It’s that time of the year again. Karachi is mellow, the breeze outside has a nice chill, the traffic is slower, the beach is calmer and there is Dean Martin singing Volare in the air.
And I am still bullish on this amazing country of ours. Despite the pessimism, the cynics, the doom and nay sayers, and our own stupidity, greed and arrogance, I think we have a future.
I don’t have much to go on but:
- In Singapore I met eight amazing companies from a part of the world, not at all known for technology, standing on their own and beating the crap out of their competition. Two came back as category winners but three more had amazing stories to tell and would have certainly won with a little more preparation. I spent four days with 8 individuals doing their bit about changing their little corner of the world. Four of these came back home of their own accord, have no regrets, are making a difference and are perhaps just as bullish as I have been on the place we all call home.
- Last week in Karachi, I witnessed 200 carefree children at the AKU football ground playing, running, skipping and jumping around for about 2 hours. I saw Khadija, or Khateejah (as Salwa pronounces her lovely name), a CP child, enjoy a present that in any other country may only have been an unimaginable future. I saw 8 year olds running against the wind and winning. I saw 50 year old teachers have as much fun with tug of war as the cheering munchkins (or babushkas) on their side.
- Every morning I drive by the beach road on Clifton in the morning about 8 am and watch people stop with me on red lights. We watch the calm waves break together on sand that is colored grime, but is ours. It doesn’t take anything away from the serenity or the sound of the water breaking over and over.
- I see smiles on Farhan’s and Ahmed’s faces when they walk into work.
- My 60 minute commute back home in the evening is down to about 15 minutes now that a large part of the road work in progress is finished. The commute to Amin’s school on the other end of town (right next to the beach) two years ago would have taken an hour, is now down to 35 minutes.
- More road work is on its way and very visible and I don’t feel depressed. I look forward to shaving another 5 minutes either way once that project gets completed.
- My 256 Kbps cyber net pipe that used to cost 14,500 per month has been replaced by three independent pipes (Cyber, PTCL, MaxCom) with a total bandwidth of 1.256 Mbps at the same cost.
- On 1st January 2008, it will be 5 full years to the day that we landed back home. I don’t think we would have reached so far anywhere else on this planet in such a short time and with so little to start with. There is no comparison to playing on home ground.
- And there is love in the air.
Over and out.