What do you call it though? Vines? Green plants? They must have a complex name surely but in Karachi they got famous as Mustafa Kamal plants.
Now you get it.
So, its these plants that are just everywhere now. Quite literally everywhere. Be it the ‘almost suburb’ Malir Cantt road or the Karsaz road, those plants have grown at such a speedy rate that, in most places, have completely hidden the path they are planted on. With almost similar speed had a lot of rumors circulated about it. Some said they are poisonous, some said they suck away all the nutrition from the ground and some said they lessened the oxygen from the air. But she didn’t pay any attention to it because she was not on the receiving end (not really) until… until that day.
That day strike had broken out instantaneously. Karachi was volatile like that a few years ago. She was in her car when it had happened. Main Shahrah e Faisal road.
It had all happened at such a fast rate, but she remembers every single detail.
Something had hit her car’s windshield. It had broken into pieces. The pieces flew towards her face.
She tried to get out of the car when some men with their faces covered rushed towards her. They were obviously not there to help.
When they were done beating the shit out of her, they left her there.
That’s when she found the courage to crawl over towards those plants. She wanted to hide.
And somehow, she made it there. Blood oozing out of her, tired, she lay there in the midst of the plants camouflaged as one with them.
She had closed her eyes, but she was hearing everything. she heard the rustle of the plants and she heard so much more: the pain, the screams, the angry shouts, and then sometime later, she also heard help coming. She heard police sirens and ambulances. But nobody came for her. The leaves kept rustling. It must have been a lot of hours when she felt she could get up and get some help.
She opened her eyes and saw the plants hovering over her. She swears they were hovering over her. Realizing it wasn’t the time to prove or disprove her hallucinations, but it was off focusing on her injuries. The cuts on her hands due to beatings. The gashes on her face due to the broken windshield. The scratches on her legs and arms as she dragged herself to the road. She looked at her blood covered hands. The blood had dried by now. That weird copper tinge that forms, was visible.
The copper tinge that vampires must taste every time they have a snack. But the blood wasn’t the
issue. Or maybe it was the issue.
Because the blood was there. There was no injury. There was no injury to trace where the blood had come from. The beating, the cuts, the blood, it all happened just a few hours ago. How could it all disappear?
Mysteriously the cuts had healed.
A few days passed after that incident and then one day, she was going to the shop for a band-aid.
She had just gotten a papercut an hour ago. As she walked, she moved towards the center footpath of the road and raised her phone to type something. And in that light from the phone, she saw it first-hand this time. The healing quickened and the skin, it seems, got sewed together. She stopped in her track. She was reminded of that day. The only commonality between both situations was the plants. The plants were indeed mysterious. This is when she had realized what the plants were. They had healing power. Something about those plants. They had healed her.
But she hadn’t planned to do anything with that information; Not when she saw the news; not when robbers openly mugged people not scared of any CCTV camera; not even when criminals openly harassed victims regardless of constant police patrols. And then one day as she stood outside her office, taking in the evening sun, she saw a man armed with a knife charging towards a woman. He was on a bike. The distance kept on lessening. He would have stabbed her. And then she did it. She stepped forward. She got right between the knifeman and the stranger woman, grabbed his armed hand, and turned his whole arm that he rolled over and the bike sped from underneath him.
The pain seared through her hand.
The knife must have pierced through.
Men came rushing.
They grabbed him to hold him down.
People came towards her as well to help her out, but she hurried towards the footpath, towards the
She had saved that woman.
She felt at the top of the world.
And then in an instant, she had healed too.
She could help more people.
In that instant, she decided she would.
Karachi had gotten their own superhero.