For a mediocre Karachiite, these bandooks (guns) and bam dhamakay (bomb blasts) have casually turned into dark jokes and have become a part of our identities, while my Lahori peers may not be fully aware of the consequences of such offenses that my Karachi has seen in its past (and present), they do share quite a witty sense of humor to bring my beloved city down (ngl we still have better food).
Jokes aside, most of us karachiites do not even know what we really have gone through, it is through these discussions and conscious insight that we come close to understanding the trauma we have collectively been through, and fortunately or not have picked up this elite (read: perhaps a little problematic) sense of humor along the way.
It is when we sit around, with our peers who have not been raised in such conflicted zones that we realize that maybe, maybe this was not…normal? It is when we collectively reflect the recurring violence that kids around the world in conflicted areas face, that we realize that we are no different. It is when I go out with my friends in a careem and push my phone underneath my thigh or be on an alert 24/7 or suddenly enter a trail anxiousness when I am out until midnight; it is in those times I realize that security is something we have been deprived of for so long that this, is who we are or have become. Always prepared for a robbery, a gun, a dhamaka, a death.
One day, a friend asks me:
“What has been your scariest dream so far?”
And I would list down things like kidnapping, bomb blasts, plane crash, some more of kidnapping, rape threats etc…but again unlike dreams they don’t stop existing when I open my eyes.
But I guess, at least we have a good sense humor.