them said pretty much the same thing: look at where we are now, begging bowl in hand, tolerating a life where he have no access to basic amenities that the 'developed' world takes for granted while Lord Voldemort takes his cronies to Amreeka in cars that cost $500 dollars a day, stays in hotels that cost $5000 a night and pays a lot more than that event to import a dancing girl from India for his entertainment. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we know the Hogwarts is falling apart and Dumbledore has chosen this moment to retire from active service of this madhouse. The burning question is: why does nobody fucking DO anything? And don't throw me that bullshit about education. We don't need to understand the syntax of the English language to know that we are victims of injustice. We don't need Shakespeare to tell us that we're being deprived of our fundamental rights as tax-paying citizens (and yes, as average white collar employees we have no choice but to pay tax) and we definitely don't need to learn the fundamentals of trigonometry to understand that we're being cheated. That said, why is nobody DOING anything? Why are all these discussions limited to drawing rooms and airport lounges? And if we really are at a stage when nothing can be done, when Voldemort and gang are completely unresponsive, when we can scream and shout and nobody-fucking-gives-a-shit, why the hell are we still here?


Desert Mystery said...

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority says that one can easily register a complain against any stalker. You have to call mobilink at least twice for any action to be taken. After an investigation, the cellular company will warn him/her once, and on the second complain they will block that number. If they dont, call the PTA.

Btw PK-300, the flight you are most likely taking has a horrible on time record. If you want to be on time and are not fond of waking up at the crack of dawn, take PK-368 departing at 1100 from Karachi. This flight doesnt have all our ruling aristocracy in Business class going to ISB (like PK-300 always does) on it therefore they don't delay it as much. I've seen it a hundred times when a minister is arriving like 5 minutes before PK-300 scheduled departure time. Its just pathetic.

If I had only 1 rupee for every time someone asked "when we can scream and shout and nobody-fucking-gives-a-shit, why the hell are we still here?" I would be as rich as Lord Voldemort

Gaia said...

lovely rant :)

brok3n said...

Dang I wonder if O2 has a similar system for registering crank callers like mobilink. Lets just say I've had a similar experience Zeb -shakes head in disapproval-

Finally, delays are a part of our Airport protocol. Rain or no rain. =(

Lastly, couldn't have said it any better....I guess this is the point I bow down and thank god for being in the UK? =( ....grim.

Ali said...

this is an isloo number, and 2ndly take air blue flights, definitely value for money.

S said...

Re: Stalker- My sympathies...

Re: Why doesn't anyone do anything? - Because blogging is much more convenient than active politics (or atleast that's my excuse anyway) ;)

Deepak Iyer said...

So Kamran fell in love coz of *this* blog ??? [;)]

To tone down the meanness, .. So Kamram fell in love coz of this *blog* ?

But cool .. you have your own stalker. I have been blogging long than you, still no luck. Life is so unfair.

Xeb said...

D: I doubt the worthy Kamran knows anything about me, least of all about this blog. He is just a nuisance who has already given me about a 100 calls. I wish somebody could get him stop. I really do. The most annoying, undoubtedly, is when he decides to call me right in the middle of a meeting or (in recent case) when I'm conducting a training. My phone is now permanently on silent thanks to this idiotic stalker!

Deepak Iyer said...

I can imagine how the phone rings in the middle of your important training, and you go, "Hold on, it's my stalker" [:D]

On a serious note, I agree such things can get almost traumatic.
Can't you just file an FIR instead of talking to the phone company yourself ? The police should trace and take care of this person in no time.

Xeb said...

Err, police in Pakistan? :P That may potentially be more traumatic than Kamran even! :P