Rickshaws — blue ones at first, before the CNG-fitted green variety took over — have been central to my experience. From bunks to clandestine meetings, khwaari to emergencies, from Lakshmi Chowk to Walton, Sunderdas Road to Liberty, Defence to Camp Jail, and from Dharampura to the mysterious point beyond the Railway Station where Daewoo buses refuel.
Writing, too, has been important. It would have played an even bigger role if I wasn’t as lazy as I am at beginning a piece. And that, essentially, is my primary motive: if this blog survives a year or two, you may draw conclusions on my resolve. The second motive is this: I’ve been taught for 3 years to think in policy terms — to think solutions but also useless albeit engaging banter disguised as diplomacy. It would be a shame to forget it all. So maybe this blog will provide practice.
As for The Blue Rickshaw, in which the three of us sit quite comfortably, it will always be the truest, most appropriate vehicle for Pakistan. Dirty, unsanitized, polluting and infuriating. But also colourful, raucous and never, ever dull. Seats three but was always secretly meant for an uncomfortable family of six. And with a motto, emblazoned in bright colours on the back, which slyly slips politics into humour — an inside joke that confounds the world.
Who knows what our collective ideology will be? The ramblings of three Pakistanis, when combined, may turn out to be surprisingly useful. I hope.
Watch this space.