See-sawing between gratitude and hopelessness

Philadelphia – Boston – Dubai – Islamabad  I was in tears while on hold with Emirates. During a span of 48 hours, I had gone from reassuring fellow international students at UPenn and saying we should stay put in Philadelphia to changing my flight ticket twice. First, I bought a ticket home for the endContinue reading “See-sawing between gratitude and hopelessness”

Lahore in Lockdown

Lahore, PakistanSpring brings out the best in Lahore, the city of gardens, of ancient architecture, of culture and heritage. In the last decade especially, the academic scene in Lahore has boomed manifold. Spring has been an usherer of all things creative and positive, like Lahore’s first biennale in 2018. Come spring and Lahore hosts itsContinue reading “Lahore in Lockdown”

Dancing out of the lockdown

Islamabad, Pakistan It was March 18, 2020 when I realized I had been at home for two full days, avoiding any social interaction. My movement inside the house involved going from my bed to my sofa and then back. It took me a day to mess up my sleep cycle, and while I was workingContinue reading “Dancing out of the lockdown”

There are no foreigners in a lockdown

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia By Saqib Sheikh The world is in a state of harmonized chaos. A calamitous tumble of the economy and global order is visible through empty streets and vacant parks, not protests or violence. It is peaceful, yes, but an eerie peace that has been forced upon us. The Coronavirus has thus provenContinue reading “There are no foreigners in a lockdown”

Shock, Humour, Acceptance

Lahore, Pakistan The shock: It started as a dreadful email, informing us about the closure of university. It came as a shock to final year students who were busy planning their last two months at university. The awaited delights like the grad-trip, photoshoots and the final goodbyes.We were too oblivious of what was happening aroundContinue reading “Shock, Humour, Acceptance”

Accidental pandemic mini-break that should have never have happened

Aberdeen, Scotland & Colombo, Sri Lanka My feelings are mixed about what is probably the last “adventure” I will have for a long time. (When I say adventure, I am not including whatever spiritual and mental journeys we are all supposed to be making during the lockdown, according to the online influencers and self-righteous lifeContinue reading “Accidental pandemic mini-break that should have never have happened”

The world has started to resemble a convent

Manila, Philippines Thursday, 12th March – I caught the evening bus bound for Quezon Province, five hours northeast of Manila. I hoped to reach before midnight. There were talks of a lockdown to be implemented the next day. I felt like a fugitive escaping from the prison that is Manila during a lockdown. Truth is, IContinue reading “The world has started to resemble a convent”

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