f Notes from the Underground: adhori kahani
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Monday, January 12, 2009

adhori kahani

I wasn't planning to spend this much time in office today, my idea was to punch in and then pick my certificate from school. Well, that seems to be naturally on hold till Monday at least. For tomorrow, I'm hoping to meet Fahad - this business of justice sucks - once you've been through this then you won't have to go through that and that but only that you'll have to go through this twice but it might take longer than it took to go through this before even still. Sounds like BS? Well, my sentiments exactly about the criminal justice system in Pakistan. Anyways, I think I'll be more honest in admitting that it would do him more good if I meet him tomorrow rather than blab about the eternal inefficiency of court procedure - which is all too well known anyways.
"In just a moment, I went from hating her from all my heart to loving her with all my soul."
He paused, and loudly praised the thematic, structural and emotional completeness of the sentence. He read it again. Again. He read the whole paragraph again. Oh! he wouldn't mind reading the whole book again for it would have the same impact. But he knows, the knowledge once gained loses the charm of being recent and with time is turned into a classic as was the book he was reading. Lately Fred had been reading a lot, and he felt fortunate for the time being. If only he could amend that one vice of his past, present and present continuous, but if only...
A wacko once said, you're never satisified with what you have; you will always want what you had or what others have. And that's about as plain as desire can get. Fred could think of himself burning in the fire of the longing for his past, a fire lot heavier and scorching than heat of jealousy. Not long ago, he claimed very cooly that he had lived his life in a manner that at any instant he could state that he had no regrets. Well, now he had one. It was eating him up, no, he did not felt eaten up by his reason for regret but he felt withering away with time like a sculpture made of stone feeling its heart break.
He knew he was falling apart, and it was the feeling of helplessness that made him even more remorseful - so he did what anyone would do. Find a distraction. And there is no dearth of distraction for cultivated minds in our times. He indulged in his passion for reading, for cinema - oh! that reminds me of his friend, Nancy, she was low-key showbiz girl - a couple of movies that tanked, a TV series no one knew about, advertisements that came through indifferent clients in the Agency Fred worked.
"How about we go watch whatever's rolling?" Nancy proposed.
"Well, not a bad idea when compared to nothing. So be there at nine thirty." Fred fixed it without a second thought.
Since coming to Lahore, life had been quite eventful for Nancy. She got to know Fred, whose real name like everyone else's was no more in practice. She confirmed the night's movie plan twice and left thinking about how good an actor Fred was in real life. He is like an actor who is always shifting from one set to another, always in a character. That is what made him so hard to figure out, but, she thought, I'll keep watching him maybe at some point he will lose his concentration. Funny thing was he knows that I watch him all the time like an audience for cinema. Living with Fred for the past three months had terrific, it was cinema verte at its best.
- Later

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