What a difference a day can make. 24 hours ago, I was sweating away in Karachi, cursing KESC, as I finished my packing with the emergency lights, as the generator had conked out and glad that I was finally getting away from it all. So, as Frankie boy would sing, "Come fly with me, lets fly down to Bombay". I doubt that we would get a visa, but you are welcome to fly with me to the US and meet Dhooki and Sukhi Ram next summer, provided you have a valid visa, which I am told is getting more difficult every day, not just for the US, but even for other countries, including Brazil. After last minute changes, due to the sudden hike in the air fares, our mismanaged policies and the rise in petrol prices, I had to fly by Cathay Pacific, via Bangkok and Hong Kong, a very old route of mine, when I was a frequent flyer to Japan. I arrived at the Jinnah airport well in time, where my trusted white, silver steed was waiting for me and was whisked through customs and immigration in no time. The early morning, 12 hour flight from Karachi to Hong Kong, via Bangkok, was on time and I was soon strapped into my 4X10 time -apsule, with a glass of a chilled 'bubbly' in my hand. These 'capsules' have replaced the good, old fashioned spacious seats of the past. For those who are not familiar with these 'capsules', let me explain. If you remember Star Trek, Captain Kirk and his crew would strap themselves into these little capsules, as the USS Enterprise hurtled through the galaxy, seeking new frontiers. There were two rows of these capsules in the jumbo, each equipped with all the comforts and gimmickry of a space craft. A reclining seat, with a back massage, that turned into a bed, a personal 10" LCD TV, with over 20 movie and music channels and lights and buttons that preformed all sorts of tricks. But the capsules are not my style, as there are three foot high dividers on both sides that isolate you totally from the other passengers. It must be heaven for those who enjoy total privacy and complete silence, as there is no conversation between passengers, the sound of laughter or the wailing of kids. But for me, it was like being put into solitary confinement, as you have no idea as to who your neighbors are and lacked that personal touch. Any way, the flight to HK was long and boring, but comfortable, however, very bumpy. After a delicious meal, washed down with a mixture of white, red and blue, I thought it would be easy to get some sleep, but that was not possible. Though I would doze off, but wake up with a start, thinking I was on the bumpy road to the Civic Centre, to visit the City Nazim. That road had turned into a nightmare and was more like a safari track in the jungles of Africa. But I suppose it was worth it, as now it is a pleasure to drive all the way to SITE within twenty minutes. The flight from HK to LA was just as comfortable, but as bumpy and it was just impossible to sleep. I had a flash back of a flight that I had taken from Kigali, Rwanda to Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, in a small Cessna, just a few months before the terrible massacre. The plane had bounced and tossed around like a corkscrew in the ocean and we were grateful to finally land safely. I had been a frequent flyer to HK in the 70's, on my way to Tokyo and Kyoto, the centre for metallic yarn that is used for weaving brocades. In those days, HK was of course the shopping paradise of the world. Harillal was the famous name for men's clothes and could stitch you the finest suit within 24 hours. And Holliday Inn was well-known for providing its guests chauffeur driven, olive green Rolls Royce for shopping and sight seeing. Those were the good old, gentle days. LA International Airport was a breeze and my silver steed was ready and waiting for me and my Ethiopian attendant wheeled me through immigration and customs in no time. He had spent a year in Karachi in the 80's and was familiar with the sights and sounds of our city of lights. The drive from LA airport to SD was much smoother then the flight to LA and Hassan, the young Afghani who had come from the limo company to pick me up, had migrated to the US with his family sixteen years back and had also lived for two years in Karachi in the 70's and spoke fluent Urdu. Both these gentlemen, from two very diverse cultures and background, shared the same, nostalgic memories of Karachi, like other visitors who used to visit Pakistan in the 70's and 80's. And now, they all end up asking the same question: 'What has gone wrong? Why can't Pakistan find a leader that is honest and sincere?' And the only answer that comes to my mind, after careful consideration, is the time old saying that, 'people get the government they deserve'. I know that many will object strongly, but reader's comments are welcome. Being a Sunday, the traffic on highway 5 was thin and as we cruised smoothly towards SD, I asked Hassan to tune in to Smooth Jazz 91.3, where they played cool jazz. I kept dozing off and would wake up to the sound of soft saxophone music and a blue's singer, lamenting about the girl he lost. It was totally relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. A big difference to what we experience on the wild and dangerous roads of Karachi. And then, I saw the Black Mountain road exit flash by and soon reached my daughter's house. And there were Dhooki and Sukhi Ram and my daughter to greet me. What a difference a day can make. And more of Dhooki Ram's third birthday, Sukhi Ram's golf and sunny SD next week. H. Maker. (email: trust@super.net.pk).