So we all know how life is when it comes to Karachi. Terrorism, target killings, protests & sit-ins, bombings et al are part and parcel of our lives. Everyday the city bleeds, everyday a mother loses a son, everyday they hope for justice and everyday their hopes wax and wane like the tides on sea view. The cycle has been going on for years and yet we see K-town standing and slugging it out against all the odds. Have we ever noticed why the city of lights is still called that? Why do we plan every weekend despite the perennial ‘high alerts’ What is it that is stopping us from leaving this city? Why do we not let go?
Actually the city of lights has not lost her charm yet. She offers us her all.. to the best of her abilities. And she is still beautiful.. to those who can see. Those pre-partition era buildings in Saddar.. Their ancient, dilapidated facades hiding stories etched in stone. Those tall, majestic skyscrapers on I.I Chundrigarh road, the stately yet stern Farer Hall standing proudly amongst hoary old trees… A poignant reminder of a long lost time.. Quaid’s graceful tomb in the heart of the city, the elegant Mohatta Palace, the jam packed streets of Bohri Bazaar, The bus conductors’ hoarse cries of “Tower Tower Tower oyiee as they beat the sides of their ‘yellow devils’ in a frenzy.. , the colourful markets of Hydari and Banaras colony and the road side chaat & pani puri walas at the sea shore where many a couple still walk hand in hand as they watch the sun set on the timeless sea.
Yes Karachi is all this and yet she is much much more! Her pulsing heart beat resonates in us all even as she still welcomes all and sundry with open arms.
Every time the city endures enforced shutdowns, or is attacked by terrorists or faces bomb blasts, protests and political traumas, she tries to live again, tries to breathe again, tries to brush off the dust and sparkle! Like a blushing bride on her wedding night.. And we Karachi-ites… fall in love with her again and again and again!! Yes we do get scared at times but the love for the city is so strong that it erases our memory and pushes us forward and we start dreaming again. Just like a lover who never lets go despite being ditched a hundred times. So the chemistry between Karachi and its citizens is that simple!
In spite of the thinly veiled threats, you will still find thousands of people dining out on Boat Basin, Burns Road and Nazimabad, with long waiting lines in each and every restaurant located on the coastal area of the sea, citizens beating the heat at the city’s myriad beaches, parks overflown with kids, shopping malls flooded with families and all the bikers racing on seaview along with all those heavily loaded suzukis with kids peeping out of windows.
K-town wont change neither would her denizens 🙂
So yes this is Karachi – city of the Quaid, city of lights ready to face all and sundry and we… Her hard core fans stand by her side- no matter what!
Keep smiling K-town, we are with you 🙂Published in PhotoNews, June 29th, 2014