Some days the distance between Karachi and Houston seems very short. All week, there’s been dire forecasts tornadoes and hailstorms in Houston for today, Saturday. Many events were postponed, but the day comes and goes and nothing more than the usual heavy rain and a few spots of flooding were recorded. Except at around 7 pm, I happen to be around Rice Village.
And it’s then that I notice that the shopping strips around me are dark. Pitch dark. There’s a blackout, a power failure that covers more than 10 blocks. If I were in Karachi I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Load-shedding I’d say, and then, continue on to where I was heading (expecting to arrive at someone’s home lit by generators or candles). But here, in Houston, I haven’t seen this sight before and I’m definitely intrigued. I will read the local paper tomorrow to find out what happened.
After I get home, I’m missing my mother, and for once we manage to catch each other for a fast conversation.
There’s stress in my her voice. “We have petrol in all the cars and we’re all stocked up,” she tells me. “Schools are closed on Tuesday in anticipation of what might happen…”
Parliamentary elections are scheduled in Pakistan on Monday. Let’s see how many more lives will be lost in Pakistan by the time that day begins and ends. After we hang up, Minal says, “Sometimes my Daddy likes elections. Sometimes, he doesn’t.” She’s talking about US elections, but she might as well include Pakistan in her statement.