Theft and Apology at Islamabad Airport
I am what is known as an "Overseas Pakistani" in our country. This write up is about a visit I made to Pakistan recently, and when I say recently I mean in the summer last year.
Over the course of my holiday I experienced a whole range of things and people, some interesting and inspiring as well as some hurtful and some just downright weird, a few of which had a big impact on me.
This story starts when I landed in Islamabad. Even though I've lived in the UK for most of my life I still have a huge connection with my home country and going back there after more than five years made my emotions run extremely high. I was simply overwhelmed, understandably so, and was smiling at everyone and everything I saw.
I was enjoying every minute of it, even while waiting in the long queues to get on the bus and then at the passport check point.
But, alas my feelings of utter joy abruptly came to an end when I got to the conveyor belt and started looking for my luggage. I stood there, with my younger brother waiting for the last piece of our luggage, which was a lawnmower.
Yes, a lawnmower, which my grandfather rather sternly asked my father to send to make our gardener's life easier who enjoyed complaining about everything instead of doing his job.
Anyway, there we were looking here and there, everywhere for the godforesaken lawnmower, which by the way was not easy to miss, packaged in a bright orange cardboard box which drew attention from one and all at Heathrow, much to my and my brother's embarrassment.
After standing in that packed hall for about an hour, full of screaming children and aunties shouting to their children to grab their suitcases carefully, I finally saw the box, but not on the conveyer belt.
There it was, sitting on a luggage trolley along with another suitcase and standing next to it was a tall, grey-haired man in a black suit.
Furious, I walked towards the trolley and when I got there I asked the gentleman if I could see the big orange box but he protested lightly, although after I threatened to call one of the security guards, he complied with my request and what did I find? Yes, the box most definitely was mine, my name written over it in big black letters.
I looked over to the man and noticed the change in his expressions. And before I could do or say anything, the man shifted the box off his trolley and put it on the floor next to me and swiftly started to walk away.
As I tried to stop him he turned around and said to me, "Beta, mujhe maaf kardo. Allah tumhara bhala karay" and left.
After hearing what came out of his mouth, I stood there for a minute, shocked at the audacity of this man for practically trying to steal something from an airport and then asking for forgiveness at being caught! There were too many thoughts in my head at that time and I couldn't comprehend any of them.
What was I supposed to do, I had never experienced anything like this before, and I stood there completely speechless. I came out of this state of paralysis of some sort when my brother came and tapped on my shoulder and complained that he was too tired and wanted to leave.
Therefore, I reluctantly compromised and thought it was better to forget about the whole incident and not to make a fuss as I didn't want to start my visit on such a negative point, and decided that getting out of the place as soon as possible was the best option before any other unsavoury event occurred.
But something else did happen and that too when we were still at the airport. And yes, it was related to them by now, infamous lawnmower!islamabad airport www.pakpositive.com