The Opening Chapter ………..
“It was past midnight, about 1 a.m., when I stepped out of Karachi airport terminal. It was a hazy cloudy hot August summer night. I saw Pan Am Boeing 747’s big humpback nose parked at a distance under the hazy dim tarmac lights. I trailed behind other passengers, my feet feeling heavier and heavier with every step I took. My legs started feeling weak as I climbed up the stairs. At the top of flight, before entering the plane, I paused, turned around and looked back. I stood there for a moment just gazing at my country’s landscape sleeping in the dark night between airport buildings and whatever lied around. I realized I might be looking at it for the last time. I was born, raised, and educated here. After graduating with my engineering degree, I had volunteered to join the military and had proudly served my country for a long ten years. I had resigned once and having been refused to leave, I had asked for leave abroad which too had been denied. 17 years of my adulthood flashed before me. I quietly said goodbye and wondered if I will ever be back! Probably not, I thought, since I was running away to gain my ‘freedom’. I realized that in the next few moments, my career with the Pakistan Military would transition from a serving-in-good-standing-‘Major’ to a deserter. I stepped inside the plane. I began to walk into my new world that had started to unfold that very moment right there in front of my eyes. I felt even weaker than moments before. I felt cold feet. I sat down. This was it. The plane doors closed and I could hardly understand the announcements on the intercom. I was numb. So, this was it. I was leaving all behind, every thing, everyone including my wife and two daughters. Sunnia was two years old and Beenish was not even one yet. I was leaving 32 years of life behind. This was it!
I was on my way to America – the United States of America - chasing my dreams. I had been breathing and living America for the past two years. Now the moment I had been waiting for was here. I started to relax by thinking about the future – which I never expected to be as dark as it became. ……………………..”
What followed is forthcoming in a book I am currently writing. Chasing and living the American dream was not easy. I remained separated from my family for the next seven years. The songs in this album are the reflection of my true feelings that I lived during this period of separation. I flew away to gain my freedom but the freedom chained me to my new circumstances. I became the prisoner of this new world that I personally chose to embrace. I dedicate this work to my wife and children who suffered so much because of my actions. I love them very much, but I am sorry to tell them that I will never be able to do for them anything to make up for the lost time and for what they had to go through. I remain what I am but I am always there for them.
“For a moment, I wanted to quit standing apart, though it brings to me a unique delight
I was tempted to join the ordinary, but a voice inside me made me aware of the fact
That a lonely tide, deep in the ocean, remains intact and nothing stops its flight
Whereas, the one, heading for the shore, breaks and is torn apart on the impact”