Of romance and horse drawn carriages
It was the summer of 1992 and as usual we were all gathered at Nani Ma’s place. It was one of those glorious July days that Karachi witnesses once a year; overcast skies, cool monsoon winds, no sign of humidity (frizz-free hair yay!) and the trees and shrubs looking actually green. We have all seen such days, nowadays you find out about them on facebook but back then we just used to hang out on the terrace to soak up the atmosphere.
So, here we were enjoying a pleasant summer’s day when obviously the electricity went out as soon as it started drizzling. Everyone let out a collective groan and started the usual KESC bashing fest accompanied by copious amounts of tea for the grown ups- national pastime and what not. Soon we decided that it was a perfect day to head out and naturally ran to my mamoon to eat his head up, begging him to take us out. My poor mamoon was no match for 10 shrilly children of various sizes and their equally shrilly Ammas; needless to say we were ready to go to Frere Hall in a few minutes and because my cousins cannot bear to be separated for even one second (the tragedy!), my mamoon went and hired two Victorias (Ghora Gari) for us all. If you have not sat in these relics of British colonial times then you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s a wonderful ride, the carriage has a hood but it’s not closed thus open to the elements.I can never forget the excitement of sitting in it, all of us squashed together, the bumps, the clip clop of the horse’s hooves, our incessant chatter and non stop laughter and last but not the least the hilarious stares we got from other people at the signals.
Childhood wonders are magical things and they can come back to you in such different ways. 15 years later I met M and we were about to get married. Two weeks before our Nikkah he told me he was coming to take me somewhere special (apparently he had already told my Ammi and sister about his plans). He turned up that hot day in March with a wide grin on his face and a Victoria standing behind him. M: “Your chariot awaits” Me; “Wha?! How?! Umm here???”
As the adult in me grappled to find words, my inner child jumped with joy and rudely shoved the adult aside; and as I gleefully stepped onto it, I looked back to see all my wonderful old childhood memories eager to mingle with the new ones I was about to make on the very exciting albeit terrifying journey called marriage.
He took me for a 15 minute ride that day and while all the uncles and aunties on the road stared, we couldn’t stop laughing. That was the moment I realized how perfect he was for me. His inner child is as playful as mine and life’s adventures are so much more interesting when you have someone like that by your side. As we approach our 9 year anniversary this March, I want to say Thank you M, I can never blame you for being boring; exasperating yes, infuriating maybe, annoying alot but never boring. Here’s to an infinite amount of togetherness filled with joy and lots more craziness.
P.S So what’s the craziest or your most favorite thing your better half has ever done for you? Share away dudes!
Facts: Victorias are old relics of the British colonial times and are still present to this day in various old parts of Karachi, carrying schoolchildren to and fro. These are French style open carriages, imported to Great Britain by the then Prince of Wales in 1869 and consequently exported to the subcontinent. It’s featured widely in the iconic song “Bandar Road se Kemari” sung by Ahmed Rushdi, his first hit song for Radio Pakistan.