Archive for the ‘humour’ Category


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

Dhaba Quettakhel

Posted: June 1, 2009 by Karachiite in humour
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On the smelly super high way, coconut oil in my hair

Filthy smell of kachra rising up through the air

Up ahead in the distance I saw a trucks lights

My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim

I had to stop for the night

There he crouched near the doorway

I heard the clink of chenak

And I was thinking to myself this could be heaven or this could be hell

Then he pulled up a lantern and showed me the waay

There was an argument down the corridor

I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Dhaba Quettakhel

Such a stinky place

Such an ugly face

Plenty of room at the dhaaabaaa quettakhel

Anytime of the year, you can find garda here

His mind is hinotwiiisted he got the 18 wheeler bends

He’s got a lot of pretty pretty chotas that he call friends

How they dance in the courtyard in the stifling summer heat

Some dance to remember some dance to forget

So I called up the Khowcha

Please bring me my bong

He said we haven’t had charas here since nineteen ninety nine

And still those radios are calling from faaar away

Wake you up in the middle of the night

Just to hear them say

Welcome to the dhaba quettakhel

Such a stinky place

O what an ugly face

They living it up at the dhaba qutta khel

What a nice surprise, bring your own chatai

Saturday Funnies!

Posted: May 16, 2009 by batster in day to day, humour
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Whenever the lights go, the pcs in office go off – the UPS recently burnt out – thus we are dependent on the UPS system. It takes a while for the internet to come back when all the pcs restart.

So I phoned the IT guy , and said in a sing song voice… “Internet nahin aa raha ” – ( the internets not coming). And hes like, Aap ko to mein pehchaangaya! (I instantly recognized you) .

I asked him, How?! and he’s like, “Aap English mein urdu bolti hain!!!” (You speak Urdu in english) 😛


I was sitting at one of my friend’s house the other night and he had some people over whom I was meeting for the first time. As it happened, the electricity went out a couple of times and we were all left in an awkward darkness for a few seconds in between the time the lights went off until it took my friend’s chawkidaar to turn the generator on. I found my friend embarrassingly apologizing to the group for not being able to run the a/c on the generator because “there was something wrong with the generator and it was not running on full power at the time otherwise it really has enough juice to run even two a/c’s at a time, etc.” This sparked a conversation about what kind of a generator everyone had and how powerful it was. As the conversation progressed, I found myself growing increasingly conscious about the size of my generator because every one there were talking about their high-powered-automatic generators as if they were talking about owning some sort of a Italian designer suit or sports car, or both. The thing I realized was that generators, like cars and cell phones, have become not only a necessity but also another status symbol and items for showing off among the pretentious population of Karachi.

You would think that I would be extremely glad and content to have a small 4.2 kVA generator that can run all the fans in my house, all the lights, and perhaps the TV and maybe a fridge if I am careful and use only a few lights. It’s a bit loud when it runs and it’s the kind where you have to pull on a chain in order to start it. Also, I have to turn off my deep freezer, a/c’s, and all other heavy appliances in my house before I can turn the generator on as it cannot support so much load. I am living alone these days and I don’t have a chawkidaar so I am the one who has to get up and turn off the appliances before turning the generator on every time the electricity fails. And then I have to stay near my living room so that I can hear the sweet and wonderful bell that rings (music to my ears) to indicate the electricity is back and it’s time to turn the generator off.

You would be wrong: I am not happy with my generator. And I realize it’s not because I think having a bigger generator would mean me having a higher social status; it’s because having a bigger generator would mean that I have less shit to worry about every day. I, being the ungrateful ass of a human being that humans are, want an even bigger and better generator. I want the super duper 25 kVA kind where I don’t have to turn off anything in my house. I want it to come installed with an automatic starter so that it turns itself on when the power goes out and then turn itself back off when it comes back. I want to be able to sleep through power outages with my a/c running full speed and no worries that the food in my freezer would go bad if the electricity doesn’t come back within the next 4 hours.

I realize how ungrateful I am being and how I must sound like a pathetic pretentious percentage of the population I described earlier. But what can I say? I find myself living in a new class-system in Karachi: those who have a super duper generator, those who have a regular generator, and those who don’t have a generator at all*. And I understand that this last group of people must comprise a huge percent of the Karachi population and are the ones who are the most miserable without having any alternative power source at all. And I feel so stupid and ungrateful about whining over having to get up every time the electricity goes and having to contend with spending the time being under only a fan. The reason I feel that this is so bad is actually not because I feel stupid and ungrateful but because I have to feel stupid and ungrateful over such a ridiculous condition. This just goes on to show how bad the electricity situation in Karachi has become when even people who own generators are not happy and the power outages continue to have a negative effect even on people who have an alternative source of energy. I am frustrated because I have a generator that is not powerful enough. And this frustration is not because I envy those who have a bigger generator but because it is still extremely inconvenient for me to go through the hassle of turning it on and off 16 times a day (and night) and still not being able to use every thing in my house. KESC is failing Karachi on not only being unable to provide adequate electricity to the city but also because it is now responsible for creating so many different problems on so many different levels, e.g. creating all sorts of weird psychological problems, what with all these various generator-related inferiority/superiority complexes and these new kinds of stupefyingly stupid social syndromes.

Isn’t all of this extremely pathetic**?


* I am currently ignoring people who have UPS and invertors installed in their houses, as they would be a topic of some other post some other time.

** not my ingratitude, but the distressing electricity situation in Karachi. Well, ok, both my ingratitude as well as the distressing electricity situation in Karachi.

T2f, ie, The Second Floor Cafe is famous for providing a space for exhibitions that provoke discourse. Some months back there was an exhibition by a political cartoonist. Muhammad Zahoor, one of Pakistan’s leading cartoonists, thrives on contentious social and political issues  and much discussion and dialogue was passed on his caricatures. Some of the works that made me smile :





Last night found me at the Teen Talwar (Three Swords) intersection after about a month and I was surprised to see that this landmark monument is now being sponsored by Bank Alfalah. The Teen Talwars are three large marble swords, each signifying one of Quaid-e-Azam’s words of creed, the credo being Unity, Faith, and Discipline and now, two large blocks of marble have been added to the monument and these read Bank Alfalah in large blue letters on all four sides.

I remarked about this to my friend, who defended this move by saying, “at least the bank is going to maintain it now. Can’t you see the swords are so clean and the water fountains are running all the time?”

I am sorry, but I have to disagree. Is this really necessary? Is our government so desperate and incapable of maintaining our landmarks that they need corporations to pay them rent on them and take the responsibility of maintaining them? This is just ridiculous. What next? The Sabun 101 Menar-e-Pakistan? Frooto’s Faisal Masjid? Ding Dong Quaid-e-Azam ka Mazaar?

There is a very old and firm structure built somewhat in the vicinity of but not nearly so close to the city-side seashore of Karachi (better known as Sea View). This structure that I am talking about has a semi dome, almost elliptical roof, and round pillars that are based out of a raised platform. Made out of Jodhpur stone, this structure shouts out Islamic architecture that was popularized by the Mughals and built mostly by the British. At first sight, it might appear as a mosque, but it’s actually a bandstand that was in regular use many, many years ago. There is an octagonal seat in the center of this structure and if you stand upon it, you can see the old pier, or parade, that leads out towards the ocean. This is the Jehangir Kothari Parade, most of which has been ‘renovated’ to make way for the new park, yet the structure still stands. But that’s beside the point.

There is another building in the same local region, and this was actually built by the British for their own personal use. Funnily enough, this building is located on a road called Shahra-e-Iran (meaning Iran Avenue). The building covers a huge area of prime land in the area of Clifton, and is reputed to have a fully functional pub and club inside. No Pakistani, of course, is allowed to enter unless it’s on official business and even if one of us green passport holders does somehow manage to squeeze inside, he or she won’t be able to use any of the facilities. This is the British High Commission’s office in Clifton, and that’s also beside the point.

The Point is a shopping mall that’s besides the Jehangir Kothari Parade and the British High Commission’s office.

Almost everyone is health conscious these days but almost everyone is also very lazy. People tend to shy away from doing any exercise and prefer to sit or lie down all day. Most people are so lazy that they won’t have anything else but ‘fast’ foodi delivered to their homes/offices just so they won’t have to make any unnecessary movements other than sitting or lying down. This is a big problem as it can be very difficult to motivate people to take up exercise. This is why I have come up with a very viable solution for everyone for this upcoming summer. I present to you: the Modern Day Exercises for Shedding a Load During Load Shedding

1. The Generator Starter Bend and Pullii: Great for your back and arms and very easy to execute. Flip the switch on the generator, bend down and grab the rope, strain your back a bit, and pull with a sudden jerk. Repeat as many times ‘load-shedding’ occurs or 6 to 8 times a day, whichever comes first.

2. The Forearm Newspaper Fan Swivel: No electricity and feeling hot? Need to build those forearm muscles? All you need is a newspaper and an arm and you are all set. Just hold up the paper in your hand, point it towards your face, and swivel your arm in a faniii-like motion. Feel cool and develop those bi/tri-ceps!

3. Electricity Generating Treadmill Generator: Don’t have a generator, but a lot of flab around your tummy? Worry not. Here is a solution that works as a double-edged sword killing you two birds with the same stroke: an innovative new technology that combines your treadmill with an inductor, alternator, and whatnot in order to give you the first ever Human Powered Electricity Generator DELS1000iv. Simply start running on the treadmill, shed a load, and worry not about load shedding. Order yours today!v

4. The Jog-Cool Off: The humid weather with an unpowered ceiling fan getting you down? Missing the cool wind hitting your face 6 to 8 hours a day? Just get up and start jogging. Doesn’t matter where you do it, as long as you keep running and let the air around you breeze into youvi.

i e.g. inexplicably heaped salads

ii works only if you have a manually starting generator. For those who do not have a generator refer to the Forearm Newspaper Fan Swivel or the Electricity Generating Treadmill Generator.

iii not the ceiling fan

iv Designed Especially for Load Shedding.

v For more details on how to order this revolutionary new device, leave a comment below.

vi This is actually not a joke*. I remember many years ago, one of my aunts employed a kid (who had come down all the way from cold-weathered Chitral) to help around the house. Poor kid used to live in a small room with asbestos roofing and his room would get really hot in the summers. You can imagine how he must feel when the electricity would go off, leaving him sweating in the hot and humid summer weather of Karachi. One day, during the load-shedding hour, we heard noises, like someone was running around the house in circles. My cousin and I went to investigate and found the kid doing exactly that: running around the house in circles. We stopped him and asked him what he was doing, to which he told us that running makes the air hit him like a breeze.

*I am seriously not joking. Scouts’ honor.