I.I. Chundrigar Road, I Love You So.


I.I. Chundrigar Road is known to everyone, to the old timers as McLeod Road, and to the next generation as the road that has everything. From Presidents to beggars, everyone comes here – some to gaze at the tallest building in Pakistan, some to chakkar kaato at various banks, some to try their fortunes at the stock exchange, and many to their respective offices. Marked by a small restaurant called Khairabad, this road has everything – from banks, to media organizations, to computer shops. At 8 AM or so, when the city starts coming to life, one can see people sipping away tea at various khokhas, eating freshly cooked parathas that drip in oil, but taste like a slice of heaven in the cool air. Buses start plying on the roads in their full glory, and cars start snaking through, trying to find the best parking spot. Lunch hour means the few restaurants in the area have long waiting lines, and delivery men try to hop from office to office in rapid time, lugging kilos of fresh pizza, fried chicken and spicy biryani. Friday prayers are said on the pavements when the mosques run out of space, and crossing the road means facing death straight on. People wring their hands in despair when they find out that the police did, in fact, tow their cars away from a no-parking zone, and frantically look for escorts to the neighboring thaana.

Till 7 PM, the madness continues, as people rush to appointments and meetings, with hands free sets on every ear in sight. After 8 PM, the road becomes ghostly. People stand at bus stops, hoping their bosses dont find out that they sneaked out. A few offices burn with blazing lights, signifying deadlines and workaholics. The media industry personnel never sleeps, and walk around dazed, with endless cigarette breaks on the road, trying to stay awake and meet impossible deadlines. Rikshaws putter by slowly, willing to take any passenger who has the misfortune to stay after work hours.

No matter how much I gripe about working on this road, I wouldn’t exchange the mad energy that it exudes, which is in every one of us Karachiites. Here’s to my ohsoprecious I.I. Chundrigar Road :)

15 Comments so far

  1. Anathema (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 10:47 am

    Ole to this road. its the spirit that makes us love it so. wonderful wonderful road.

  2. insiya (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 10:55 am

    brings back a million memories that include sounds, sights, people, walks, jams, laughter (as i step in front of a green bus and get my girl friends to cross the road with peace)… and so much more.

    i miss you IIC. much love. :)

  3. TEE BEE (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 11:44 am

    Inshort ‘The WallStreet of Karachi’

    with the hustle and bustle of everyday life..:-)

  4. MRK (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm

    when i was student, i used to fantisize working at IIC.. when i finally got job (my first) there, it was like a dream come true.. working at a place where the whole economy of a country lies made me feel very good… these days i m working at lakson square but i still feel excited whenever i go to IIC for lunch or just to meet few friends there..

  5. Zain (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 2:05 pm

    I miss IIC; I work now at Shahrah-e-Faisal.. ICC rocks!!!!!

  6. moiz (unregistered) on November 16th, 2005 @ 3:56 pm

    umm lovely…huma u did a great job…no one can describe this road n its movement in a better way than u…m still studying but this article has motivated me n now i have future plans to work on IIC too :)

  7. quratulain khan (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 12:26 am

    yup. our version of new york city :)

  8. Imtiaz (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 5:40 am

    aaaahhhhh..IIC road!!!!

    i used to work there too….

    it was so great…when everyone used to hog pizza hut at lunch!!!

    none of our office guests could find any parking (we only managed to do cos we arrived reasonably early!)

    but anyways….this place has its own magic…even ffod was cheap and good!!!

    in clifton now….nope, i didnt change my job, my company just shifted in May this year.

    But IIC road is truly an experience worth having.

  9. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 10:14 am


    Thanks for refreshing my memories by reminding khokas of IIC,one could have a beautiful view of IIC via Google Earth

  10. Farrukh Ahmed (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 10:18 am

    Nice article Huma…..
    Brings back memories……..feeling excited to be working at IIC road, and getting frustrated about the lack of parking and the hoard of pollution at the same time.
    but all in all, an absolutely uncomparable place, esp to work….
    am in Dubai now but still cant shake that time off!!

  11. Zag (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    I miss those days when our company offices were at IIC…. now that we have moved, we still have the memories with us….. it’s been a while since i last visited it during day time….

  12. mohummed (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 1:26 pm

    I love I I Chundtigar road too. When the bomb blast in Majjid e Haidry blew , I was there.

  13. Karim (unregistered) on November 17th, 2005 @ 8:47 pm

    Was just wondering around sites and reached here .. reading dozen of articles by everyone and finally want to write for this article .. am studying in london now but lived in karachi and just got my memories refresh … Nice article Huma .. II chundigar Road .. Rocks …. ;)

    Cheers Everyone ..

    Missing You Karachi !!! Coolest city on planet

  14. danial (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 3:31 am

    One of the best posts i have ever read on metblogs

  15. bilal qureshi (unregistered) on November 20th, 2005 @ 11:00 pm

    always had a dream working on iichundrigar rd

    luckily got my first job at iichundrigar rd still working tere

    like somebody just said this place has its own magic — very true

    god bless my city KARACHI

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