Posts Tagged ‘karachi’

The novelist – chapter 2

Posted: October 22, 2011 by Karachiite in The novelist
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“You really cannot be serious” she looked at her husband in a mixture of shock and more than a little bit of nervousness as they sat at the real estate agents office. A dingy mixture of island green artificial carpet and too bright yellowish walls.

“Well if you have an idea that wont let go, you might as well follow through no?” Jalal said as he thumbed through some house guides lying next to them on a singular table like nobody had touched them in months.

“Jalal when you said one day I thought it meant one day in the future after we had visited this place half a dozen times and gotten ourselves immersed in it enough to make a rational decision you know? Like rational people do!”

“Hmphh if I had been so rational I would have never asked you for your hand woman” he quipped

Zarmina scrunched her nose in mock distaste as she thought of her life before and after the asking part, she had always been a pragmatic person careful and thoughtful but when the scruffy writer with his flair for the dramatic had come calling she had not been able to say no. He had been a storm that had wooed her dated her and then married her, even now she got emails from some of her friends who could not believe that she had married a writer.

“Ahem” the agent cleared his throat as he walked in and looked at them with a glance that was used to looking over couples that came here and fell in love with the place. A fickle love that lasted nay a few months after which the endless trail of paperwork began again to get them back to safer shores of stability.

“New are we”?

“Yes new but we already love this place, have you been in this field long?” Jalal looked at the old tanned man with enough creases in his face to resemble the bark of an old tree and his clothing as colorful as his office, a white shirt and light blue sarong.

“ Long enough, my names sammy” he nodded at the man and then at the woman besides him wondering why in the world a vision like her was with a disheveled mess that her hubby represented.

“You see my husband, well he likes this place and so we thought we would you know check out some options” Zarmina said, before her hubby could open his mouth again, she could smell impulse usually a mile before he got it now.

“Some options. Yes well this place has plenty of options from here to tangalle” here being galle fort where they now had as their starting point “why don’t you guys tell me what’s in your mind”

“A beach house! Something with air and sunlight and welcoming spirits” blurted the mess his mouth open in a wide grin

“Yes well my friend there are many sorts of beach houses here, as you know we are sitting right at the edge of a long coast line” Always the beach sammy thought for these fools, the towns were cheaper and ten minutes away but no we all must have some mutated version of a fairytale at our doors to complain about after a month tops.

“Maybe we can just look for now” Zarmina ventured with a smile to sammy.

“No no zari you know I’m serious, I want to do this”

“Might I suggest something?” said sammy “why don’t you do this, there are some rentals available on the strip, lets take a look at something a bit more temporary before we rush”

Zarmina liked this man more and more by the passing second, obviously he was not out to make a quick buck on her husbands insanity but was presenting a more sagacious plan.

“All right but that’s just for starters” growled Jalal. He hated it when this happened, people saw things zaris ways instantly and he never got his way anymore. It was almost like they could not see him there at times.

“Right settled then, now have a nice day and here is my card, come by in the morning and off we shall go hunting for your little beach house”

“Great” smiled zari nodding with appreciation

“Ok” mumbled Jalal as they got up and he swiped the card from the man walking out before his wife into waning sun.

With zarminas usually efficiency they arrived the next morning right on time, in fact 14 minutes before it and waited outside for the agent to arrive. As Jalal silently brooded and his wife waited, the agent drove up in a rickety old station wagon. He pulled down his window after turning the handle a couple of times till there was air between the top and his chin and shouted

“So you guys ready?”

“We have been ready for the past 20 minutes, where have you been” said Jalal

“Ahh well at my age my friend time is an abstract thing come sit lets take you for a ride”

Jalal held the door open for his wife and they both slid into the back seat, then after a moment of realization he got out and slid into the front seat next to the old coot as he guffawed over some mental joke.

“ So? Ive lined up quite a spread for you”

With twin nods from husband and wife the agent put his car in gear and they rolled out of the parking lot. It didn’t take them long to hit the beach strip from where they started in galle fort, maybe about 20 or so minutes and they were there, long startling coastline and a strip of estates sitting in front of it with smallish gardens in front and many a palm tree waving in the wind before the stretch of water. As they went to house after house though both Jalal and Zarmina discovered that they were too high fi, totally out of their budget rang and more like little resorts then houses one could live in for any length of time. After the third house the discontent was completely visible on Jalal’s face

“ Look Sammy, this is really not working out for us, is this all you got”

“Well what do you expect, people here invest in these places because they know those who want to rent them will want all these amenities”

“But we are looking for something less grand, you know like a cottage or something” said zarmina realizing she needed to step in before Jalal went postal on the agent.

“A cottage, my lady this is prime beach estate outside the galle fort about 14 minutes from shopping and stores, I don’t think anyone would build a cottage here. Its not worth the investment”

“Then maybe we should look further up the coast” suggested Zarmina with one eye on her husband.

“Ah well then you will have to speak to the natives, I only go as far as the mobile phone signal goes, beyond that its either too cheap or too troublesome the business”

“I think you have done what you could sammy, you can head back now” said Jalal knowing there was plenty of transportation on the road behind the estates in the form of tuk tuks for them to explore further.

“Listen my friend, we may have liberated ourselves from the tamils but that does not mean the wilderness is completely secure” sammy jerked his head towards the clumps of trees one could see in the distance along the beach.

“ I think we will do fine – thank you” Jalal’s tone was icy now; he had taken enough of the glitzy crap he had been made to suffer through all damn day.

Enough will be when I hear screams to please pick us back up, thought sammy as he handed his card to zarmina

“Alright then I shall leave the love birds alone and with a number just in case”

He turned around and walked stiffly to his car, another bloody morning wasted after foreigners who don’t know what the hell they are doing. In and out they went of this strip like the waves before him. He slammed the door and coaxed the engine back to life and left them standing there in a hail of sand and dust!!

 

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To be continued……

Karachi, meet winter; Winter, meet Karachi

Posted: November 19, 2009 by Khaver in beach, life in karachi
Tags: ,

When I woke up a couple of days ago, there was a certain air about Karachi.

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but Karachi was smiling–and she wouldn’t tell why. In the time that followed, the mornings would be draped with a thin layer of fog, the evenings would be shrouded in chill. Karachi was smiling, because winter was here.

Though we don’t get the snow most northern regions get, winters in Karachi has a life of its own. The weather isn’t that cold, but its cold enough that we still enjoy our ice creams, walks in the evening, and eating outdoors. Nobody asks for the AC remote, or reaches for the fan switch, save but a few hardened individuals who still love their fans and ACs even as the mercury drops. We are entertained by the ever cheesy Bonanza ads for sweaters on TV, and bonfires at the beach take special precedence in our weekend plans. There is nothing like an experience of friends gathered around the bonfire, each in their own refuge of thoughts, watching the fire flicker away–and sometimes, hardly a word is spoken between.

Winters in Karachi also brings with it many unwanted guests. Dryness on our skin increases in some as we reach for the chapsticks even more so. The dew in the morning permeates over our cars quickly becoming the bane of our drivers/cleaners. There is increasing susceptibility to flu and other diseases.

But cons aside, winter in Karachi has its special place. People still flock to the ocean, amid high winds and even higher gatherings. We admire ourselves in our brightly colored sweaters, pointing and laughing at scooter drivers wearing funny hats, and nuzzle within our own blankets as we ever so desperately try to break its embrace in the morning–and fail miserably.

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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

Shared via AddThis

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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! 😛

Coke Studio is all over the place – advertisements, billboards, exclusive airing time on different channels, ring tones, the radio, you name it – its there. Season 2 was much anticipated, and so far two episodes are out – the first titled Individuality, and the second titled Harmony.

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Coke Studio has been creating some fabulous work – Season Two has been dealing with more contemporary artists, and a full fledged house band, accompanied by different guest artists to contribute their special feel to different tracks. Some of my favourite tracks so far this season have been Aik Alif and Khamaj is episode one, and Aaj Latha Neeyo , Daastan – e – Ishq, and Janey do in episode 2.

Episode 3 should air this sunday, ie the 12th, at 7 pm. The cool thing about this season is that it ends on 14th August, ie, Independence day. On the plus side, the work being done, though heavy on the sufi side, is being done with songs that are popular, contemporary, and well loved, thus bringing an automatic appreciation in most cases for the mystic feel.

**This year, Coke Studio looks to reignite Pakistani passion and pride by chronicling a journey through a series of episodes, each of which is based specifically, on distinct philosophies showcasing a multi faceted Pakistani identity: Individuality, Harmony, Equality, Spirit and Unity.**

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The show has faced some serious criticism this time round for two reasons – the first being that the music from these contemporary artists doesnt live up to the hype created by their being included in this years line up. I personally feel the original version of  Paimona Bitte is much better – im not a fan of the Coke Studio version, to say the least. The mixes aren’t as amazing as last year.

Secondly the lack of a live audience has attracted many hisses and boo’s, but as I was given to understand earlier, having a live audience causes major recording issues, such as the murmers of voices, cellphone calls, doors opening and closing, etc.

However, all in all, for a follow up season, Coke Studio’s not doing badly at all – they’re making music history loud and proud, and will probably go down, even if as a show steeped in branding, as one that helped enrich contemporary music with the sounds of folk lore and a tinge of spiritualism.

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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

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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

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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.