By now I have been a resident of London for six months. London grows on you especially on people like me who have always loved London for the feeling of empowerment. It is one of the most cosmopolitan city, maybe New York is too, but London is polite, prim and proper.
London is magic. It has the tremendous capacity to embrace anyone. For a city where people mind their business, this is an incredible characteristic to have. In London, you can wear anything, you can talk anything, you can eat anything and no one will commend or condemn.
The underground in London makes me feel massively mobile. I need not have a car and yet can go anywhere, not all the time, but soon all the time.
Unlike US where you many be complimented on your dress, on your bag, the chances of compliment in London are rare. There are times when I want to say to a child that he or she is cute but London limits interaction and for that I like London. My business remains my business, my privacy maintained.
Recently a European friend of mine visited London. To her everything was wrong in London. I however think she was wrong at times.
At the underground escalator, she stood in the centre talking to me and I told her not to do and she did not listen. She was of course shouted at. She kept on doing it and kept on getting shouted at.
She was wrong but she said people in London need to be more accommodating.
I will never do improper things. I make a conscious effort to be always right. Yesterday at the airport, by mistake, my laptop bag hit the laptop bag of a passenger. I stood and apologised massively. He said it is fine but to me it was not fine.
I am a Pakistani, a very proud one. I want to be the admirable ambassador of Pakistan. I know I carry the burden of sins not committed yet I think if I am a law abiding person, the sins would be washed. My Oyster Card must have credit, my bills must be paid, I should always be in the queue.
When I was looking for an apartment, I had at times wondered whether my passport would prevent me from getting a flat but it did not. The owner had confidence in me, of course questions were asked, but they were answered. I have promised myself the flat has to be well maintained at all times. A few weeks back, on an inspection I was told I have the most well maintained flat. I had a scone and cream to celebrate my success. A Pakistani can be trusted.
I do know even if I am not right, London will be patient but I have a point to prove. Everytime my green passport leads me to be questioned, I promise myself I need to make it proud. That is why I need to be more than just right.
I have to prove to London and to the world, Pakistanis can be clean, competent and consciously ethical. I know I alone cannot make it happen but I do know someone has to start and for that if I have to be more right than even right, I will do it.
When death comes to me I want to die satisfied at least I would be remembered as a Pakistani who was honest, humble, rightful and ethical. I do know I am not alone, millions of Pakistani all over the world must be on the same mission as me. It takes a few good people to change realities and I am confident will not have to wait for death, in my lifetime my green passport would become an identity to be displayed proudly.
Till then and after then I have to be right!