Karachi   ->   Sweden   ->   Karachi, again   ->   Dubai   ->   Bahrain   ->   Karachi, once more   ->   London and Leeds

Friday, August 12, 2005

From Tower Bridge to the Chamber of Horror

I came back from London yesterday. It was wonderful; thanks to the hospitality of the friends. I stayed a few days with a batch-mate and a few other days with my ex-team lead. Shahid Suri, FASTian 97, was my immediate supervisor/ team lead in Avanza Solutions where we together wrote everything from eAI tools for banking to camera-based security solutions for ATMs. Hamid Shahid was my batch-mate. He is one of the toppers in our batch (grads of 2000) at FAST. Both are now working at The Logic Group.

Amongst hundreds of things that we discussed, the most prominent was the need or rather benefits and practicalities of starting one's own business.

I also met other batch mates: Atif, who is now a proud owner of a BMW, as well as Abbas and Faiz. All of these guys are doing freelancing in the UK alongside regular day time job. I also met Sarah Salahuddin who is currently a PhD student at the University of Sheffield.

I and Hamid, by River Thames (not shown in picture)

The most interesting thing that happened over there is our visit to the Chamber of Horror at Madame Tussaud. Faiz and I were roaming inside Madame Tussaud when we reached at the Chamber of Horror. "Scary on the left and Very Scary on the right," a worker instructed us. Being bold, as we thought we were, we made a queue on the right. I looked to the left and people with children were standing in the "just scary" queue. "Of course, how could they go to the very scary section with children," a thought came to me. Later, we observed that we were the only two in the very scary part. Hearts fainted a bit.

We entered the very scary section - it was a lightly lit passage with hanging statues of tortured people. There was occasional thunder and scary sounds as any one would expect before entering such a place. It was fine uptil that point. Just then we saw a girl with blood on her face, coming out of a dark corner. Faiz was behind me; he jumped and held tight to me. It was not a statue, rather an actor. I was a bit disturbed as well. She came close and said something which I couldn't understand; perhaps she just growled. She took a few steps back and climbed up a fence sort of structure. "What is yet to come could be worse," another thought struck me. I was reluctant to move forward. Meanwhile, Faiz clenched to me very tightly. The girl could see our situation and asked in the same scary voice, "Do you want to go out?" Both of us at once replied, "Yes!" She escorted us to an escape route.

We laughed a lot when we came out!

It was loads of fun. I treasure my friendship with all of you.

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