This particular week my colleague had been pretty cranky and quirky, likely to bicker every now and then. His mum’s sick and he had to leave for work early but instead ended up staying rather late. We’ve been hearing about his mum’s poor health for quite sometime now and felt bitter-tense when he just broke off and left for home.He left way past 7pm. That’s when traffic just gets worse. Its difficult to cross road if you’re a pedestrian (but it doesn’t helps if you’re in car either). Infact, the crazy drivers just speed up if they catch you crossing the road. Needless to say there is no traffic signal. And driver make it a one-way or two-way road based on their discretion in desperate attempts to flee traffic only to be stuck in a worse congestion further. This area is I.I Chundrigar. Its pretty much to Karachi whats Wall Street is to New York. State Bank, Stock Exchange, foreign banks, every other brokerage firm and financial institute have their head offices here. Many multinationals too.
As my colleague turned left to cross the road, a graceful, well dressed, mid-aged, gentle man with the typical CEO look carrying too many files and folders walked up to him and stood along waiting for the cars to slow down so they can cross the road together. He asked my colleague if he can hold his coat so he can rearrange his files and papers in the time being. My colleague did. He put down the files. An executive car stopped in front of them. Behind the coat the gentleman poked a gun at my colleague, asked him to quietly handover his wallet, laptop, wristwatch and any other valuable. Then he took it all, sat in the car and sped away despite of all the traffic. Needless to say the traffic warden saw everything but ignored. Its widely known police stations have their commissions fixed in street crimes. The crime mafia, with their deep insightful observation knows how to dupe people without instilling a single salt of suspicion amongst their victims.
As if this wasn’t a bad day enough, at an isolated bus stop another guy thumped my colleague’s back and pointed a gun. This time he just burst out. His mother’s sick, alone at home and he had nothing more than a flimsy note of 100 Rupee. He threw it on his face. The guy shrunk back, told his name, returned his money, said would pray for his mother and asked him to take his name if anyone bothered him again-he’ll get out of trouble easily.The guy walked away and left.
My colleague’s mother is fine. The next day when he returned with his incredible story I wasn’t all that surprised. I had read of a similar account in Express Tribune. But then I had discounted it away. May be the author had Stockholm Syndrome. But now I am trying to discern it in more profound terms. Obviously in life there’s never anything black and white.Things are hazy crazy. Structures that appear insurmountable are shaky.People exhibit contrast and contradictions within their own behavior. Incongruities surround us. Yet we tend to draw lasting conclusions, judge emotions that are fickle, rationalize randomness and make permanent decisions on it. The level of superficiality in our lives is increasing on all counts. Deeper reading of events makes us indecisive. Solutions exist on more strategic level that requires a series of sustained effort on multiple platforms that will only yield results in distant future. What I see is a generation of perseverance before an iota’s difference can be made.