You know it’s your lucky day when you see a thief walk away with your cellphone. If you can see him go, it means he didn’t take your life. Lucky people give away their belongings, while unlucky people give up much more.
Death is nothing but a statistic anymore and what used to be a tragic incident has simply become an inevitability of life in Karachi. It is on a daily basis that I hear about a death or mugging, and it doesn’t surprise me anymore. I’m not sure when it happened, but I have become immune to the threat. Did you hear about the guy who got killed because he got mad at someone for driving on the wrong side of the road? (Talk about “chori oopar se seena zori!”) Or about the woman who got shot in broad daylight right in front of her child? Or about the woman who got shot even after she gave up all her valuables? Or about a friend who lost all her contacts because her phone got stolen?
The sad truth is that most people reading this might have either been mugged at least once, or know of someone who has gone through it. So you will understand what it feels like to have a gun pointing at your head and giving away your hard earned possessions. It is such a helpless feeling. You’re angry, you’re sad, you’re frustrated, you’re scared – a myriad of emotions at one time… But when you get back home, your family will tell you that you’re lucky you’re unharmed. That it could have been much worse, they could have sat in the car, or they could have shot you… They will tell you to take extra precaution next time. Lock your doors, roll up the windows, always be alert, don’t wear jewelry while driving, keep a spare phone to give away, avoid going out too often, and so on.
Let me tell you that it will still happen again, because chances are, that if you’re living in Karachi, you will get mugged at least once in your lifetime and, if you’re lucky, live to tell the tale.
But you know what else could kill you? A cow. No, really. It can.
SO last night, my husband and I went to Nueplex for a movie. (We watched Lucy, btw… I thought it was alright…) It was around eleven by the time we left the cinema. Now, those of you who have visited Nueplex at night know that the road that leads out of Phase 8 is a bit scary, what with no street lights, scanty number of cars, and all the stories about the infamous black Prado! I will admit that I was scared, especially since it was just me and my husband in the car! Alone. At night.
But we managed to leave the area unscathed. Then we had the Expressway to cross, which is a great road, but very dark and deserted at night. I was freaking out there as well. Haply though, we managed to reach Baloch Colony without incident. BUT, it was at the foot of the bridge that we had the scariest encounter of MY life. (I don’t know if it was the scariest for my husband… He’s lived a more adventurous life than me).
It was a dark road, and just as we were about to ascend the bridge, a COW appeared at the side of the fast lane. One half of the cow was on our side of the bridge while the other half was on the other side. The cow was about to jump in front of our car but thanks to quick reflexes and luck, my husband managed to switch lanes and speed past the crazy cow. It may seem like a silly incident now, but I am sure that had the cow hit our car, we would have come out looking like pancakes in metal wrap! The car was fast, the cow was huge, and the impact could have been fatal!
So the point is, it’s not just the bad guys with guns that can kill you in this beautiful city of no lights. It could easily be an accident with a car, cow, truck, or even a wall! It could be a fatal argument, or target killing, but no matter how much you try, if it’s time to go, no precautionary measures can help you. Being afraid of going out at night because you will get mugged is not going to help anything. So live and let live… you hear me MOM? Don’t be afraid because, quite honestly, no one can live like this forever.