In the photo, Faiz Ahmad Faiz has his hand near the corner of his mouth; his fingers, weighted down by his dense thoughts, support a cigarette.
His cigarette leaves grey smoke fumes suspended in a black and white capture.
“He did some significant jail time, you know?” I say to my friend seated in front of me.
She mutters, “Our problems are bigger.”
And then in another one of our creepy insight moments, she points towards her head and I murmur, “After all the jail is in here.”
Sometimes I wonder if emotional turmoil counts as turmoil.
After all, our self-created universes crash within the wombs in which they are forged, does it count as turmoil?
Does self-destructive, self-inflicted mental torture matter?
And if this confinement within our very own jails counts, can anyone bail us out?
My mawkish self is not allowed to drown any further in self-pity as a slightly spaced-out waiter comes over, scratches his stache with a ball point and asks us what we would like to order.
What we would have liked to order would have been Oreo shakes and waffles ( HOT , with chilled icecream, no maple syrup) but the menu is quite concise.
Shaami kebabs, patties , biryani ,nothing much to write home about but the patties are always served hot , with the perfect crisp puff pastry and the biryani would give a very tough competition to the boiled chaos they cook up in our hostel cafeteria.
“Do patties , do cokes”
“Nau patties , nau cokes?” , he scratches his head.
Truly the waiters will never fail to amuse you, dressed in crisp black and white, noting down orders for nine when you order for two, they will roam around, shout the orders from above downstairs, send the bartan crashing here and there and always, ALWAYS make you smile.
Pak Tea has become one of our favorite places to unwind, the yellow lights , the black cosy sofas , the ash-aar on the walls , everything feels like home (except for the ashaar ofcourse)
We go there every Friday after histology , every evening we feel down and every time we feel like we need a break from the neon tube lights and need to listen to the sound of T.V again(be it news whatever).
The tea house does stand true to its name; truly the chai is the best part.
Garam , garam , it can take all your troubles away , sip by sip.
I always end up with a beige doodh-patti kind of a mixture though.
With every sip of chai you take, you slurp an era gone by ; literati in sepia engrossed in discourse, black and white highbrows with the world to conquer.
It all comes reeling back, within these very walls, literary geniuses would have sat and lamented on the sheer stupidity of mankind.
Ash-aar would have been fashioned and innovative philosophies molded.
Drink your tea slowly.
The past will become a haze; the future a blur.
Only that moment, that present instant will remain; your deprived lips and the white china pressing longingly against them.
Your cup of tea shall bail you out of the labyrinth inside your mind.
If there’s one thing that ought to be added, its sheesha , nothing would complement the literary aura better than fumes, dense with thought.
Khair, we go there so often that we are expecting the Pak tea people to put up a notice board that does not allow us loud , annoying people inside anymore.
That being said, Pak Tea house is no doubt the best place for us depressed kemcolians to head to, when the day gets unbearable.
Not only shall you be taking a trip to the past , but you will get to witness some very interesting people hanging around there ; grey haired lawyers, weary old uncles wearing dhotis, shy couples sharing ice cream, huge groups of students from GCU, Punjab university , NCA.
Folded paper fans will always come in handy since the air-conditioning isn’t quite up to mark and yes, they don’t give out those swirls of chocolate wafers on the ice-cream scoops anymore.
Just two sad scoops, that sit alone, one on top of another , shall be your dessert.
“Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "it's very easy to take more than nothing."― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland