Haseeb is a dear friend. Usually for various reasons I never write the names of my Pakistani friends, but with him than I do because he deserves it and does not run and hide hypocritically like many in this masculine and strongly repressed society. I don’t have female friends here (except for a young reporter in Karachi- a twitter friend): as I wrote other times they find difficult to confide in you and in many cases consider you a bomber for their husbands.
Haseeb is the best friend of a complicated male acquaintance, with whom to relate was one of the most difficult experience of my life. More than other human beings, public men have an inextricable and sometimes disastrous private life, and in a strictly Islamic country such as this, their intimate sphere should be matter of a dissertation for clinical psychology degree. But to the man in question I owe a lot because I met Haseeb and now he’s my best friend here. Younger than me (here all seem to be so), Haseeb has chosen to manage the family land and lives with three beautiful children and a wakes up and pretty wife in his estate at the edge of the desert. Do not think of it as a sustainable lifestyle choice at the European manner, but rather a modern management of a large estate. Haseeb loves his cotton plants as if they were so many creatures and he dedicates to people and plant the same emotional care.
Haseeb is at the same time a man of the world, he studied in Great Britain, and curious about everything and listens to you at all. He is a gentleman of another era, my mother would say: I talk with him about politics, privacy, cultures complicated as ours are, and also the Roman Empire, a subject that fascinates him. He lives in a lot of hour’s drive from where I am now, and he moves often for work reasons like me; we do not talk often, but he is there, I am aware about it. I can’t spend the Eid holidays with him and his family because I need a special permit to travel to the edge of the desert and I should weigh on the atmosphere of the house with a police escort everywhere, so better not.
So last night he was in another city, more than two hours far from the capital and was preparing for a long trip back home. But he took his car and came to me, having less than two hours to go to dinner. Chinese restaurant, laughter, serious things and a lot of company. And of course plans for the next meeting, in Europe if we will be lucky. Haseeb never was given even one time the idea of associating to court me (I do not care about such kind of things usually, but in this context you are perceived as foreigner and therefore all men think that you can do sex with all of them), so I can hug him and give kisses on the his cheeks. It is like to drink water in the wilderness.
To me, living psychotically between two worlds, which do not know anymore even what will be my bed in a month, this friend is food from heaven.