The building in Lahore where I live has 24 studio flats, 6 on each floor, all on one side next to each other, each having a door and a window that open in the airy and naturally lit corridor. It’s actually pretty good use of the limited space.

All the flats are occupied by one or two guys. Primarily those who have recently moved to Lahore and who couldn’t find another place like myself. Most of them have jobs, some are students. 24 flats, 36 people, whom I see on the filtered-water tank on the first floor or when I am walking down the corridor. it makes for interesting observations.

The students are always studying. Always. Graduation wasn’t this hard a thing when I was in university. Okay, it’s been a decade (a decade!) but still. I suspect they only rest at the campus.

The ones who have jobs are working even after they get back. With their laptops open, phone to their ears, giving or getting instructions. What is that? Leave your work at workplace, people.

Only a few—on phone with their families or girlfriends, asking how the kids are or making plans where to meet next—give me hope.