by Farrukh Malik and Sagar Unnar
The panelists are five in number from different backgrounds, one landlord cum businessman (A), a middle class struggling fellow (this scribe refer me as B) and other three are metropolitan residents with stake in business(C, D, E).
Last night, I mean November 16, 2007 at residence of Kazim Ali Abbasi in posh locality of Clifton Karachi, Pakistan.
Here you go….
B: Welcome back Kazim after a break from this lousy place!
B: When you are throwing party?
KA: Soon, may be tonight?
B: Aww, it will be awesome!
KA: I want to eat some meat, after eating too much dal there.
B: I can understand.
E: I had told you not to kick his a…. but you were adamant.
KA: Yaar may be you were right but I was indeed preoccupied with all that shit around.
B: So, you regret all that?
KA: No ways, in fact I am motivated enough for another such break.
A: Another break hmmm…
B: ‘A’, what do you think, you seem interested too?
A: No ways!
C: Well KA, please tell us about your pilgrimage.
KA: It was indeed pilgrimage. I was with so many intellectuals in jail that I felt the outside world is almost devoid of them.
B: KA, please proceed.
KA: So, I got arrested in High Court with all those big names and was imprisoned in barrack number one (1).
KA: We got arrested and were taken first to artillery madan police station near high court. And latter we were transferred to Karachi Central Jail in Kutta Gaddi (armored vehicle used by police here). We reached at the gate of Karachi Central jail at about 2300 hrs and waited there for about three to four hours. The armored vehicle was having a capacity of 15 men only but we were like 30 to 35 and I thought we will die of suffocation.
B: But you are alive hmm…
E: Yes, you are alive.
KA: Alive oh yes, thanks to my strong immunity and health.
B: Go ahead with the story.
KA: Yes, at about 0230 hrs, they took us inside and it felt very pleasant to get freed from the Kutta Gaddi (the feeling of relief was still in his eyes). Having entered, we were taken to barrack no. 1. The barrack no. 1 is a place that I will never forget (he got lost in memories of his prison cell). We were 46 in number along with mice, cats and we all used to live under an implied code of peaceful co-existence (least likely among men in our world though).
D: You mean cats were not troubling even mice?
KA: Yes, they were not.
A: It was worth seeing all this.
KA: Yes, it was but beyond comprehension while sitting in my drawing room (feeling of agony was quite evident in his eyes).
D: Tell us more about it
KA: Slow man! Yes, when you enter the jail you will find a place called Marri (a building) , sort of a place with sitting arrangements, after Marri you will cross a passage that will lead you to a compound called Chakkar (dizziness, puzzle), Chakkar is a place that will really bewilder you. I think it is there to puzzle in case some prisoner is trying to make his way out. You don’t know where you came from and where you want to go. These were the important land marks in jail.
E: Tell us about food!
KA: Food was five star with sushi in super and all that (making mockery of all). We used to drink diesel in place of tea with lots of cockroaches and other insects. The food was dal almost every then and now and if someone mistakenly kept the plate on floor, mice will jump to show their solidarity with you and please you with their theory of peaceful co-existence.
B: Can you tell us the best part of your stay?
KA: We use to recite Faiz Ahmed Faiz and it was the best part. I happened to see Faiz in a different context. This jail journey provided me with an insight of my very self. One more thing, I observed a very painful scene and I want to share it with you. It is about a lady whose husband was a prisoner. Lady was out of money and was very poor. For a face to face meeting they use to charge a sum of 500 hundreds and that lady was penniless. Somehow she managed a normal meeting and they were standing around 25-30 feet apart with barriers in between and lots of other visitors around. This moved me a lot and the feeling of the pain in their eyes was very much clear. The lady was like weeping and it made me feel very bad.
A: Aray yaar it’s enough stop it now.
B: Han yaar its enough, let’s talk about something else
KA: What else?
B: Anything, acha any message you want to give to readers of my blog?
KA: This journey was not that bad but must remember, I now know that they (the jail administration) know how to make your life miserable. Stay cautious!
B: Don’t think about going to jail, that’s what you mean?
KA: Never, I am charged and I am ready to water my commitments in any form.
B: Thank you Kazim, the interview is over.
A: Yaar got to go now.
B: A, I want you to please catch some photos of KA and email me tomorrow
A: Okay, here I go (started catching photos).
KA: Enough? Let’s go and have some Karahai warhai, I am starving….