Return to Pakistan

30 Jul

The best part of going away has always coming back. I often spent the many torturous hours in the cramped cabin and too close for comfort seats, surrounded by hysterically crying children, thinking of the moment you walk out of the belly of the plane and the Islamabad air hits you in the face. It’s my most favorite moment. The air is a curious mixture of jet fuel, the light pine notes of the Islamabad air and the warmth and heaviness of home.

Islamabad airport is one those curious, dinky little airports, where the planes don’t connect to the body of the terminal through well-lit tunnels that whisk you away from the plane to the terminal. At Islamabad airport, a little car, with stairs mounted on its back, drives up to the mammoth plane and fixes the metal stairs to the plane allowing the passengers to walk down to the tarmac and wait for buses that transport them to the terminal. And while the others that come from cities with fancier airports, scoff at this quaint process, this is most definitely my favorite part of the journey right before I roll up my sleeves and raises my fists and elbows to make space in the immigration line.

Since this return to Pakistan is permanent, I’m not sure when I’ll be making the transition from a camped cabin after a never-ending flight into the open air of home. And I’m going to miss coming back home but I think I am going to enjoy and appreciate being at home a lot more than I enjoyed the first few minutes of taking in my first lung-full of Pakistan air.

It’s good to be back!


7 Responses to “Return to Pakistan”

  1. Tariq Aqil July 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Welcome back Sehroo! To the land of the pure!I just hope and pray that you may NEVER have to regret this decision just as I have always regretted my decision to leave the UK and come back to Pakistan. Pakistan is your home and the land of your birth but I do have a very strong feeling that this land will soon be TALIBANISTAN and not the Pakistan we all love and yearn for. I dont think that your degrees from YALE and PRINCETON will do you any good in the land of religious fanatics. Welcome back again and good luck in the land of religious bigotry and obscurantism!

  2. Huda July 31, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    Welcome back, Sehar!

    I found it easy to speak of permanence on Day 1. But wait till Day 4, or Day 14… I frequently long for America, I will shamelessly admit. The joy of being independent and the master of your own will. You’ve been through this I’m sure. One of my favorite blog posts of yours was the one where you described a perfect American day: Good conversation, long walks, wine… That versus the current existence, plagued by the being-too-independent problem and the not-being-married problem. And the problem of constantly having to defend basic intellectual premises that used to underlie all conversation in the U.S., such as no religion is superior to others, women are equal to men, your dress is irrelevant to your morality, and morality is not absolute, etc.

    • M August 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

      looking forward to more posts on what it’s like to be back 🙂

  3. Faaez August 2, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Sehar, welcome home! I know that you have, and probably will keep hearing convincing reasons against not going back but I also believe that you have the gumption and creativity to not let precedence alone stop you from doing good, and doing well.

    All the very best!

  4. Yafis August 3, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Well done Sehar for coming back. It wont be easy but what is life without its challenges eh? If you do end up going back to the US, atleast you would know in your heart that you tried. I am in the same boat and I am also coming back.

    Good luck to all of us!

  5. Samz August 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Welcome back!

    As you have taken the decision, i hope you will achieve whatever you want to…

  6. Moiz August 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Sehar I don’t really know how I found you and your enthusaism! Bear with me of my spelling. I have written you few emails on your old princeton email ad. and found out your gmail email, hope it works.
    Once you receive my email, you have the liberty to post it.
    I am a US Citizena, and have been fighting for JUSTICE, IN THE HIGH COURT OF SINDH. I HOPE AN WISH non of overseas Pakistanis specially should not experience that traumatic experience unless you are determined crazy like me.
    Its been 10 full painful years, and my 9 visits in last 6years staying 4 months to 11+ months fighting for my JUST RIGHT AND JUSTICE.
    I want to create a website or some thing you or some like you suggest: WAKEUPFORJUSTICE
    I am not a computer SAVVY, like you young kids, but believe me I have the energy like you guys to stick with the cause >>>> but I don’t how long!

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