Archive for September, 2006

An Unhealthy Mix.

If you go to the market to buy spices you will find the funnel seeds and cardamoms died green, color is also added to fenugreek (Methi Dana), Pistachio and even Kalongi (Onion Seeds) are colored in black. Coloring agents used in all these spices are not permitted food colors, also similar coloring agents are used to color pulses and peas. Papaya seeds are mixed with black pepper, camel feed is mixed with cumin, and corn fibers are colored to be sold as saffron. Besides all that Kerosene oil is used to peel garlic and now according to this news report ginger and other vegetables are being washed in acid to make them look fresh and clean.

All the things mentioned above are highly dangerous to health and still they are an unavoidable part of our daily diet. Who is responsible for preparing this unhealthy Mix and allowing it to be sold openly in our local markets ?

Cafe Ciao

So I’m at Ciao, the newest cafe on Zamzama, around midnight last night and the place is packed. My friend and I are told to wait for a few minutes; in the meantime, some more people walk in and wait to be seated, including a couple. Expecting there to be some decent service at an upscale cafe, my friend and I started chatting and weren’t aggressively monitoring the flow of customers until I noticed the maitre d’ leading the couple who arrived after us being led upstairs. Irritated, I asked him what the hell he thought he was doing and he tells me that it looked bad to have a lady stand and wait.

He tells me this as not two feet away the owner’s wife and, I guess, daughter were busily working behind the counter preparing food and drink. I guess he wasn’t able to tell his boss to keep his women at home. I prefer the first-come-first-serve democratic way of handling a queue at a restaurant and would have gotten in a row with the management had they not quickly found a table for us.

About the cafe: overpriced, average food, low on variety, but a relaxed, comfortable place to spend an evening, especially on the couches upstairs.


i am probably the last person you would expect to see pointing out the miseries faced by our helpful khaki and steel grey clad brethren, but this is more than a little ridiculous. when they killed amanullah niazi, the superintendent of the city jail, there seemed to be some motive presented by the media – mainly rumours of police excesses, etc in prison – but the total tally has now gone to a whopping 23 unexplained, unsolved mysteries. no suspects, no clues and no motives.

someone is systematically taking out the cops of the city. i suppose the fear elemnt is making them more cruel and ruthless as maybe the guys who killed zafar were. its a vicious cycle and the only beneficiary is the bunch of people killing the policemen.

isn’t that enough to get them off their posteriors and instil a little bit of commitment? as yet, apparently not.

Dengue Haemorrhage Fever

Because of the intense rains this summer, the entire city was flooded with rain water most of which soon turned stagnant and a breeding haven for mosquitoes. As a result cases of Dengue Haemorrhage Fever (DHF) have been reported. Two people have already died and more patients are are being treated in various hospitals.

DHF is a mosquito borne infection found in tropical and sub tropical regions. This virus is transmitted through the bite of a female mosquito. DHF is a deadly complication of Dengue Fever and is characterized by high fever and flu like conditions that continues for anywhere between two to seven days. In severe cases a patient’s condition deteriorates after the fever subsides and may die within 24 hours.

Since this is a mosquito infected virus, none of us are completely safe. The only personal preventive measure we have is to apply mosquito repellants, cover exposed skin, avoid areas that have stagnant water and keep stored water covered.

USD 43Bn development project approved

According to this news report, Emaar, the largest real estate development firm in the gulf, will develop 2 of Karachis neighbouring islands, Bundal and Buddo at a total cost od USD 43 billion.

Emaar will hold 85% stakes to the project, while the remaining 15% will be held by the Port Qasim Authority in exchange for the real estate.

The project will take approximately 13 years to complete and will have housing, educational facilities, hospitals, malls and office complexes.

Question: With the extreme upsurge in the supply of “luxury housing”, is it not possible that Karachi may be faced with higher supply than the demand for such projects? Currently, according to some sources, Dubai is facing the same.

Bank robberies

This seemed to have been a month of bank robberies. Union Bank was robbed earlier this month and now the Allied Bank. In both cases armed men entered the building and held the staff and the customers hostage at gunpoint and looted 4 and 2.4 million respectively.

We’ve all seen the security measures at banks. Most of the relatively smaller branches have a solitary guard or two at best but they still deal in sizable amounst of money. How easy has it gotten to carry a gun inside a bank? or to loot one for that matter.


Ramzan is a month where donations to charity causes are at their max. Starting from deduction of zakat from bank accounts at the start of the month, giving charity is a continuing trend throughout the month, as people believe helping the poor with money would give them more sawaab in the holy month.

On the flip side, many shady characters also start capitalizing on this phenomena trying to get donations in the names of various ’causes’ such as through mobile welfare trusts and who ultimately have no accountability. Over the years, its been seen on numerous occasions that donations find their ways in the pockets of various well off people, financing their new cars, overseas vacations and what not.

So how do you figure out who to give to? Because afterall, we all need to have the ‘feel good’ feeling of giving charity and getting more of our lords blessings. My solution… donate to either Eidhi foundation or The Citizens Foundation. Atleast they have some credibility. Your solution?


A couple of days back, i got pulled over by the sindh police for the *most* ridiculous reason EVER!

me: koi masla hai janab?
him: license and registration dikhao.
me: sure *handing it over*
*inspecting and then after asking for the usual information*
him: tumhara chalaan hoga
me: kyon?
him: tumhare seat covers buhut kaalay hain! andar nazar nahi aata! (Your car seat covers are TOO black, makes ur interior dark).
(Note: i dont even have tinted windows).


Thankfully, i got freed in just 40 bucks, but still, this just goes to prove that all they need is money, and even in the month of ramadhan, they’re not willing to let it go.

PTV, anyone?

Image Credit

People in karachi really like to watch TV. You can hardly find anyone who doesn’t. A line from THIS link got my attention and I wonder if any one really watches PTV now given the fact that we have so many private channels with their positive and negative aspects. It would be interesting to know if people do watch particular programs specific to that channel. For example viewers go for ARY, GEO,AAJ,CNBC in list when its about news & current affairs. Then there are music channels and general channels. What you look for when you choose a channel?. What is your criteria when you judge channels?. Do you ever feel these channels are contributing good or bad into society.How often you discuss them among friends and family members?. Is there any difference between what people in Karachi watch and what the rest of the country is watching?. What men in karachi and women in karachi prefer to watch these days?.There are many questions but categorizing would be good idea.

These are the two lines I was referring to :
” Nowadays, it is generally acknowledeged that PTV’s market has been reduced to nearly nil, except for people in the rural areas of Pakistan were they cannot afford cable TV “

As no one (assuming safely) watches all programs on every channel. It would be great if you can point out what to look for & what not to watch. If any one can mention any program regarding Karachi it would be great.

The plight of Clifton

Seems like Clifton is still having issues after the great downpour last month.

A distressed citizen writes, “I am a citizen from Clifton. I wish to tell my fellow Karachittes that we are now constantly facing the problem of overflowing gutters. This has resulted in the breaking down of roads in the streets. We have poured dozens of complaints to the union council nazims in our areas who never seem to be at their offices. We recently got to know that one of them is away on a trip to UK. So far nothing has been done to solve our problem. I wish to know who else is facing these problems….”

So, what else is overflowing in what part of Karachi?

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