Archive for the ‘life in karachi’ 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

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.


Attention all Karachiites,

Blue bottles have taken over the coast line . They are washing up on the shore in scores with every wave, and the translucent bubbles aren’t always easy to spot.

I speak from experience – we were at the beach this Sunday and my friend got stung. Unfortunately we weren’t aware of it cuz all of Karachi’s population was sitting in the surf having a good time, frolicking, laughing, jumping about like there was no tomorrow.

The funny thing is – my friend didn’t step on it – it just happened because the wave washed it up against my friends foot… and now he was in some serious pain, and we didn’t know what to do. Thus I have decided to write a short guide on what to do when stung by a blue bottle!

  • Step one:  Stay away from the water. Do NOT dip the foot in water. Rub stung body part with sand right away.
  • Step two:  Sit patient onto chair and do NOT let them move. Walking about will cause venom to travel up leg via circulation.
  • Step three: Take stung bodypart and carefully wash with warm water, ensuring no tentacles are still stuck on.
  • Step four: Grab some ice and gently press onto the stung area. Hand the patient a bottle of water and get them to start drinking, so that if there is anyabsorption of the venom, it shall get flushed out
  • Step five: Speaking of flushing out, interestingly, peeing on the affected area is supposed to instantly make it better- try at your own risk.
  • Step six: Warning: Patient will squirm – glare at them to get cooperation. If desired cooperation is not given, hitting patient over the head with a bat is permissible.
  • Step seven: Send for some onions, smush them and rub them on affected area. Lemons are said to work as well, but I feel that would burn a lot. So go with onions, rub vigorously on wound.
  • Step eight: Give the patient some painkillers. Try panadol, disprin or Tylenol, whatever is easily available. Also try and get some anti-allergic cream. The pain killers are important, don’t skimp on those.
  • Step nine: Watch for signs that may require you to rush to the hospital, such as the upward travelling of pain, a fever, or pain that ranks more than six on a scale of 10.
  • Disclaimer: Blue bottle stings are not particularly venemous – the pain dissipates in the span of one to two hours. The thigh get particularly painful and the muscles clamp around the venom to keep it from travelling. Do NOT worry. It will get better and light activity can be resumed.

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

Will the electricity woes of our city continue un abated or will the city government with their pressure on the federal big wigs be able to come up with some sort of solution?

Karachi has been referred to as the city of lights in the past, with shops and eateries open till atleast 2 am here, but 17th June proved to be a power outage disaster of the decade here as the entire city was plunged into darkness for more than 24 hours. The outage was so severe that hospitals as well as civil services were left in helpless condition as power went out for more than a day.

Recently KESC has run full page ads in local newspapers as well as had briefings with NEPRA on what happened that day. Their explanation says that the supply lines to the city were knocked out by a storm in the Jamshero area, but even then, even if we take that dark day in our stride we still have problems.

In most areas of the city load shedding is going on unchecked, around 6-8 hrs daily. Cruelly enough most of the posh ares are unaffected as there is no load shedding there so the elite and the upper class are not suffering at all while the masses have nowhere to go.

The KESC must remember that this is the same city where the movement which restored the CJP began, the populace wil not sit idle if they are made to suffer for much longer and may take matters into their own hands.

Its nice to see full page ads explaining what happened that day, as this is a new trend to own up. However what the karachiites need is a long lasting and solid solution. Perhaps the government should look into wind farms on a public basis then allocating licenses to IPPS to run them. A string of wind driven power production units along the gwadar coastal highway may be able to serve the cities future power needs as furnace oil keeps getting higher and higher.

The KESC can also start cracking down on their distribution losses, after all it is privatized now and a private enterprise must plug all pilferage holes instead of shifting the burden to consumers.

Our bills are supposed to rise yet again in July, the power must go up with them or else…this city will rise.


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.


… Go sit outside and enjoy the summer breeze 🙂 It’s balm for the soul.

Summers in full swing in Karachi and after the month of may which was full of power outages and bad news here, it does not look so bad at the moment as mangoes and electricity have arrived to delight all of us.

IMG00049-20090607-1745Yes my fellow designates of hells own kitchen kolachi, we have both the favored fruit and the suddenly reliable KESC to delight us in this month of June and that’s not all!! We have some really pretty surprise guests as well, no no I do not mean damsels returning from foreign shores for vacations, these are birds of another variety “pigeons” and they have flocked in their mystical beauty to the cities roundabouts, chowks and galis with abandon, cooing and fluttering on their way.

IMG00050-20090607-1745I suddenly noticed this when my year old son started screaming and tugging @ my sleeve whilst I was driving him around, as he saw like a 100 of these pigeons at the junction of jail road.

Suffice to say we got to the nearest general store bought some feed and gave the glorious birds a mouthful as we got to be up close to these lovely and mysterious creatures.

So the next time you feel a little down in this wonderful city, go pay a visit to our guests, now to be found at numerous locations and sit and watch nature in its true and full beauty.



*Image from Internet*

The Elbow Room has always been famous for its great ambience and fine dining, but duuuuuuuuuude – yesterday I was blown away.

The waiter told  me to try the shitake mushroom steak – I was skeptical, and he began to get a little pushy which is irritating – but the idea of eating something new and exotic was too good to pass up.

SO the steak came, looked like the one in the picture – I initially thought it was a bit small, but dude – I didn’t realise how thick it was. It was a proper MANS steak! Crusty on the outside, beautifully juicy inside, cooked to perfection.

The mushrooms and cream sauce were great, complimented the meat without making it too heavy. The roasted vegetables were well done, and the turrine of potatoes was something Atkins didn’t allow me to touch.

The steak was..amazing. I’m craving it even today. Really, its a MUST try!! Head over to Chundrigar NOW