I love big cities although I haven’t been to many infect to non-other than Lahore and now Tokyo. I had loved my Lahore and was very near to fall in love with Tokyo after been living here for past two years.
For years I sat and waited for hours at the gate of my house in Lahore discussing the story of my life with myself. A guy who just waited whole his life that guy was me.
It took me quite a while to realize that all this waiting was useless. I looked for something non-existent, things and people that used to be in my life once but now they were gone and I never thought about them, thinking had stopped for me long time ago.
“Casim there is this young newly married Pakistani couple whom contacted me yesterday for a city tour so you take them it will be fun you haven’t meet any Pakistani since you been here trust me you will feel good after meeting Pakistani people and don’t worry I will take your old Australian couple out for dinner so be at city center by ten they will be waiting for you there” my thoughts were jolted hearing about Pakistan and Pakistani people that country hadn’t gave me anything i hate that country and its people.
“Don’t worry uncle I will be with them by 9:45” I replied.
Yes apart from working in Miss Emiko coffee shop I was also working as a tourist guy for uncle masood tourist agency from Monday to Wednesday to make my ends meet honestly I was loving doing this tourist guy job there was sense of freedom which I felt since I started you live a life day by day with no worries no plans and no thoughts of future life. It gave me freedom.
Yes Freedom of living my life freedom of which I had been kept deprived of since my childhood
It was a cool morning in Tokyo. Taking a romantic Pakistani newly married couple was not as much fun as taking some beautiful America girls group around for a trip.
Being uncle masood assistant for last couple of years had made me one good tour guy. Now I knew all about Tokyo renowned places, its art, its language, its cuisines helping people to shop and taking them to fine restaurants for nice food.
After taking them around to city renowned places I took them to Miss Emiko Coffee Shop to enjoy her coffee after all Miss Emiko coffee shop was also among city renowned places while enjoying coffee at Miss Emiko with Mr. & Mrs. Jamshed (newly married Pakistani couple) I didn’t talked much all they were doing was talking to each other. They talked about their marriage about their love about their parents there family there home and yes about there and mine country Pakistan.
Home, country, family not that I wanted to remember, but how to stop memories when people talked about things that you have lost Things you have suffered to forget, that you have left behind and learned to live without and survived.
I stared blankly at the sky when they talked about their home in Lahore about their dead grandparents and yes about their best friends. Was my face too revealing? Did it show how hard I was trying not to remember about my home in Lahore my grandma and my best friend Zafar and my love Sara?
“How is your family in Lahore do you miss Lahore? Mrs. Jamshed asked jubilantly disrupting my thoughts.
“They are good” I replied to her.
“Your parents are alive?” Mr. Jamshed asked
“No they died when I was a kid since I had lived with my grandma” I replied feeling uneasy on their extra interest in my life in my past about whom I didn’t want to remember
“What about your best friends and beautiful Lahori girlfriend I bet you must have one” Mr. Jamshed asked with half smile while taking sip of his coffee.
I didn’t say anything in replay.
“Off course he do miss his grandma, his girlfriend, his best friends, his Lahore its streets its food its hustle its crowded buses and most important his Pakistan” Mrs. Jamshed said to Mr. Jamshed with her eyes reading my face expressions.
“I am sorry, do I speak a lot”. Mrs. Jamshed told me.
I grinned. “I don’t mind really”
Mr. & Mrs. Jamshed wanted to know everything about me and my past there questions making my heart cry.
Thinking of my grandma my old family house in Lahore mine un cleaned room there, taste of Lassi and keema ka Partha use to make by my grandma my broken bed my long road trips of Lahore different areas with Zafar my very first date with Sara in local restaurant late night long hours talk with Sara on phone.
Yes Mr. & Mrs. Jamshed with their questions had reminded me of my past life in Lahore from whom I was running away for past two years. Living in disguise for past two years had changed everything in me growing beard wearing casual and two years of being somebody else, well I was somebody else now. I was a no one from two years
My eyes were wet with tears.
Thinking of Lahore grandma, Zafar and Sara had made me sad I felt sad deep down my heart something I could not control.
I faced the coffee cup where I could see my own reflection.
I saw the coffee cup where I could see my own reflection with the background of Tokyo city center; it was me that I saw not the city, the face of a stranger, a stranger who had my eyes. There I knew one thing it was time to go back.