My parents lived in Muscat, Oman in the late 1970s. The summers were bone-dry and scorching. To escape, we would travel to the equally scorching but more smoldering, humid heat of Karachi, Pakistan where my maternal aunt lived with her family. My grandmother lived with her at the time too. Their house was a modern version of a traditional South Asian home. The rooms wrapped around a central courtyard that was open to the skies. It was here that we pursued our world of play with an abandon and dedication that now seems so elusive. A full day of childlike hooliganism almost always ended with a water fight much to the dismay of the adults. Leading off of this courtyard was a gate that led to the beach. This stretch of land and water wasn't in any way idyllic or pristine but rather raw, rough and odorous, a beach the likes of which I have only come across in this part of the world. It had an immediate, intense and dangerous beauty. We were only allowed to enjoy it from the steps leading down to it from the gate. However, the briny air drifted up to the house and was always present.