For starters, shed the baggage
By Namal Siddiqui
“What weighs me down, also gives me freedom” — Kamran Ali.
At the first instance, this sentence may not make sense, but there is time-served wisdom in it, and those who spend time pondering over life’s unending contradictory condition are able to experience its provisions. The beauty of this pondering is that it can be implemented in any situation.
In the mind of a mother of two, a city-dweller accustomed to the city’s nugatory urgencies and mundanities, a 9-5 working woman wanting to live another life or a small-town young man travelling on a plane and looking out its windows at snow-peaked mountains. Just like Kamran Ali did, peering over the jagged silhouettes of Turkish mountains, he vowed to himself that he’d traverse this place doing what he enjoyed well… cycling.
I first met Kamran Ali in Pakistan. I suppose I had started following him on Instagram some time ago, but little did I know that when I had to meet a mountaineer to discuss a potential expedition together, Kamran Ali would be accompanying him.
We decided to meet at an Afghani restaurant somewhere in Islamabad’s sector G6, a place the Careem captain took ages to get to, after multiple telephonic exchanges where several lefts and rights between the concrete and verdant vegetation of Islamabad lead me to that rather delightful Kabuli pulao.
I recognised Kamran but kept calm. In Pakistan, I was soon beginning to understand that the size of one’s social media account or a blue tick on it did not mean that people were inaccessible. I speak for the ones closer to wilderness and mountains, ironically. In many ways, this was different from the