Thursday, February 05, 2015

Karachi Diary: hearsay, reflections

Familiarity is a defense. It must be, because that way of accessing a new place is so much easier. Karachi looks like Delhi, feels like Bombay, sounds like Hyderabad. The air, the trees, the shops, the colonial architecture. I feel at home. This feels like home. I don't feel like I've come to another country.

Even in the most unambiguously foreign place, I'm certain I'd be looking for the familiar in order not to think about how huge and hard to understand a new place is. It's easier to keep up the pretense in a country like Pakistan, because actually so much is familiar and laid over transparently over what is not. The country through a car window.


You'd think nearly 70 years would be enough to make us very, very different - at least in the way we speak. But we're not quite like the Canadian French yet. Or at least my ear is not attuned to differences in usage and speech.

My speech is almost unconsciously shifting. It becomes more Delhi and less Tamil-inflected Dakhni. I am waiting for someone to say the equivalent of 'Greater Klaash' so I feel really at home.


Photos in another post.


km said...

Enjoying this series immensely. I hope you are pitching this to a literary magazine.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely in love with it. All these years of silently stalking you via rss feeds - but now I can't resist posting to say I am absolutely in love with this!


Space Bar said...

km: i haven't but you're not surprised, are you? and thank you.

b: good to see you back! how are you?

??! said...

What km said.