The year is 1995. I am sitting in my class highly annoyed. The teacher is going on and on trying to scare the shit out of the whole class about an upcoming test. I, on the other hand, am occupied with dodging my head trying to avoid the paper balls that are being bombarded at me and my giant head from behind. You see, I do have a giant head. On top of my giant head, God has gifted me super frizzy hair. And the punchline of His joke was to put me on this earth, of all the places, in Karachi what with it’s boiling temperature and all. (Girls with frizzy hair, you know where I’m coming from). Basically it’s an equation that successfully qualifies me to get up on the stage with a guitar and sing about shooting a sheriff. At the moment, however, I am sitting in the class, listening to my teacher, hating Arsalan and his cronies passionately.
Later that day, I am sitting in a school bus in the blistering heat of Karachi with a pounding headache. Next to me is sitting this girl going on and on about this guy she has a crush on. I listen using the least bit of my brain matter required to stay engaged in a conversation without looking aloof. All of a sudden she starts screaming, pointing at some guy walking outside. Her high-pitched note zapping the droopy part of my brain causing me to look outside and see Arsalan walking by. Ugh! I close my eyes and cover my face hoping it would drown out her annoying voice.
The year is 1998. It’s lunch time and Arsalan is bobbing about the whole school showing off his new camera. In a few minutes, he comes up to me and asks if I could take his picture. I grab the camera, press my nose next to its flat back, and peep through the viewfinder to find Arsalan standing with legs crossed giving the camera his best smoulder. I contain my laugh, click and hand him the camera.
A few days later, as I’m walking down the corridor with my friends, I hear Arsalan call me from the back. I turn around and he is waving a piece of paper in his hand. Ok, what’s this about now, I think. “Look, look, look at this picture you took!”. I take the piece of paper from his hand and it’s the picture I took of him. Smoulder and all. Yep. I look up at him inquisitively. “Where are my feet? There is all this space above my head and you cut off my feet? Who takes a picture of a person and cuts off their feet?”. “Your face is there at least, isn’t it?” I rebuttaled. But, of course, I wasn’t off the hook and had to hear about it for a long, long time.
The year is 2011. I’m in Canada, I’m married and I have a one month old baby. My phone rings and it is, lo and behold, Arsalan! We catch up on each others lives and he tells me he is getting married and wants me to photograph his wedding. He tells me his fiance Sarah, who we later find out has been following our blog religiously, will get in touch and sort out the details.
It’s a day before Arsalan’s wedding and I am on the phone with him arguing. He doesn’t want to go out for a photo shoot, Sarah does, so do we, but he just won’t be convinced. And for a minute I feel like I am back in Karachi sitting in my class dodging my head. Finally we hang up on an off note and I have no idea whether he would show up the next day for the photo shoot or not. But thankfully, as Asad would tell me later, he not only showed up, but was at his best behaviour throughout the night.
So Arsalan! Here is a trip down the memory lane. Many congratulations to you and Sarah, and we hope you’d have a beautiful life together. I also made sure your legs weren’t cut off this time :p Enjoy the pictures!
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