I’ve always maintained that living in Karachi can spoil you for life. Some find the sheer lawlesness frightening, others find it exhilarating. Only the latter can actually enjoy living in this glittering, mad city.

To me Karachi is that twinkle in the eyes of my uncle when he gets to drive at frighteningly high speeds along a pothole-filled road. It’s in the knowing grins of people, from the dirt-poor to the filthy rich, when they see a huge pink billboard with a valentine’s day message on it. It’s in the soundless but constantly moving lips of the wrinkled old lady praying at the Ghazi Mazaar. It’s also in the miniscule pieces of windshield glass scattered on unsuspecting blind corners of roads. It’s in the blood of the man who was gunned down for telling the truth, the man who sells bun kababs in a street corner.

It’s like a terminal disease, this place. The very threat to your mortality that goes hand in hand with living here makes you appreciate every second you’re alive. It’s running in your viens and when you die, it will spill onto the streets, mingling with all the others.

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