I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Sunday, August 3, 2008

...Of Erstwhile Homes

We move tomorrow.

I was born in 1987, (no, really) and that makes me what, 21 years old. In those 21 years, dad’s been posted to, let’s see…

Tabuk, Saudi Arabia,
Abbottabad,
Sialkot,
Islamabad,
Jhelum,
Sargodha,
Murree,
Rawalpindi,
Sargodha,
Jhelum,
Rawalpindi,
Abbottabad
And now, for the third time, Rawalpindi…..

Allowing for repeated postings, we have had to shift homes a dozen times in 21 years and now’s the 13th time (touch-wood). Calling it a hassle would be the understatement of the century. It’s really a credit to Mum that most of our stuff has escaped unscathed from all this moving about.. Now, the drill is being repeated again. Most of the stuff is in those ubiquitous little brown cardboard boxes, which will go into those rickety ol’ wooden crates, which will be wheeled up in those gleamin’ ol trucks and shaken, rattled and rolled to their new destination.

Practice makes perfect, and what usually took one week of frantic packing with at least half a dozen hired hands was done this time at a meandering pace with just two people working over two weeks. The whole shebang woulda been done and dusted two days ago had it not been for the 12 relatives who descended unannounced. That, of course meant hasty unpacking all the cutlery, crockery and at least three beds. How Mum kept the expletives in is beyond my imagination.

Anyhoo, the relatives are gone, all the stuff has been re-packed and all that remains to be sorted are two beds, a fewpieces of crockery….and my PC. This gets packed early tomorrow morning just in time to be loaded onto the waiting trucks.The two year sojourn ( one of my favorite words, along with gonorrhea) in Abbottabad has been a vital experience.

My grandfather died in Abbottabad, and I will be eternally grateful for the care he received at the hospital here. I lost my phone here (or it was stolen, depending on whom you believe), and bought this poor battered creature that’s been molested far more than what it deserved for it’s 13,000 Rs. price. I built most of my Dylan collection here, thanks to one of the best surprise gifts I’m ever likely to receive, namely the complete Dylan discography.

I’ve seen the price of a Pindi-Abbottabad coaster ticket go from 65 to 75 to 90 to 100 to 110 to 130 bucks in two years. The first real snowfall in ten years, the best homegrown peaches, apricots, almonds, and apples ever (In fact the ONLY homegrown peaches, apricots, almonds and apples), the delicious biting cold winters which my Mum hated, and the fact that even now, we only had 4 hours of power outages when Pindi had 7 have made Abbottabad one of my favorite places of residence. Add to this the fact that since I only came over for weekends, I didn’t do much socializing and hence no friendships to be painfully broken. Can’t say the same about my kid sister though…