Archive for July, 2005

Pedestrians Run !!!

With all the ranting going on about the recent changes on Shahrai Faisal we have some how overlooked a very basic problem. The pedestrian traffic trying to cross this busy street by simply making a run for their life hoping to have timed their sprint to the second.

Pakistanis as we all know have no concept on how to safely cross a busy intersection and usually it is approached as if the street belonged to each individual as their own birth-right to cross, to top this attitude off I have quite often cursed at our black Burqa Clad ladies choosing the night to take a turtle-paced stroll across Shahrai Faisal. Prior to the recent upheaval on this main artery a few life-fearing individuals did at least utilize stoppage in traffic flow at signals to quickly stroll across.

Vehicular traffic is now on a high paced jog for a few km from Jinnah Hospital all the way to Tipu Sultan road signal with not a single break with only two overhead pedestrian bridges being available for pedestrian use, one being close to Aisha Bawany school and the second being located at Nursery which has recently been graced by a recent surge in pedestrian traffic.

Pedestrians Run for your life !!!!! Solutions Solutions Solutions ???

Rain Rain where are you?

For the past two days the city of Karachi has been itching with excitement awaiting the torrential rains that have drenched Mumbai with 30 inches a few days back. Our extremely professional and highly efficient Meteorological office issued an emergency alert of impending rains yesterday and hence got the bureaucratic emergency system in high alert. People all over the city looked skywards and speculated when it will actually let loose.

Today the met office declared an all clear. I would have to concede that weather can change very quickly but it appears our met office still has a lot to learn. I am happy to see the bureaucratic emergency system getting time to stretch their legs as more often they are late to arrive, so this mock drill can be deemed essential. The irony of our met office is that they have often predicted rain once the rain actually starts, hence no longer a prediction but a simple fact and we more often then not respond – Oh! Thank you for telling us !!! Analogous to a palm reader predicting you will get a job some day and when you actually land the job (say after 4 yrs of starvation) comes to say, See I told you so! – prediction / fact)

The actual use of a weather prediction office is to alert the public before the impending disaster sadly this time it again falls flat on their face. Until next time…. Sher Aaya Sher Aaya.

Munch munch.

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for Herald regarding the best take out places in Karachi. While they published an edited version of it, I thought I’d post it up here for the starving young/old ones. Happy Eating!

Mobilink Rage


What the hell was wrong with Mobilink’s service today?! From 7:30 PM onwards I could not get through to any Mobilink number – everytime my phone displayed ‘Network Busy’ I wanted to throttle someone. I couldn’t even get through to Mobilink from my landline. I cannot wait for service-switching to take place, I’ll get rid of this misery right then. Did anyone else have the same problem or was Mobilink just so supernice to me?

Want help?

I came across the Helpline Trust’s website today after an acquaintance forwarded me a petition they’re circulating to stop the commercialization of the Karachi beach. The Helpline Trust is an NGO which launched in 1994. They were joint petitioners with Ardeshir Cowasjee and Shehri in the landmark Glass Towers case [anyone who has been following Mr.Cowasjee’s columns in Dawn would remember this] and are working to safeguard consumer rights and promote education and public health and safety awareness, and achieve ‘good governance’. You can even lodge a complaint against a product or service here.

I’m jotting off a note about Mobilink’s amazing service tonight for starters.

Why Karachi Rocks: Reason #12

yum yum

Click the picture to see a larger version

As soon as the weather turns cloudy, all thela-walas in sight will start frying pakoras to serve everyone who start craving pakoras as soon as it seems like its about to rain.

touching the clouds

Ok, I know I have been baffling about this previously, but, it really should rain this time around, specially when the clouds are so low I could almost touch them. I really don’t wanna work in this kind of weather. It could rain any minute, and it hasn’t rained for ages. I just wanna be under the sky and wait for the rain, and then, just get soaked when it does. That’s it. I am gonna go and talk to my boss. I am not feeling well. I need to go home. *evil laugh*

spirituality meets Pepsi

spirituality meets Pepsi

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This roundabout, called ‘Allah wali chowrangi’ has always intrigued me ever since Pepsi donated the money to have it cleaned up and put the fountain in working order. Its been the subject of a number of Nadeem F. Paracha articles too. Why did Pepsi have to plaster its name on the structure? Why did their act of social conscience have to be so completely ‘in your face?’

Pharmacies in Karachi

Hey folks…. having just dived into the city two weeks ago, I have been frequented with bouts of illness previously unknown to me. From mysterious stomach disorders to rampaging variants of the influenza, I have been bombarded by them all. I feel like this city is prepping me up for a normal life (sort of like a temporary immune-developing phase), and hence making it perpetually difficult for me to log on to the net. But hey it’s all fun, even if living alone in the city can make the recovery process seem that more dreary.

Coming back to the purpose of this post, I had a strange encounter the other day, and it has left me feeling a bit disturbed.

In order to comply with my doctor’s massive prescription (he shoved a pill for every symptom I told him of), I stopped at a local pharmacy (the sign above indicated it was a medical and general store) to purchase the require medicines. On initial inspection, it seemed loaded with medicines on scores of towering shelves. And it was only when the dispensing process began that I saw some major discrepancies.

Shahrai Faisal Mayhem gets worse

Enough has already gone into discussing the mess on Shahrai-Faisal. I am quite sure this post too will fall on deaf ears.

To make matters worse for all commuters using Shahrai Fasial its gotten wotse – Today in all efforts to make Karachi’s Main Traffic artery signal free, they went a step ahead and closed off one of the signals on Nursery (the signal which allowed traffic from Block 6 PECHS to turn right onto Shahrai Faisal – mind you thats considerable traffic). Now if you god-forbid happen to come onto Shahrai Faisal from Block 6 you are forced to turn left go all the way to defence Kalapul signal make a U-Turn and head back towards the airport a good 20 minutes wasted and considerable fuel burnt.

We can now sit back and await any more surprises these stupid poeple can pull out of the hat – all actions are more like a knee jerk reaction to try and quickly solve the misplanned traffic solution. The bridges were needed but alternative routes should have been thought out long before the opening of Shahrai Qaideen Flyover. Mind you we still have to sit back and witness any VVIP movement that is bound to shut down Karachi for the entire day, protection simply to save the life of one person, and in turn let the million or so citizens go to hell.

UPDATE – Driving today morning I realized people from Nursery can take the Shahrai Qaideen bridge to Allahwala roundabout and do a U turn there. The rest of us can go to hell….

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