Posted in Dreams

To dream, perchance to see….

Winters in Karachi are seductive. They seduce you into staying in bed as long as you can, drifting in and out of dreams, some instantly forgotten the minute you wake up, while others manage to cross over from the subconscious and linger a bit longer….

I read somewhere that we can dream several dreams in the course of a single night, blurring into one another or staying distinct. 

Either way, they have always provided me with lots of entertainment, so much so that I would look forward to sinking into slumber just to dream my crazy bizarre dreams. Life is so boring comparatively ūüėČ

Huz, being of the intuitive and analytical sort, would sometimes point out the symbolism inherent in some that I just had to share with him. This interested me, and I picked up a dream dictionary at an old book store back when I was in my 20’s.

I think I loaned that book to one of my cousins some years ago because I can’t find it anymore, but that’s okay because¬†‘Dream Moods’¬†is pretty comprehensive. ūüôā¬†

There are some themes that have recurred quite often, like walking long distances with legs of lead, or being back in school, or sitting for a test that I have not studied for. Tidal waves and floods feature quite often, as do burning buildings and jumping out of windows. Trying to get to the airport with the looming fear of missing my flight happens often. Vampires often make an appearance too, as do lunches I have thrown where I forgot to cook anything!

My curiosity is piqued when it seems that they are telling me something about myself, or situations that I need to deal with in real life. Either way, I think they’re lots of fun to mull over.

Take the dream I dreamt this morning for instance. I was shipwrecked along with six or seven other people and we were left paddling in the sea holding on to just a wooden raft-like board. We weren’t afraid because there was an island close by that we could easily make our way towards, but we stayed where we were, just waiting. The afternoon wore on and we were quite comfortable in the water until suddenly a humungus whale rose out of the water quite close to us and crashed resoundingly back into the sea. We looked at each other, stunned.¬†

Then I noticed a dolphin peeking at us, swimming around, and I thought where there are dolphins there must be sharks too. Sure enough, I looked to my left and there was a huge shark swimming slowly around us. I began to get a bit alarmed, and I realized it would soon be evening and we should really be rescued soon. 

That’s when we spotted a boat in the distance and someone who was with me began to holler at the top of his lungs and we all joined in until they heard us and came over. There were four men in a small motorboat and they told us that we’d have to stay in the water as their boat could not carry any more people than it already was, but they tied our wooden board to their boat and we all hung on to it as they pulled us through the water, hopefully back to civilization. There were two little kids, brother and sister, who were hanging on for dear life and the girl seemed to be struggling and swallowing seawater as the boy told her to stop doing that or she would drown. The dream ended then, as I woke up.

Now I know that dreaming of water of any kind is extremely meaningful. But I’ll stick to the symbols in this particular dream. I looked them all up and strangely enough (or not at all strangely) they all point towards the same things.¬†

Being shipwrecked:

‘To see or dream that you are shipwrecked suggests that you are experiencing some emotional conflict or are having difficulties in expressing your feelings. Additionally, the dream means that you are ready to confront some issues in your subconscious.’

The Sea:

¬†‘To see the sea in your dream represents your subconscious and the transition between your subconscious and conscious. As with all water symbols, it also represents your emotions. The dream may also be a pun on your understanding and perception of a situation. “I see” or perhaps there is something you need to “see” more clearly. Alternatively, the dream indicates a need to reassure yourself or to offer reassurance to someone.¬†It brings about hope, a new perspective and a positive outlook on life no matter how difficult your current problems may be.

To dream that you are lost at sea suggests that you are drifting around in life without any direction.¬† You are feeling overwhelmed by emotions.’¬†



‘To see a raft in your dream indicates that you have not built a firm foundation for success. There is still much work ahead.¬†

To dream that you are floating on a raft suggests that you are drifting through life, not knowing where you are headed. You are confused about your purpose and direction in life.’



To see or dream that you are on an island signifies ease, relaxation and comfort. The dream is telling you that you need a vacation and escape the stresses in your life. It is time for some solitude. 

To dream that you are stranded on an island suggests that you need to get away from the demands of your daily life. Or perhaps you are running away from a situation instead of trying to confront it.¬† Alternatively, the dream means that you feel cut off from society. You are in a rut and do not know what to do with your life.’


‘To dream¬†of wading in water symbolizes your power and control over your emotions.¬†

Consider the depth and clarity of the water to determine how much power and control you have over the circumstances and situations in your life.’


‘To see a whale in your dream represents your intuition and awareness. You are in tune with your sense of spirituality. Alternatively, a whale symbolizes a relationship or business project that may be too big to handle. You are feeling overwhelmed. The dream may also be a pun on “wailing” and a desire to cry out about something.’



‘To see a dolphin in your dream symbolizes spiritual guidance, intellect, mental attributes and emotional trust. The dream is usually an inspirational one, encouraging you to utilize your mind to its capacity and move upward in life.¬†Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and subconscious aspects of yourself. Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions.

To dream that you are riding a dolphin represents your optimism and social altruism.

To dream that a dolphin is dying indicates feelings of despair. You are feeling disconnected.’


‘To see a shark in your dream indicates feelings of anger, hostility, and fierceness. You are undergoing a long and difficult emotional period and may be an emotional threat to yourself or to others.¬†Perhaps, you are struggling with your individuality and independence, especially in some aspect of your relationship. Alternatively, a shark represents a person in your life who is greedy and unscrupulous. This person goes after what he or she wants with no regards to the well-being and sensitivity of others. The shark may also be an aspect of your own personality with these qualities.’



‘To dream that you are being rescued or rescuing others represents an aspect of yourself that has been neglected or ignored. You are trying to find a way to express this neglected part of yourself. Alternatively, it symbolizes a subconscious cry for help. Perhaps you are too proud in your waking life to ask for assistance.¬†

In particular, to dream that you rescue someone from drowning indicates that you have successfully ackowledged certain emotions and characteristics that are symbolized by the drowning victim.’


So there you have it. I seem to be grappling with some serious s*** in my waking life, aren’t I?¬†Apparently I am an aimless, emotionally distraught bum. But I could be coming to grips with it…..

Pinning my hopes on that dolphin. The ones in my dream looked friendly and amused and curious, just like these ones. ūüôā


What kind of dreams do you get? How symbolic do you think they are?

Posted in Events, Karachi, Rambling

Rambling a watershed year away..

If memory serves me right, winter arrived very late last year, when I was beginning to lose hope of getting to pull out my warm clothes at all.

I recall feeling increasingly impatient, longing to feel that nip in the air, that makes sitting on the steps in my back balcony that much more wonderful. The nip finally manifested itself a week before New Years Eve, when a few friends came over and we did a barbecue (chicken in two different marinades), warmed by the embers till the wee hours, cradling hot mugs of tea in our hands.

We stood on the top steps that lead down to the courtyard and watched the fireworks explode in the sky, whooping at particularly spectacular ones. I felt grateful to have friends to celebrate with, happy to hear Amu and her bunch of friends talking and laughing in another balcony, hoping a good time was being had by all…




This year the air turned cooler much earlier, much to my surprise. I felt the crispness in the air as I was letting Fuzzy in one fine morning when I was awake for some godforsaken reason. It was only November and Amu reported that her friend Hannah’s perennially curly hair had already begun to stay straight instead of frizzing up right after ironing. This is a sure sign. It indicates a drop in humidity in the air, which means women in Karachi (including yours truly) start tweeting happily about the increase in good hair days.

Hannah and Amu

Amu began talking about getting a new school sweater as her old one was looking a bit worn out. The child turns up her nose, however, at the standby standard gray pullover provided by Ghani Sons, (the store that sells the most school uniforms in Karachi) as being completely uncool.

A couple of rounds of all the hip stores at the mall revealed nothing of any use. One store, however, had the most lovely ¬†gray cashmere…..beautifully soft, perfect shade of gray…..the kind of sweater that just fits you beautifully and you feel classy wearing it.

It cost almost twice Zahooran’s monthly salary though, and even Amu (who is good at persuading her forever-balking-at-prices Mom) thought she couldn’t, (just couldn’t!) spend that much on a sweater for school. The attendant at the shop then divulged that we should drop by in ten days or so to check out their stock of lambs’ wool sweaters and Huz left his number and email so they could let us know. But they never called or emailed, and when we dropped in after two weeks to see if the new stock had arrived, there was no trace of it and the shop attendant looked puzzled as if he had never said such a thing.

So after consulting her fellow fashionistas, (most of whom do their shopping on yearly holidays in London or the US) it was revealed that there is a Marks and Spencer outlet somewhere in Khadda market from where her friend Nabs thought we could find a reasonably priced, yet ‘cool’ gray sweater.

If I was reluctant to go shopping again, it was only because I had by now lost my faith and couldn’t face another disappointment. (Or maybe I was subconsciously trying to compel Amu into forgoing her notions of cool/uncool and making use of the oversized pullover I had bought her last year which was lying unworn in her cupboard)

We drove along the narrow, congested street, keeping our eyes peeled for the alleged shop, not once, but twice, on two separate days, as Amu fired frantic texts at Nabs to get more specfic directions…but the search proved as futile as I had feared.

There was no such M & S store….unless of course, they had relocated since Nabs had gone shopping. But how were we to know where it was now?

The sweater story has a happy ending though.

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon yesterday, as we drove out to the far reaches of phase 8, taking the scenic route along the Arabian Sea. The sun shone, and the water sparkled, people and camels dotting the beachy landscape. The road near the Cineplex was lined with hundreds of cars… seemed a lot of people had turned out to watch Skyfall or Life of Pi.

Orange butterflies fluttered away from my windshield as we swung into the parking lot of the weekly bazar, a magical place where you can find anything and everything that the city has to offer. It is also a great place to spend a few hours browsing stalls along with a whole sea of other human beings. Here’s a bunch of pics I took there sometime last year, when we had gone early and it wasn’t crowded.







Amu and I stopped in our tracks as we encountered a bunch of very small Afghan/Pashtun boys in our path, one of whom was in the process of sharing his bottle of Pepsi with one extremely flattened straw sticking out of it. They were so engrossed in the fizzy pleasure of their drink, chattering amongst themselves in Darri/Pushto they didn’t notice us watching them, grinning from ear to ear. Later, we regretted not having secretly filmed them.

Then we proceeded to rummage through the flea market stalls, which were inundated with sweaters of all shapes, colours and sizes, and after an extensive and thorough search and encountering two old but very seasoned sweater-sellers who seemed to know immediately what school Amu went to, and who cannily tried to sell us a used sweater at twice the market rate (a ploy we managed to maneouvre out of) we walked away with a lovely gray pullover from the very next stall, once again grinning from ear to ear.

We left the market with bags of fruit, new turquoise-blue bathroom mats, wooden wind chimes for the courtyard and a gray sweater, carried for us by a little Afghan boy to our car.

He silently walked all the way for us, carrying our load, and silently transferred it all into the backseat after which I handed him a 50-rupee note. He took it without saying a word and as Amu got in and I walked over to the drivers side, I watched him walk quickly with his basket back to the bazar to look for the next customer. I kept watching as he climbed up the hilly mound to the main road, to see if he would turn around and acknowledge the fact that he had been connected to us for a brief moment in time, helping us walk easier as we traversed the crowds.

Just as I began to think that our contribution towards his earnings of the day meant nothing to him, he turned around to look in my direction and I saw a tiny smile on his face.

I grinned back and gave him a little wave, and then he was gone.

At the beginning of this year, December seemed so far away, and now it’s here. Didn’t Farroo just get married? Wasn’t the Karachi Literature Festival just a few months ago?

(It was a lovely wintry day then too and I had fun attending various sessions…..had meant to write about it but then got lazy…’s a few of the hundreds of pics I took that day)


rapt audience
rapt audience
Listening to Anatol Lieven talking about 'Pakistan-A Hard Country' in a regional politics session
Listening to Anatol Lieven talking about ‘Pakistan-A Hard Country’ in a regional politics session

Today is the very last day that I will ever be in my 30’s. I have already bought myself a silver bracelet with coloured square stones which is going to see me through to the other side.

Tomorrow, I cross over.