I feel like a man who's been sentenced to death and is awaiting the death warrant. If I were incarcerated in a death cell for months I would earnestly pray for an early execution (even if, like most Pakistanis sentenced to die) I were innocent of the crime for which I was sentenced.

My depression is due to many factors, chief among which is that it will be impossible for me to venture out in future. I don't think I'll ever be able to step into my office again. There's a lot of personal stuff out there that I wanted to bring home, but kept on postponing it.

Now that a vaccine for Covid-19 may never be developed, I can either lie back, do nothing until I die, or risk it all and visit those places I've not seen for a long time or never seen at all. In Karachi, I'd like to go to the National Museum and the mausoleum of the father of the nation (a man who is no longer considered to be a Muslim by most of my countrymen). I was meaning to visit Hunza in the wild north (I've already seen Swat and other places in that area many times). In India, I wanted to go and see the Taj and other monuments built by the Muslim rulers, but somehow I never applied for a visa (even if I had, I'd never have got it, as I've written so much against Indian leaders).

Today I read about a Hungarian Jew who visited a female palmist (on his twenty second birthday) and she told him he wouldn't be alive on his next birthday. He was taken away by the Nazis and escaped death many times, and is alive today at the age of 78. I'm reminded of the amateur palmist from India (he was my father's cousin and a successful dentist in Bombay). He told me I should never marry, if I did the marriage would end in divorce within three years and I would never marry again. Then there was that life line on my palm (it's still there), abruptly being cut off by another line, which I was told meant an early death for me. That too didn't turn out to be true.

Then I think of the number of times I've escaped death by inches. Once, I passed under a horizontal oil tank being installed overhead by my workers (in Quetta). A couple of minutes later, the tank crashed to the ground. I'd have been crushed to death if I'd been under it. Ten years ago, I and my wife were almost killed by a speeding car in Colombo. I also remember escaping death from two speeding buses when I was crossing Bunder Road (I was ten years old at the time). I also survived the burning oil tanks set on fire by Indian warplanes in the 1971 war. 

So I suppose young people would think I've already lived a full life and shouldn't regret dying soon. One of the most memorable quotes I remember (from a book by Edgar Wallace) is "An old man is a great lover of life". That's why I'm filled with sadness that I may not be alive next week or next month or next year (without having accomplished even a third of what I had planned when I was young).