old … and new …

Karachi has a rather rapid velocity of change. Both visible and invisible. Amidst the clamourous tumult of this traffic and machinery in this city there are a million silent voices as well. All evident, all hidden, all ever changing.

The physical appearance of the city is changing at a rapid pace. Underpasses, Roads, Buildings, Hoardings, Shops and Houses spring up from the ground as if Dwarves from stone. Glass structures jostle with Jhimpir Stone for the face of the city. It is an interesting competiton; one get’s to see what we are ready to replace and what we tenaciously hold onto.

Does anyone else here also get lost because of the removal of older buildings that we use to remember places by?

Is that wrong?

Should we live in a continuous state of change?

13 Comments so far

  1. karachi_dude (unregistered) on June 10th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    in this particular case change is good because our beloved city was starting to enter the crestfallen mode..its taking the shape of a modern city and taking its place amongst the megacities of the world. ofcourse we can always use the new buildings as place markers as well or better yet with these new changes will come better infrastructure with proper directions and street signs so that should make things easier. and last but not least there is always the map!

  2. verysmart (unregistered) on June 10th, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

    Change is always better and is always neccessary, however its not always welcomed (maddarsa gradutes).

    The buildings being built in the early 50s and later on, were appauling, and mark of a soceity which has not only lost its equity after the divide, but also end up loosing its positive attributes in terms of values and knowledge. the buildings were made only to achieve maximum covered area, and we ended up having square chicken dens all over the city.

    The sad part was, we never tried to struggle and digging ourselves out of that ditch, and the city mirrored our embarrasing life styles. We embraced this upon us!

    I hope the new buildings have something more to offer, I hope the new constructions reflect our changed thinking, our ideas, and our look towards the future.

    Viva la Change!!!!

  3. aalahazrat (unregistered) on June 10th, 2006 @ 11:27 pm

    Ohk, I am completely absolutely and unequivocally pro change. But dont you think that we should preserve what we are as well. I mean a bit of the 50s 60s 70s 80s and 90s (and I add this reluctantly) should be preserved.

    It is our history after all.

    We live in one of the megacities of our day and age and I am fairly confident that our city is large enough to have both a touch of the new and a feel of the old.

    As far as I am concerned, I LOVE the mix of old and new. There are some AMAZING post 47 buildings on Bandar Road and Chundrigarh along with some AMAZING pre 47 buildings. Our city has a very vibrant architectural past, even after 47. Let us never forget that.

    We should move forward with all the pace and speed that our muscles can muster but at the same time, we need to take pride in what we have done in the past. And, to be honest, we have done a lot (I am talking about Architecture).

    And the thing is that in Eastern Architecture an imposing facade and proportion were held very important. Hence square shaped buildings. It is not about chicken hole, it is about seeing things in context. And, if ever try to pay close attention to the excessive detail in these very structures and you might find a lot.

    I am not saying that all post 50s buildings are aesthetically please, but many of them are. And we need to acknowledge this.

    A people never accepting themselves or their past as capable of anything can never have a future.

  4. Adnan (unregistered) on June 10th, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

    I hope the new buildings have something more to offer, I hope the new constructions reflect our changed thinking, our ideas, and our look towards the future.

    Yes our very own culture rather some imported one.

  5. Kashif (unregistered) on June 11th, 2006 @ 2:20 am

    I lost my self when a traffic singal was bulldozed overnight by ongoing ‘development’ work.

  6. aalahazrat (unregistered) on June 11th, 2006 @ 2:24 am

    Exactly what I am talking about …

  7. Keshi (unregistered) on June 11th, 2006 @ 8:11 am
  8. Rev blogger (unregistered) on June 11th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    If only more money was spent on roads….

  9. alias (unregistered) on June 11th, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    I agree with Aalahazrat. So many old beautiful buildings going to ruins near the city center. I was very pleased with what Standard Chartered did with their branch in one of those buildings, by simply renovating and making it look so aesthetically pleasing.

  10. Checkmate (unregistered) on June 12th, 2006 @ 10:00 am

    I have nothing against change. But it has to be positive and better. The future has to respect the past and not destroy it. My heart bleeds when I see old heritage buildings in such deplited conditions. When an old red brick building with all its glory is razed to the ground to make way for a glass montrosity it is just plain painful.

    Maybe I am too emotional about the old buildings but they are the face and character of Karachi. They should be renovated and taken care of. Some banks have made the effort and I commend them.

    No nation can progress if it does not know how to preserve and appreciate its history and culture.

  11. Concerned (unregistered) on June 12th, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

    I heard they were tearing down Hotel Metropole. Is that true?? What are they going to build there?

  12. Nadir Nasir (unregistered) on June 12th, 2006 @ 10:45 pm

    living in a state of constant change, if we talk abou the road and the city we live in… it definity raise the hairs just to feel this condition to be never ending…. :S

    BUT… it’s not possible to erase the past and build up a new karachi with all that new designs and foregn-type roads… at least not in the comming 100 years… and if it does happen.. we need not to be worrying about that as we won’t be existing long enought to see that happen… so guys cheer up!!! things will be fine…

    Have you seen the boat Basin road from Punjab Chaurangi till Boat Basin… its beautifull isn’t it!!! (Not to mention the ‘MYSTRY’ the have placed on the ex-shuan-cilcle as a design, i couldn’t figure out as of yet that what they tried to do and what actually went wrong!! :P)

    Yaar. but i feel that someday we will have a city thay will have “EVERYTHING” our old cultural designs to the latest to-date architechural structures and indeed that will make Karachi to be the place to ‘be’!

    (a designer’s vison)

  13. Muhammad (unregistered) on June 17th, 2006 @ 1:49 am

    Guys! All that change is good. But the real question is , can we keep up to this change? Can we keep our new high rises clean? newly paved streets clean? new restaurants clean? new modern and western looking shopping malls clean? If we can answer yes to any of those questions then we can safely say that the change is good for a long time to come. But on the other hand, what I have seen that when something news gets built , after a few days or weeks it becomes a trash-can. What is happening is that areas that are older or not so famous are worsening in condition and no one including the government seems to do anything about it. But on the other hand they keep on focusing building new structure and the like in some Posh area like Defense, Clifton, etc..and tend to forget about the places like Laloo Khet , Nazimabad..you get the picture. This is what I have experienced in the past 10 years or so. I know it’s a difficult task to achieve something of this magnitude but it is possible. But the politics and Bureaucracy probably won’t let it happen , atleast not in the near future. If we can’t keep our city clean , I think we don’t deserve any new structures. First and foremost we need to focus on existing problems and try to solve those, then move on to something new rather than keep adding more and more problems to deal with. We need to create awareness among the common public on how important it is to keep their city , their home that they love so much, clean. One can certainly start from his/her own home where he/she lives. But I think people in our country specially, have become so habitual that they can’t even think about doing cleaning on their own because they have maid or servants to do it for them!! So in that case, we will never going to get our city clean unless every individual consider this to be his/her responsibilty to clean their own mess and every new building will turn into a square chicken den,(as my fellow writer has put it).

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