Archive for the ‘day to day’ Category

I had been meaning to write for a while but you know, work, life, travels.

So, when I first came to Karachi, I used to share a flat in Clifton with an old friend and her new friend. It was terribly complicated. I had five years more than the new girl but they had been living together for two years. So I was defensive to begin with in the first few months. They (these two) had lots of other friends that I didn’t know (I knew no one in Karachi other than cousins and family friends with whom, initially, I was reluctant to share my laissez faire sensibilities) and they all used to live in the same building or around; they used to congregate every evening, playing Pictionary and I used to sit in the corner, wondering when I would be fired from my law firm since my boss wasn’t looking too impressed in early few weeks. I was missing the pubs, smokingup or doing anything that was not so bloody kosher. I mean we were all in our early 20s and without parental control but here were these men and women, failing to procreate or do anything fun.

They, the gang, as they liked to call themselves, were all imports from other parts of the country. All in Karachi to work for the MNCs and the other big set ups that made up the city. They had gone to big schools, had big ideas and all were on hunt to find the perfect mate to settle down. I used to dread coming home everyday to face their incredible drawing skills. They were very good people. I hope they remember me as fondly, as I remember them. But what struck me was that they would not engage with the city. They would order in from boat basin and hang inside and play. And I was going mad. So, in 2003, Karachi had the air of being very safe. No one I knew had been car jacked or robbed. The last murders of people I knew had taken place in 1986. I had just financed a KIA Pride. I was my own boss from 6 pm to 8 am and hence, to avoid coming home to the happening bonhomie, I started taking sneakers to work and would change into tracks and drive from work to Zamzama park, which was referred to as the General’s park . It was not as constructed and had an air of risk around it. I was harassed countless times . That didn’t bother me much. I am much tougher than I look. Occasionally, to alter the routine, I also went to Nisar Shaheed Park in Phase IV. That hasn’t changed much. It was not covered with stones and was smoother. I used to bump into my uncle a lot and we d talk about Musharaf, legal profession, pharma industry, Nihari. But soon the brisk walks or trots in these parks lost their charm. So, to make it more fun, I started going to sea view; I would park the car at one end (close to the Village restaurant) and run from one end to some distance along the beach. It was breathtaking. There were the camels, the popcorn walas, the early daters (it used to be still evening by Karachi standards, even past 7 30 pm and we are speaking of late autumn months) and I felt utterly free and safe and no one would give me a second look. I became friends with a flower kid. He’ d give me a rose every day.

One day, I got up early and went for a run around 6 AM. It was an utterly different scene that early, no cars, no camels, no kids. A police van was doing the rounds. It was the van and me. So I braced myself and did what I had to do. And got out of the car and started running. And very soon I saw that the van was trailing me slowly. I was on the beach but I could see that it was following me. It was one of the eerie pre dawn hours when, the KMC garbage pickers had not come out. There was nothing I could have done at the time. It was just me, and the sea that could have provided some protection. My car was parked on one end. I could not turn around because this Police van was with me through out. I can’t remember if McDonald was around at the time. I can still remember the horror of what I felt at those moments. I was trying to remember all the past crime reports that I had come across that week. I could not remember anything but knew there had been incidents. I wasn’t afraid of attack so much as I was afraid of being taken away for questioning. I didn’t have any identification and had told no one that I was out there. I was not carrying my phone and my parents with all their military connections were in Morocco. That was it. I was about to become a statistic; I am sure I was convinced of it at that time. I know kept running. But then, I remember, the van stopped and one police guy came out. He started hollering. And it was clear he was shouting at me. So I stopped turned and walked to him. He was your generic Karachi Police Cop. Moustache, paunch, red eyes. He asked me what I was doing there at this time? Asked to see my ID (I had none). Then he stared at me long and hard. I heard snickers from the van, (there was one more in the front and maybe one in the back). Then the police man started on the idiocy of people in Karachi. He spoke at length on how people like me were asking to be raped and killed and create all sorts of trouble for him and his brothers. He asked me if a fisher man had decided to attack me what could have I done (it was not appropriate to tell him then that the only threat, I faced was from him). Anyway, it went on and on and he asked me what I did. I told him I was a lawyer. He said he had a kid in A levels and that was it. That’s the end. He walked me back to the car and asked to see the car papers (and I had none of those either-I kept them in the office for some moronic reason). He gave me another lecture and went.

Soon afterwards, I discovered some mischief makers in my fraternity and that was the last time I got up before 6 AM. I no longer know where the two roommates are and how life has panned out for them. And  for the life of me, I can not remember a single name from the other members of the gang.

The End.

The art of speaking

Posted: October 25, 2011 by kinzatahir in day to day
Tags: , , , ,

Ever been at a loss of words? Just don’t know what to say? Sitting in a crowd or a meeting, your name is called, people want to hear your opinion, and you are like huh? Don’t worry! You are not the only one who has faced this situation.

I have faced this many times, in fact, people even stopped asking me! It used to be such an embarrassment, then a 100 lectures later, from friends and family, I decided to speak. Speak for myself, for my betterment. What I did?  When I was in a group of people, I would listen intently for a first few minutes, grasp all the info in my mind and make sure that the topic which was going on was very clear in my head. After someone had finished their statement, I would give my opinion! Or sometimes in discussions, I cut people off in midway because I believe my ideas will make a bigger impact. I make sure that I don’t repeat an argument, that is utmost important. Or else people lose respect, you can add more to an argument, but shouldn’t repeat it again.

If you feel you want to be the one leading a conversation, then what you can do is find out the most popular topics these days, be updated on them, start it and give your perception on it. Make sure you don’t bore your listeners, don’t give the impression of ‘I-know-it-all’ but be polite as well as LISTEN to what others are saying. Maybe they have additional news regarding the ongoing topic. Listening is the tool. When you will sit in a different group of people, you have the info from before and can now share it with others.

When giving your suggestions, make sure you don’t go crazy! As in screaming and not even bother listening to what anyone has to say, that is just wrong and offensive to others. It is unprofessional behavior and manners. Some people can’t help it, their voice is just loud, they should be talking delicately. It gives a good feeling to others and even themselves.

Confidence and self-belief are most important, they need to be your top priority. Even if you feel very nervous, don’t show it on your face but keep it relaxed! That is what your competitors want, for you to break down, but don’t give them the satisfaction at all. If you are about to speak in front of public, do discuss every point with a trusted source like a normal conversation you have with friends.

Speaking and listening with inner exploration. That will be your key!

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A.D.P is having a gig! Woo hoo! It’s been a long time since funkytown came around, and The Aunty Disco Project are coming to rock Rangoon Wala Auditorium this Sundayy! Time to get dowwwwn and Bo0ogy! 🙂 Oba has made some super awesome promo’s that are positively hilarious, and I personally think the marketing for the gig is brilliant! The official website is given below:

Get Your Aunty On! Sunday 16th August 2009

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You’ve GOT to check these out! 🙂 Enjoy, and see you at the gig!

The Promos on Facebook:

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*image taken from internet*

Yayyy, the prediction says Karachi will have a thunderstorm this weekend! Yippeee.

GEt your chai and pakoras ready people. Now is the true acid test – to see if the drains in Karachi work or not! 😛

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Going to the beach on Sunday, we saw these signs up and I needed to get a picture – At firs we only saw- Go America Go, almost like a cheer!

But then, we saw the rest and said…what the hell??

What is the deal with all these protests?

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One of the things I love about Karachi is its unusual quirks. Driving around defence the other day, I was tickled pink when I found that Sunday Bazaar has its own SIGNboard!!!!

It kind of reminds me of  a dusty sign pointing to a Saloon in the rambling wild wild west…

Its so utterly fascinating, that the flea market, bargain of all bargains, has its very own signboard, and is frequented by the elite of karachi! Fantastic stuff

Attention all Karachi women,

Gul Ahmeds got a 70% off grand sale today at IDEAS.

Note – this is not an advertisment, its a warning.

Do not go in there expecting to see everything their catalogue advertises. It’s a big fat hoax. I had to go four times to look for this one handbag, but very intelligently, they had decided not to stock more than 3/4th of the catalogue. Several friends and relatives complained of exactly the same thing. Infact friends came down from abroad with only a few days to spare, checked out the catalogue, got excited and went to shop – only to be turned away.

The usual excuse is that the company hasn’t sent the items, which makes no sense because they have huge factories. And it comes under false advertising if you put something in a catalogue and don”t stock it. Its tricking customers into visiting over and over, and is most distasteful.

So be warned, and happy shopping.

PTCL Landline numbers are now being converted from 7 digits to 8 digits in Karachi and Lahore from Today July 1, 2009.

Add 3 before dailing any PTCL number of Karachi and Lahore.
(eg. if a number is 5259000 new number will be 35259000)

The City codes remains the same. For more information call 1236.

On further inquiring, it has been found that:
All numbers beginning with 90 & 92, you need to add 9 i.e. 990 or 992.

All UAN numbers will remain the same

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There is another  strike today. Another protest. Another mark of civilian unrest. More bloodshed, more lost lives.

I feel like a bug in a big city, watching out the glass panes as fire rages one side, political strife takes over, and then my attention is diverted by the glittering lights in my own world. Drawn to crystal baubles and gleaming lights, shimmering on the window and I dance in the light.

And there is a boom and I’m drawn out of my reverie.. back to the sadness. Back to the gloom. Back to life in the big city. Watching. Helpless. Slumped infront a big glass window as society rages war.

The news is always filled with such dreariness. Our lives are filled so much Indian Melodrama. Its enough to drag anyone down.

Then , 3 minutes of footage changed my life. There is a documentary called “The Pale Blue Dot” that I saw at the first Oneness Breakfast. It changed my life. It changed my perspective of how we see things.

Often, I feel we get too caught up in being part of the picture, and don’t take time to step back and observe. This 3 minute video puts everything in perspective. Click play and watch how awe-struck you feel at the end of it.