The sounds change as the moon rises then dips below the Karachi horizon.
The whir of the ceiling fan provides the canvas, while car horns and shouts from the street below are the threads of the tapestry.
Two or three cats hiss and yowl like banshees in the garden. They may be the displaced spirits who claim this plot as their own.
Deep in the night the watchman whoops and calls as he rides the streets, our protector on a rusty old bicycle. He is unarmed and ill-equipped but he channels our guardian angels and is more powerful than you would believe.
On New Year’s Eve fireworks and celebratory gunfire start just before midnight. It’s a real cacophony of sound…not just pistols but machine guns and Kalashnikovs add to the mix.
There is peace for a few hours until the call to prayer marks the end of night. But I confess that rest is more tempting than prayer and I sleep until a mynah bird squawks, “Wake up! Wake up!” directly outside the window while Shameen’s pots and pans clang in the kitchen.
The soft swish of a broom on marble soothes me into the day.