Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lahore Diary: Late night, early morning

The flight attendant says it's 16C out at 11pm. I am sceptical butsomewhat reassured though I wonder what I'm doing with the coat in my lap.

The woman next to me on the flight is Air Blue crew and she's not on duty but obviously feels she has a calling because even from the middle seat next to me, she's directed people to their seats, told people how to stow their laptops correctly so there's place for everyone else, and has asked me if she could have my aisle seat - I refuse, naturally - but continues to officiously sidle out to speak to those actually on duty. At the baggage carousel, she raises her eyebrows at the baggage porter on duty, as if she could get him to conjure our luggage by doing so.

Outside, we're met and though it's dark, to me the air feels like early winter in Delhi and I am overcome with a wave of nostalgia. I conclude that it's the air, just that right amount of bite in it that's on this side of sharp.

In the parking lot, a scatter of broken windshield glass is another sign that after all, familiarity is unavoidable. Perhaps it's unnecessary to avoid it; it's enough to mark it when it happens.

We stop for bread, I borrow my friend's phone to text home though I'm fairly certain it won't go - no text messages have, so far. LUMS is not far and even in the night, it's easy to see that it's going to look like a posh version of JNU. All red brick, trees, clean lines of roads and students confident in their right to the place.

Skipping lightly over the bits where I can't sleep and still have to (have to) wake up early for police verification, I discover the early morning is gorgeous with the sunlight slanting over the peepul outside my picture window. We're on the ground floor and in this brief moment before the day begins properly, I can look out at this natural component of institutional beauty and admire it.

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