It really doesn’t hit you, till it happens to you. I would hear about it, console others that have gone through it, and sometimes even be worried about it, anything is possible in my city. (That includes both good and bad!)
So there I was, one fine evening, the routine that I presumed to be the very usual. I had gotten in the car and was on my way to Dolmen City, (The Clifton one, aka Hyperstar) for a class at the executive tower. Comfortably I sat, telling the driver that this is where he is to head, and we were on our way. Listening to the serene sound of Pink Floyd in my ears, gazing out the window, watching the colorful sky as the sun sets, comes a turn, not just of the car but, to my life.
Two men on a motorcycle came next to my car, knocking the driver’s window with the butt of their gun, to put at least my life to a halt for those next two minutes. The driver pulled his window down and was dictated the most likely statement, “Phone do.” He gave his phone, and before I knew it, the men were now looking in my direction and the gun facing me. Thank God for me not being so brain dead, I quickly gave my phone in silence and there they took off.
So, what was it really like afterwards? The after effects of being mugged for the first time in Karachi.
You’re in a state of trauma where you think, “koi film chal raye hai, aur ye jo hua hai, wo nai hua hai.”
You just don’t realize what has happened and you’re in such a state of shock that denial becomes acceptance. What could possibly not happen, has happened.
You look at everyone as if you’re the alien.
Somehow, not having a phone on you, just highlights everyone else around you using one. All you see is people using their phone.
You don’t know what to say, so you choose the silent mode…on yourself.
You sit in silence, in disbelief basically, not making sense but trying so very hard to get a grip on the reality that a gun stared at you for a minute as you exchanged your phone for your life.
The feeling of being ever so vulnerable, just because you don’t have the commodity of a phone.
When you are trying to figure out what to do next, and you sit there feeling helpless AF because you just can’t connect to anyone without a phone.
When you go on repeat mode with your story.
Being mugged surely gets everyone’s attention, that’s for sure. Everyone wants to know HOW it happened, even though they pretty much know what the common scenario will be like. Still, they will ask. Some for enjoyment, others out of pity.
When you are asked to check this or that on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Google and regret hits you because you can’t do it instantly on your phone anymore.
Because people around you are so used to having you with your smartphone, they forget not once, not twice, but over and over again that you don’t have the phone anymore. As regret comes on their face, anger/sadness comes on yours.
You feel like a misfit in the world.
Not having a phone does make you feel like a misfit. Especially if you see your parents using their phone while you sit there being the one from not this so called advanced century.
You really don’t have a hang on how to use a lot of things from your laptop, because you never really saw them as a website.
It gets hard and confusing when you are so used to functioning on the phone switching from one app to another. And now you struggle to switching tabs on your laptop trying to figure out how to process as you used to.
Every time a person on a bike passes by, you shiver inside a little.
Fear is a monster. This monster will come biting you whenever a bike passes by as you try and cross the road or when it comes standing next to your car at signal. You will pray with all your heart that history does not repeat itself, till they are gone.
You realize the worth of your phone.
Yeah we all probably love our phones, but it is truly when it is gone that we realize its true worth. When you will be sitting in a gathering like a loner and your resort of a phone is no longer there, you’ll probably cry a little on the inside.
You just pray it never happens again.
Because you are never ever mentally prepared for it, no matter how many times you hear it or have been through it. You are never prepared for it.
But, according to some, the experience is kind of a right of passage to becoming a pukka Karachiite. Here’s hoping our future doesn’t hold more of these experiences.
Cover image via: dawn.com