Short Stories – The Other Impressions


The van stopped near a residential block to pick up the pamphlets. Zainab grew restless. The van has brought her and others to Karachi from their village in interior Sindh and now they had to wait till they reach their destination. She looked out of the window. She saw a family stepping out of their car. A lady dressed in a cotton dress was helping her kids with their shopping bags. The children were four to five years old. The driver was taking groceries out of the boot. It looked like they have just come back after doing weekly groceries. She has seen couple of big grocery stores in Karachi herself when she came last time around. Long aisles full of local and imported groceries were on display. She was too hesitant to touch any of them for the fear that she would damage something. She stayed at her sister’s then, who worked at Saeen’s bungalow in Karachi. That trip was futile. Her ailing husband could not survive.


Sarah was sitting in a packed jeep. It was an old 4×4 which her grandfather had purchased ages ago. The open jeep with a soft cover was taken out only on special occasions and today was one such day. They left their home in Tando jam in the morning and now they were visiting an uncle who lived in Defence. There they were supposed to join a bigger group. She was still holding a tiny flag which was given to her by her father. She looked at her mom who was looking curiously at the shops on both sides of the road. She looked in her direction. The shops glittered with lights and fancy displays. The traffic was moving slowly. People looked like they were in a hurry, honking and cursing. She wondered if the city was as restless always.


Aliya looked at the mehndi design on her hand. It depicted party slogan which has withstood the test of time. All her pleasant memories were around that slogan and the party. Her father was a steadfast worker and now she carried the torch for her family. They were waiting for the signal to turn green on the boat basin chowk. There were two or three beggars asking for alms and one kid was cleaning the windshields of the car. An amputated kid was playing with a poster hanging low on the greenbelt. He had squeezed his head through it and was looking to the other side, in their direction. Their eyes met for a second. The kid was laughing and his eyes twinkled. She smiled at him and waved.


Adil worked at Preedy police station and was instructed to remain stand-by in case of any emergency. He looked at the television waiting for the speech to be over so that he could go home and sleep. It was his Rota of a day off and now he would not get one for three days straight.


Sahir parked his car in front of the liquor shop which was still open. The whole street was crammed up since most of the liquor shops were closed across the city due to uncertain security situation. Sahir worked for a bank but also recently started attending town hall meetings of a relatively new party. He found the day frustrating and finally stepped out in the evening to have a chilled beer. He looked sideways waiting for his turn. There was a car parked on his left, adorned with his rival party flags and slogans, waiting for its turn. His eyes met with its driver for a second. He looked tired after a hard day’s work.

Categories: Short Stories

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