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Heal Thyself or TIECON 2009, Karachi

The best of friends are the conspring kind.

When Sabeen and Jehan conspired together to get me to speak at TIECON 2009 in Karachi, the original plan was to do my presentation, stay for the post presentation Q&A and then head out. I even parked in Sheraton’s outdoor parking to ensure that I wouldn’t have to wait for the valet to bring the car out.

But by the time I landed at Darbar Hall, Adil Moosaji had already arrived in his flipflops and shorts and it appeared that my plans for a quick exit would possibly need to change. When we broke for Tea after the morning session was over, the conference hall and the serving area were overflowing with buzz.

You could feel the Force out in strength. It was just what the doctor had ordered after the last few days and my bouts with Monday morning blues.

Adil and Shahjahan Chaudhry (Home Express) used the force to battle the evil empire’s undue influence on the audience but despite their valiant struggle, Count Dooku’s influence was just too strong.

The conspring friend who is also charter members of our joint mutual admiration society conspired further to delay my exit plans.

And then it was time for lunch. Depsite the fact that my motiviation for attending the event was shameless self promotion, the TIE approved menu was a refreshing surprise from Sheraton.

Post lunch we broke up first for a quick dose of high energy music, then a video conference link with Jahanzeb Sherwani followed by birds of a feather breakout session. The end of the pitching session was my rescheduled exit que, but once again another conspiring friend from Lahore, none other than Dr. Umar Saif and his session on raising capital and the real reasons why he headed back home to Pakistan held me back.

By the time Umar was done I had about 20 missed calls on my cell phone from the office when the ultimate of incentives that an author could never refuse was presented. An impromptu book signing.

How could I say no.

Somewhere on this blog, on a day when I had been moved more strongly than I would admit, by kids with dreams in their eye, I wrote:

I never thought that the inspiration of souls I had never met before could move me. That their passion would feed my own; their hope, rid my despair.

The twelve hours I spent at the TIE event yesterday at Karachi Sheraton did just that.

Thank you conspiring friends.

Thank you Torque, Talha, Umair and the team behind them for putting up a great show.