“The first time I saw a man injecting himself with heroin…” Her voice still vibrates in my memory.
The Karachi Literature Festival was indeed a dream event-one I wanted to visit so eagerly; keen and imagining myself to meet Kamila Shamsie, Bapsi Sidhwa, I entered the venue. Murmurs, sophisticated laughter, dainty steps engulfed me, taking me into the whole ‘literary’ environment. With my parents, I made my way through the crowd, finally able to reach the hall where the much awaited workshop was taking place. Having visited the website (http://www.karachilitfest.com/) and viewed the programme, I was adamant on visiting this event (Creative Writing Workshop: Sharpening the Quill by Zulfiqar Ghose). The hall was packed and I soon got mesmerized by the gentle voice of the speaker, infiltrating into the audience. A wave of ecstasy pervaded my mind, being able to talk to a renowned essayist AND being there among a crowd of literature lovers.
Not being able to meet to meet either Kamila Shamsie or Bapsi Sidhwa was indeed a sorrowful aspect, but getting a newly launched book (Slum Child) signed by the author, Bina Shah, as well as receiving the chance to listen to her reading out a few pages, was a fantastic opportunity which I luckily availed.
So, I stepped out of the Carlton Hotel, Karachi, meeting the salty breeze from the nearby Arabian sea, carrying a cloth bag with memoirs, satisfaction and a contented smile on my face.