Monday, May 23, 2011

No Longer at Bowdoin

I woke up this morning to my younger brother tugging at my blanket. “Wake up, Mariya Api,” he said. I figured it must have been a faded background voice in my dream. I ignored it. Again, “Mariya Api, wake up, you promised!” This time, I half-opened one of my eyes, and let out a moan. I forgot I was at home now, not in Howard 103, because I knew my roommate Katarina wouldn’t do such a thing. (She’s woken up before, and she usually gives a gentle nudge. This behavior was more aggressive for sure.) Anyway, I tried to shoo the boy away, mumbling something even I couldn’t make out. That only made matters worse: he pulled my entire blanket off me. Immediately, I felt a chill through my body. Cold, frustrated, still tired and sleepy, I managed to sit up in my bed. I yawned and looked at the 10-year-old who stood at my door with an evil smirk on his face that reminded me of the cartoon villain Syndrome from the movie “The Incredibles”: “You promised to go to the Tysons Corner Mall!”

I checked the time on my phone. It was quarter past noon. I realized I had slept for over 14 hours! This confirmed I was not at Bowdoin anymore. This could only mean one thing: I was not up writing about “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (DDLJ) and the Indian dispora for Professor Murthy’s Soc final; or researching about Benzair Bhutto’s rise to power as a woman in a country without gender equality for Professor Christensen’s class; or formulating a thesis about the delegation of congressional power to the executive branch for Professor Selinger’s exam. I also must not have been cramming definitions and proofs or memorizing the steps for drug identification and DNA profiling. No, I was no longer at Bowdoin. I was home—waking up to my brother’s plea for going shopping instead of the “Funky Band” default alarm on my AT&T LG phone I had become so accustomed to.

All in all, I ended up having a great time with my brother and three sisters at the mall. My evening, however, was not as pleasant. I came home to disturbing breaking news: Armed militants had bombed the major Pakistani naval base located in Karachi, the largest city and the main financial center of the country. Some newspapers indicated that these insurgents were the Pakistani Taliban who avenged for the government’s support and alliance with the United States in finding and killing the Al-Queda leader, Osama bin Laden. Since May 2nd, multiple other terrorist attacks have occurred throughout the country.


Upon hearing the news, I became nervous all over again. In three days, I would be going to this politically unstable and dangerous country I call my second home. The only thing I could do was stay optimistic. Before sleeping, I prayed that God would keep my father, Baba, and me safe.

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