“Dear Quetta, I remember the day I had to leave you”
Where do I start? There is so much I want to say to you and it has been a very long time that I last met you. I miss you. I saw you the day I opened my eyes, and I fell in love with you. How can someone not love a city where they were born? You are the reason I love mountains so much, the reason that I am who I am. I’ve spent my childhood and teenage with you. I’ve learned to be a better person from you. Words cannot describe how much you mean to me.
I remember the day I had to leave you. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, and believe me after that I wasn’t afraid of losing anything. You taught me how to let go of things you love, for my own betterment. I moved to a city where I would see buildings all around me, instead of mountains. Only then I realized how much you meant to me, how much I love to be around mountains. It’s true that you realize the importance of things when they are gone. I miss you every day, I think about you every day and I guess I can’t ever love a city more than I love you. You were my first love and you’ll always be. If I have to tell you what’s my most favorite part about you, I’ll say it’s the winters. Oh your winters, the fog that would fill the streets and playing in the snow, I miss it all. I love your harsh weather, it is the most beautiful thing about you, please remain the same. I want to see you as it is when I get back to you. You are perfect in every way, it bothers me a little when people make fun of you and your people, don’t worry you’ll be fine, your people would be fine, I turned out fine so will other people. The thing that worries me the most is that how the bigger cities think less of you, but you have so much hidden inside of you, so much beauty, such beautiful people. I love you the way you are; you are perfect in every way.
Here is a Photo letter for you, to tell you the things I love and miss about you…
I love the seasons and colors you are surrounded by
I love how quiet you are, and I guess that is the reason why I love solitude. You taught me how to enjoy silence; you are away from big cities and crowd. Living peacefully.
Hanna Lake has been my favorite picnic spot since childhood, it was my favorite escape. And this was the place where I fell in love with mountains. I loved looking at how your lake would change with every season. And how light falls on you.
I love how your lake can be filled with water in summers and it goes dry in winters, so dry that we would walk on the lake-bed.
Your broken windows and doors show a world of their own.
Where one can sit quietly for hours and stare at you
Your scent is extraordinary and it’s like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. The freshness in your air, the fog in winters, the starry nights, the freezing hands in winters where we would go up to the heater and warm our selves up just to hold a pen to write in our notebooks. All these little things make you special.
One of my other favorite thing about you is your tea, your afghani tea is what everyone should taste. I loved having tea with you and the morning naan and makhan.
The tiny huts that you have, where people go and eat roosh, your most famous winter food.
The way you blossom even though people think you are barren
Your roads and the way they carry all this weight. All the weight that people have given you. There are only a few people who actually know you, I’m sorry for all that you have to go through. Just remember, many people love you, just like I do.
Your landscape is something to die for. Few people explore you, but the ones who are lucky enough to know you; they instantly fall in love with you.
Every road and every view is different when it comes to you; I never get tired of exploring you. The more I explore you, the more I fall in love with you. In these past few years, when I’ve grown up as an artist, now whenever I come to visit you, it’s magical. You are magic, and I wonder how come such a beautiful city is less explored?
Your sunsets are something not everyone gets a chance to see, the way sun peaks out of the clouds even in summers and lights up the mountains; makes me wonder how you can carry so much inside you.
You hide some beautiful lakes and dams behind your massive mountains
Places near you are as beautiful as you are. My favorite is Ziarat.
This year when I came to visit you and went to Ziarat, it was still covered in snow, and I fell in love with it again but this time the love was even stronger than before.
Maybe because this time I was going with memories, some good some bad, but I was overwhelmed. Ziarat reminded me of people I have lost in the past few years. I remember listening to the news of this place on fire and I was heartbroken because of what happened to Quaid-e-Azam’s residency. And here after just a few years, it was standing there as it was. Exactly as I first saw it. It gave me hope that things can be repaired. I first came to Ziarat when I was 8 years old and then here I was 23 years old, looking at this building with every step reminding me of the first time I saw it. It was beautiful, heartbreaking and overwhelming at the same time. I had mixed feelings, I was unsure of how to feel. I just sat there in the balcony staring at the mountains and remembering my childhood. I had never missed my childhood like this before.
I love how the residency’s architecture also reflects backs upon nature
Thank you for making me who I am today. You will always be my first love and I will keep coming back to you no matter how far I might go. And don’t worry you’ll be fine, your people will come out fine, I did, so will everyone else.
Can’t wait to see you again. Goodbye until next time.