Thursday, December 07, 2006

First Reminiscences…with the LC members in “KHI”

I looked around the airport, saw the immigration officer, gazed at the disembarkation, administrator, glanced at Saba, Mikaal, Saaim, Sadaf and Omar, viewed the roads and felt the weather but still was unable to figure out exactly where I landed after being air-borne for three long hours. Did the airplane take a u-turn and touched down at some other city in Bangladesh or it never took off? What the heck was going on? Before I could get more perplexed and impatient, I was greeted rather coldly and warmly, tiredly and enthusiastically by the LC members. The reason for this MIXED reaction was the long and exhausting wait at the airport gate. I did apologize for it, but hey that wasn’t my fault and neither was the plane slow. It was the bag-opening ceremony at multiple airport check points and the trust of the airport officials on Muslim travelers which made me literaly sweep my luggage all around the arrival area and fill out various forms, hence confining me in the airport for over 45 minutes. What a welcome!!!! Oh yes by the way, after talking to the AIESECers and observing the billboards in Urdu, I finally got convinced that I was indeed in another country which was “AN INDIA” away (in geographical point of view ofcourse).

And so there we were sitting in Saaim’s car smiling at each other with no apparent reason, may be due to the fact that six of us had to cram inside the car pretty oddly or may be it was the sign of bafflement after seeing me and wondering “Is this guy really from Bangladesh?” In all this aura of grins and smiles Mikaal took out his mobile and started making a mini documentary. It was an awesome idea to preserve a memorable/unmemorable state of affairs taking place, provided that he has not deleted it.

So the journey went on. I was too tired, both mentally and bodily, to actually grab the smirks and jokes being spurted out inside the car and to my respite finally the car stopped in front of Barbera (I don’t know whether it’s the right spelling) Coffee shop. We ordered some fresh juice, coffee and a couple of plate of custom made cheese-layered fries [thanks to Omar’s long-term relationship with the hoteliers… :)] and chit-chatted a bit before heading to the MC house.

Eventually, we arrived at the MC building.

I thought it would be a right abbreviation for Military Cage because to get to the house you have to undergo three layers of inspection operations. First is the main gate, guarded with an armored person. Then there is the voice recognition system. After your voice verification, a prison-like gate electromagnetically opens and you climb up the stairs. While climbing the stairs one might get the feeling of walking through a multi-storied cell with reinforced iron railings on every access-point. Finally when you reach the MC house, there is the third and final layer of security, the iron-fenced door of the house itself. Pretty secured isn’t it!!!

At the MC house, I met Wangari, the Kenyan girl doing her internship at Asoka. Wangari, Sadaf, Saba, Omar and me sat around the dining table conversing while poor Mikaal and Saaim carried my “50 Kg” luggage all the way to the 3rd floor. Thanks a lot guys. I feel really indebt to you two for this favor. I wouldn’t and couldn’t have carried all this mass alone.

It was around 8:00 pm local time and there I was seated at the MC house with all the MC people missing. The event which followed next was enough to make me go besmirch and ruin my jubilant and exciting mood. Stay tuned for that story to be covered in the next blog.

Well that was my recollection of the 13th of November, my first day in Karachi.

Sincere thanks to Taha, Emad, Wangari and Saba for pressurizing me to write my very first and overdue blog annotations which I finally wrote during the late hours of 6th December.

Till then…

“Bhalo Thaken” (Stay well)

- Karim A.


Blogger Taha Durrani said...

AWESOME to hear that dude!

Keep rocking Karachi!:)

2:41 AM  
Anonymous Areeba said...

hey, the videos aren't there anymore :(

3:38 AM  

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