I hail from Chakwal but most of my upbringing was done in Islamabad. So, technically Islamabad is my hometown. It is much different from Chakwal – very clean and green. However, dust pollution is common everywhere you go in Pakistan because the climate generally stays dry in fall and winter. A little fact here: The whole time I was in Pakistan it did not rain. The one thing I was dying to experience. Sigh.
Back to my observations – The first couple days I was in Chakwal, I was just like a kid who’s been left on his own in a candy shop. I stared at everything as if it’s the most beautiful sight in the world, I absorbed my surroundings and experienced the moments with an ever-present state of mind. Or maybe it’s just because I didn’t have any internet for two days. Hah!
I had become alive to the extent that I didn’t even experience any jetlag. You may feel it’s an exaggeration, but it isn’t. Or you can just relate it to my exceptional physiology. I adjusted to the Standard Time without any problems. The proof? I was up at the rooftop for the first couple weeks to see the sunrise – bright and early.
And my God, the city is so silent at night. It is scary to some extent. Our western lives are so machine-like, 24/7 kind that we will never be able to experience pure silence of a dark night that you would if you were in a desert. Silence predominates to the extent that you wonder where is all of mankind hiding away. You can hear the dogs howling at night from miles away. This is also the first time in 8 years that I experienced pin-drop silence at night. It’s a melody in and of itself.
It could all just be a result of my personal liking of such environments that I began to appreciate even the silence at nights. But when you sit there under the starry sky, you can just be in awe of the One who created our surroundings so intricately. It makes you steer away from narcissism and climb levels of appreciation and gratitude to the Creator – where it’s all due.
This piece is a part of my multi-series blogposts on My Impressions of Pakistan. Here’s Part 1.