Hurrying down the stairs I observed Abeer lying on the floor. I remember asking her what was wrong but I hardly paid attention to what she replied. The whole place was a chaos since morning. Uncountable guests, weakening state of gramps, and kids shouting all over the place had made us all go wacko.
I wanted to relieve myself from all the stress. Everyone felt the same. I would like to mention my love for sudden unannounced plans. They are the best in times of stress. Yes my dear fellows what I am about to narrate to you is one of the best moments of my life spent with the people I love.
I, Nosh, Tina, and Unni make the best partners during trips and we are always together at home too. We had managed to make my uncle take us to Port Grand, Karachi. I had learnt that it’s a calm and quite place. It’s basically a walking area with the Karachi Port Trust on one side and the food stalls and games on the other. I badly wanted to visit the place since ages and was amongst the first ones to get ready. Although it was a sudden plan, 15 people ended up getting ready in like an hour (not to mention all the rush and people waiting in lines for bathroom).
We were out of the house by eight thirty pm but squeezing in two small cars for fifteen people sure took some time. The driver, my uncle, three aunts, and two older cousins successfully fitted in the 2005 model Baleno. Our squad along with three small cousins took the still smaller car Alto. Hassan, my cousin who is new to driving took the wheel. He is good at driving but we did get to see a man in a car and the traffic police cursing at us for going the wrong way. We also got hit by a motorcycle, but luckily he just knocked us slightly as he went along.
Hassan had been pointing towards a banner the whole way about some music concert at Port Grand, but among the many voices he was hardly heard. After a good one hour drive, we made it to the ally just outside Port Grand and goodness what a mess it was! There was supposed to be a music concert there and the place was holy jam. We waited there for half an hour only to hear from the guard that there was no more place left for cars. Sadly we had to turn around and go back, but something had to be done before we headed home.
We needed to compensate for the loss of time so we made a second sudden plan of going to Sea View beach. We were feeling miserable because of our failed trip. Tina had shouted to the extreme on all of us the whole time, but we were still enjoying each other’s company probably because we didn’t know what Murtaza (our driver) would do in a while.
In the next hour, he made us go through the same route twice and stopped by Bin Qasim park. We were too tired to argue with him. Hassan had already stopped and asked for directions thrice. Murtaza claimed the most stupid thing ever. According to his incomparable sense of direction, the beach was across the four walled garden! I mean who does that?
I didn’t know how but we all managed to ignore him as Hassan took the lead.
I remember the smell of the salty water as I walked out of the car. We were literally squeezed in the small car for like two hours!
I could make the out the small waves in the distance. The sea was calm and the sky was dark with no signs of the Moon.
There are very few beaches like the Sea View beach in Karachi and you can tell why as you see the jungle jeeps running on the sand! We almost forgot the three hour torture as we ran along the beach. The jeep ride was the first thing we took. It was lovely and we couldn’t resist a second turn. As we drove with our mouths open, laughing loudly, I felt the cold air refreshing my body and mind. The Pashto guy who owned the jeep was hanging in the air, with barely one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the upper rod. He kept telling Nosheen
“باجي ايسے ﭼلاؤ ﮒى تو سب كو مار دو ﮒى”
(Sister if you keep driving like this, you will kill all of us.)
I felt like we were part of a video game. Going past people, avoiding camels and horses, asking people to make way for us, driving carefully, keeping away from rocks and rough paths created a typical virtual scene. We also rode a camel and a horse. I must hereby mention the scary way in the camel sits and stands up.
We took off our shoes and stood in the calm sea for a while. Laughter and shouting had left us thirsty and tired. We had skipped our dinner so we ended up eating some hot samosas and daal at the beach before we headed back home.
It was almost midnight, but the city was full of lights and lively people. We were discussing the trip as we headed back and we made Abeer sleep on Tina’s lap. She had been complaining of a headache since evening. As we reached Sharaih Faisal, (the main road that links all parts of city Karachi) Abeer woke up. Tina was asking her to sleep again as I watched the buildings passing by. We stopped at the traffic signal where a disabled man was selling balloons. We ended up buying three for the little ones. Suddenly I heard this sound… Like someone has gagged. Yes Abeer had vomited all the samosa and daal she had eaten right into Tina’s laps.
Our car was running smoothly on the middle track until we heard the sound… We are all really sensitive especially Hassan and Unni. They just can’t stand seeing anyone vomit. The problem right now was that Hassan was driving! He let out the loudest groan and everybody had their hands in the air ( like that would save us from the vomit that was now floating under our feet ). The balloon in Tina’s hands slipped and flew towards the dashboard as we rolled down the windows of the car. It blocked Hassan’s view as we drove and we heard him asking us to hold our balloons.
All of us were shouting and Abeer was crying. We had to keep Hassan calm. Luckily there was a deodorant in the car and Hassan passed it to Nosheen who was sitting in the front with my little cousin, Saad. She sprayed the thing all over him, his hands, face and all. Alhamdulillah he handled the wheel well. We were patting Abeer and comforting her the rest of the way. We stopped at the intersection that leads to our home. Hassan stepped out to buy us some noodles and junk food. I took Abeer out of the car. There was a footpath close by and I asked her to vomit there if she wanted to. Finally we made it home and my uncle put Abeer to sleep after giving her some medications. I, Nosh, Unni and Tina kept talking about all the bad luck in a single day as we took our places in the bed.
We ended up concluding we certainly needed more sudden trips!
I realized with time that this trip was not fun because of the food or sea or rides, but because of bonds and love. Now I understand why Allah سبحانه وتعالى made me related to so many people and why He strictly commands to never sever bonds. Allah سبحانه وتعالى mentions in the Quran:
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him he created his wife (Hawwa), and from both them both He created many men & women; and fear Allah through Whom you demand, and (do not cut the relations of) womb (kinship, blood relations). Surely Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (Surah Nisa, Ayah 1)
This shows how keeping good relations with your blood relatives is not just a recommendation from Allah swt but rather a mandatory act for those who fear Him.
The most beautiful thing about bonds that I learnt and experienced is that:
I am nothing without my family; they are my strength, my weakness, my joy, my everything.
No matter what you do in your live, no matter how much you hurt your family, they will never leave you alone. They will never ask you to make it up to them. They will stand with you through all the good and the bad. They are not behind you, but beside you, holding you, strengthening you!