Ever since I moved to Lahore, I have been hearing about this amazing Daachi festival. It is all about things I love like truck-art, handicrafts, paintings, art, culture and Pakistani identity. I already missed two of its events and really wanted to attend this one. So I booked the date on my google calendar long ago.
Meanwhile, last Wednesday, after office, Tennis, shower and dinner, my husband and I were lounging around when I saw a video my sister Waliya uploaded about mom’s book launch the next day. I knew mama had a book launch but I had no idea there was her 11th solo painting exhibition too. Suddenly I had an urge of going to Islamabad for the event. I had been missing her for a long time. I looked at Haaris and said ‘OMG! it’s going to be a big event.’ He replied ‘why don’t you go?’ That did it. As you know by now, I am normally not that spontaneous. I like to plan things ahead but this time I just wanted to go and be with my mama for her big day. My mom-in-law was already in Islamabad.
I had recently realized that our sick leaves from office are wasted if we don’t take them. Before knowing this fact, I was going to office even when I was sick in the hope of saving my leaves. So this time, I thought #letsdothis. I quickly emailed my boss that I won’t be able to come to office next two days as I have really bad allergy due to smog. All true by the way! My allergy gets crazy in this season and started packing up. My Islamabad trip as usual was one hell of a holiday. Due to some jalsa, roads were blocked and time was short but we had the time of our lives. I had too much sorting work there too as I had to select stuff worth 4 big suitcases from there, pack it up and bring it to Lahore. Event was crazy busy, managed to meet two of my friends and had endless fun with my nani, nana, mama Waliya and of course endless cuddles with my Muffin darling (Persian cat).
Well, I was in Islamabad at Aqs art gallery when my mom-in-law reminded me about Daachi and I checked on my calendar that its last date is Monday. For a second I panicked but thank God I realized I was going back to Lahore on Sunday so I could actually make it there on Monday. I planned to skip Tennis that evening and go there with my colleague and ex-colleague straight from office. Knowing how unpredictable Lahore smog is, I kept night suit and a toothbrush with me in the car.
We were too excited as the clock struck 6 pm, we dashed off to Al-Fateh to buy ourselves some junk food to last us till dinner and I drove to model town with google maps on. Daachi festival was amazing. I bought a rug, 2 blue pottery bowls and 3 earrings. There were really cute and funky stalls with a whole range of ingenious products. I have always admired entrepreneurs. I tried my negotiation skills too which worked surprisingly well especially towards the end. After the festival, we went out on a drive in model town in search of mobile signals. The three of us had zero signals so one colleague who lives in Johar town couldn’t order Careem. When we got some signals, she left and then there were two of us left. Luckily there wasn’t much smog at that time (7:30 pm). That’s when we got a little carried away.
We then drove near defense Lahore and decided to have cheese kebabs in an outdoor place in her colony before I dropped her home. We always go hysterical and we laugh like crazy when we’re together. Her Khaloo was also in the outdoor restaurant. He sent 2 hot Gulab Jamuns to our table which we gobbled and burnt our tongues. We could see the smog getting thicker and thicker by the minute. It was like a real-life serious race. We guzzled Cheese kebabs, Roghni Naans and Gulab Jamuns as fast as possible but they were all just too yummy. A cutie cat found us there and kept wanting our kebabs. We both are cat lovers so ended up giving the kitty our kebab (which she didn’t like by the way). While we were finishing our dinner and giggling away, the smog tripled in minutes right in front of our eyes.
The smog had got so thick that we couldn’t see anything. We yelled ‘waiter, waiter’ and looked all around while we laughed. Finally he came and we asked him for our bill. He told us that our bill was already paid by her khaloo. We got up, thanked him and as walked towards the car. The car wasn’t visible from a few feet distance. Now we got really scared.
She said ‘Should I ask khaloo’s help so you can follow him’ but I didn’t quite understand what she said. I thought she said ‘I will walk on the road and you can follow me’. So we had a good laugh on this thought! This is how it is with friends like these. Anything and everything is funny and can make you laugh till your stomach hurts.
Her house was very close from where we were but I had to drive home alone in this condition which seemed impossible. I started driving towards her house. She kept her face outside the window and guided me. I had my hazard lights on; yet it felt like driving into a wall as I couldn’t see anything ahead. It was one hell of a ride. When we reached her house, I decided I couldn’t afford to take a chance driving back home so I decided to stay at her place for the night. It was a weekday and I had to drive to office straight from her house the next morning. We talked till late night and went frantic with laughter. My stomach made kitty noises all night as I guess the cheese kebabs didn’t agree with me much.
Finally when we decided to sleep, in spite of a mosquito plug, a dheet machar started ‘bee bee’ in my ear and I couldn’t sleep. Later, I woke her up and complained about the mosquito being a badass. She asked me not to worry and that it’ll be alright. She sprayed Mortein and put on the fan on slow speed. She went off to sleep. First I started feeling cold till I realized I can refold the blanket and use it again. Then I started feeling allergic to the spray or the fan. I started sneezing one after the other till I had to wake up twice to have a full pill of anti-histamine. Finally I went to sleep at 3:30 and my stupid alarm went off at 7:50. Oh my days! As is the case every single morning, I was almost in tears when I had to wake up for office as I am so not a morning person and I absolutely hate waking up every morning!
She woke me up and made me fried egg and toast despite my morning sulking face and the fact that she’s not working these days. Later I thanked her and said, ‘your fiancé is a lucky man as you’ll make a good wife. Saadi is lucky to Shaadi you!’ She begged me not to tell him that she made me breakfast as she’s trying to give him the impression that she can’t cook. Haha! Good luck for that! She messaged me saying ‘last night was a lot of fun’. I replied ‘I won’t tell him that too with a wink’. I know this post was a little unconventional but I thought I would give you a little taste of what my life is like. Let me know your thoughts.