It’s official. My favourite word is ‘random’. There was a point at which I thought ‘problematic’ was my favourite word, but really, there’s nothing I throw around with as much joyful abandon as ‘random’. And that’s exactly what this post is going to be.
Karachi’s been a ball so far, with just one exception. Okay, two exceptions because I think my maid may have a stalker/boyfriend/what’s the difference? Our neighbours do not have an intercom. I know this because every time they have to say something to a member of the domestic staff, they hang out of the window and call out to them. Normally, this may not have mattered, except the aforementioned window is directly opposite our bedroom window. Therefore the following scenario unfolds every second day:
Afia on the verge of putting Zain to sleep, counting down the seconds until she can dip into the biscuit box.
Afia: “3… 2… dammit! 1000, 999, 998…”
It’s not just the noise. When I was living with Amma, privacy was a non-issue. We had no domestic help, so it was possible to make that occasional dash to the kitchen in a towel. After I got married, however, it became unseemly to enter the kitchen without a dupatta. I was looking forward to reclaiming some of that devil-may-care freedom when we moved. Instead, we got neighbours with a direct view into our bedroom. What’s the point of living independently, I ask you, if one can’t go commando in one’s own room?
Let me tell you something else while we're in this deep, philosophical mode. I’ve concluded that the classic New Year Resolution is a thoroughly ill-timed phenomenon and therefore doomed to fail the instant it is made. Think about it: half the population of resolutioners is either drunk or hung over when the aforementioned resolutions are being made. The half that isn’t inebriated is obviously depressed out of its mind (why else would you want to set life-changing goals at midnight in the dead of winter?) So you see, New Year Resolutions are typically being made by a group of people who are NOT THINKING RATIONALLY! No wonder you still look like a blimp when the next year rolls around! What did you think: the awesome power of Janus would work those triple-fudge sundaes off of your thighs? Resolution smesholution.
The only thing to do is to resolve things at another time of year. Do it when you’re ready to make that change. If you hit rock bottom on the 3rd of March and you decide you’re ready to get into shape, then your new year starts on the 4th of March. I’m convinced this is the only way to make the dratted resolution work, otherwise it’s just like starting another useless diet every year, on the year.
So I met up with my cousin and friend Sara Jamil at Butlers Chocolate Café on Zamzama last Monday! (Where did you think the fudge sundae reference came from?) Tip for the uninitiated: coffee places in Karachi are open at 9 am. (I KNOW. Who would’ve thought, right?) That’s when the mommy crowd gets out to socialise, you see. Sad people like me, who are actually happier staying awake at night, are forced to be up in time to drop their children to school. Apparently, they make up for the inconvenience by complaining to each other over a mug of cappuccino.
In other words, Karachi cafes have reinvented Monday Morning. We MUST reward them by giving them as much business as possible. Support every mug of coffee with a double-chocolate brownie, I say! It's okay, the new year doesn't start on January 1st anymore, remember?