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At the entrance of the LUMS gate is a guard, who asks for a smart card – one that you have lost. You haggle with him only to be denied entrance. So you sit outside on the pavement in the midday sun, waiting for the next shift of guards to come. When the evening shift arrives, they once again ask you for a smart card to get through. You beg a little, speak a little rationally, raise your voice a little. But they don’t let you in, so you admit defeat and sit on the pavement. When the night shift arrives, you try bribing them. But they tell you to approach the other gate. You approach the other gate and try bribing the guy there, but he remains unmoved. So you stand outside the gate and talk to the guy from there. You ask him his name and hometown and other unimportant details, and he answers your questions while standing behind the gate you cannot cross. Night turns into morning and you sit outside next to a smelling drain while the guard beyond the forbidden gates sits comfortably on his throne. When he is relieved by the next guy on the shift, you approach the new guy. This one also asks you for a smart card, and you try to explain you’ve lost yours. So he tells you to wait while he figures out a way, and you sit and breathe in the stench again. He goes back and sits on the throne the previous guy was occupying before, and you wait for him to do something. But he just sits there, and after a while you ask him what to do. He tells you to wait, because he needs to ask some Colonel what to do and the Colonel’s nowhere in sight for now. So you wait outside some more and count the number of cracks in the sidewalk you’re sitting on. When morning turns into afternoon, you take a walk to ease your numb legs. You cross the road and walk to the opposite alleys, walking through which brings you to Chaska. You order a pizza and ask for your LUMS student discount, but you don’t have your smart card so you can’t get the discount. Your pizza is left untouched because you don’t have enough money on you to pay for it without the discount. All your money and your cell phone is in your dorm room, but you can’t get there without crossing those majestic gates that you are not allowed to enter, so you can’t even call your friends to come and help you. You walk out of Chaska and walk back towards the high-rising gates, hoping to get in this time. But the guard present now is blowing a whistle like the trumpet in Zion and herding cars in and out of that barrier prohibited for you. So you wait for him to finish, but this is an ongoing process. Undeterred, you walk towards the other gates and talk to the rickshaw drivers there. You ask them if they can drive their rickshaws inside the gates and somehow get you past the royal guard. But they refuse. So you look at the lucky people being granted entry into the holy palace and consider fitting into the girl’s red handbag. You sit on the sidewalk and shield your eyes from the sun and fall asleep. When you wake up, years have passed and burlier guards have come in with even better weapons, the drain has started to smell even worse, the rickshaws outside have been replaced by cars and you are still without your smart card.

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