one more bites the dust..

you know karachi is changing when something you saw when you were a kid can no longer be seen by any children you might ever have. one of the prominent fixtures on m a jinnah road, pehlavi restaurant at the corner where you turn for elphi (or zaibunissa as its called now) has finally given way to a newer establishment.

my grandparents stayed in the building over the restaurant when they migrated to karachi in 1947. in fact, the pehlavi restaurant people are the only reason that building (or part of it) is still standing as they were the ones who moved the court to get a stay order against its demolition. i remember the restaurant was a personal landmark to me as a kid when i used to come to karachi only in the summer vacations, and indeed still was as the turning i have to take to hit saddar. not seeing it today left me with an eerie feeling of nostalgia.

my generation has seen karachi quadruple in size. it has seen the rock formation at paradise point when there was still that slab thing on top of the two pillars. we’ve seen the days when all ambulances used to be suzuki pickups with canvas decks. we’ve seen the days when it was the army and not the navy who guarded the quaid’s mazar and the days when shezan ampis was considered a “classy” dining spot. the days that zamzama had nothing to do with food and the best coffee was the one you got at the airport (which itself did not have jinnah terminal).

its changed so much but its still home. that counts for a lot.

24 Comments so far

  1. K.A. (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 5:29 am

    True. Recently I was telling my mother that as we have heard of many things from earlier times or seen some hand drawn images, our children will never hear a cow bell as we did when the herd used to pass from behind our house. Nor the calls of various vendors and ‘mobile services’ such as having scissors and knives sharpened or stove and pressure cookers serviced. Similarly, landmarks, buildings, homes all change. These things die with time and only those who experienced them realize this passage. Sometimes they do pass these memoirs in some way or another to the next generations otherwise both the memories and their owner pass away together in due course of time. This is how it is meant to be.

    For me there was the Cheel Kothi at the intersection of Tariq Road and Allama Iqbal Road. Its presence always signified that home was near. It is there no more nor is the home near it as we moved away. I miss that house, where I spent over first three decades of my life. Each nook and cranny is still vivid. Faces of my late father and uncles and how they cared for me and where and how I learned not only many things from them but about life itself. These memories are in my heart and a reflection of them on videos and photos. Great post XeI.

  2. anon (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 6:23 am

    Don’t mean to offend xill, but the expression is “another one bites the dust”. The post is excellent by the way.

  3. zeeshan (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 7:12 am

    these kind of posts makes me go back yearssssss
    and recalling those beautiful memories. which is
    not a pleasant experience because no matter what
    you do that time wont come back and that feeling
    of helplessness is really painful
    so please don’t make a post like that. it hurts really!!!!

  4. Captain's Log (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 7:53 am

    Sorry to say but I find such posts waste of space. Have you ever experience nani/dadi telling you “un kay zamanay main char anai ka aik liter doodh ata tha”. Those stories are truly boring and you are doing now the same thing. What’s gone is gone. You have much better alternatives now. I am not sure why does people want to live in past. For the same reason, I don’t ever feel like going back to Karachi. My mom always asks me do I miss Nihari or what ever and my reply is always “No,I don’t” and she could not just believe me. I have even now started to forget the names/faces of people/places but it does not bother me at all. I have new places/faces to keep remember.

  5. yo yo (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 8:00 am

    Great post man…
    I have been noticing the same thing. My grand dad changed his house recently. I had been visintg that house for the past 25 years. It even had a guava tree :(

    Ohh man what can we do..things move on..Time to grow up I guess :(

  6. yo yo (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 8:54 am

    CAPTAIN..a bitter but honest approach. You are right living in the past has no meaning. Maybe thats why we reading the quran not to love the duniya too much because things will end anyways.

  7. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    @ ka and yo yo

    thank you.

    @ anon:

    i once read a ghazal by jigar muradabadi which had a footnote after a particular word saying “mein hamesha is lafz ki tanees istaimaal karta hoon kyunke mujhe is ki tazkeer nahin pasand”. brutally arrogant, but on this occasion i’ll follow his example. i like it better this way. :)

    seriously though, thanks for pointing out the error.

    @ zeeshan

    dude not all memories are bad. they’re just memories. and they form a large part of the person you are. cherish them.

    @ captain’s log

    that is certainly another way of looking at things. you’re entitled to you’re own point of view. i’m entitled to mine.

  8. IllusionFS (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 9:16 am

    Captain’s Log: Just curious how old you are. You mind telling?

  9. Faisal (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 10:13 am

    Captain’s log,

    Cynicism just does not befit you.
    What a bitter person you must be.
    One must always know where one is coming
    from to know where one is going.

  10. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:18 am

    K.A. So true man..

    Xill man, great great post. Maula Waris!!!!

    And Captain, just keep your f**kin mouth shut you dumb ass. Go F yourself

  11. SWA (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:34 am

    @ Xil: is this the building you are talking about?

    Has it really been destroyed???
    I hope not! The facades could have easily been saved and the whole building revamped from the interior.
    I am afraid slowly the whole past of Karachi, and its whole identity is going to be lost by unmindful development.

  12. Farhan (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:38 am

    yad hai mujhe
    wo 92 ki barish
    wo chiryun ka chehekna
    wo sark par churi chaqu wale ka naqara
    wo murghe ki bang
    wo glaliyun mai khelna
    ghar deer se jana
    computer , PS2 , PSP , Internet se begana
    wo bahar khelna
    wo dostun mai ghomna
    wo cheel wali khoti
    wo Fine house ke aage bus se utarna
    wo meelon pedal chalna
    wo rickshaw wale se jhagarna
    wo tange ki sawari
    wo burns road par iftari
    wo bun kabab khana
    wo bahadarabad par Limca urana
    yad hain mujhe mere bachpan ke dan
    pur kia mera bache in dino ko mehsus karsakeen ge
    kia wo Cable , net , Ps2 ke jungle ke chungal se nikal chaleen ge
    jahan kabhi hote the night match wo galiyan weran hai
    sarak abhi bhai hai pur us purani ghema ghemi se weran hai
    Burns Road eek yad , jata hum main aab Zamzama
    bachyun ke dekhta hun aur yad karta hun mai wo lamha
    wo burns road ke kabab , wo malik ki nehari
    bachyun ko aab naheen shaheye wo rawish purani
    wo cooperative market se eid ki kharidai
    wo lathe ki shalwar , boski ka kurta
    aaj kal ke kapre pehan kar dil hai dukhta
    aah wo bachpan ke din wo das sal pehle ki baateen
    aab reh gaya sab khiyalun mai wo mohabbat wo chahateen

  13. Anathema (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:45 am

    i know. i was going through pictures of 1993 when copper kettle was among the few standing structures at zamzama. have watched zamzama, phases 5 and 6 and onwards cget constructed in front of my eyes. there was only one petrol pump of PSO with teh old vision board, barren, sea gull restaurant and a few more barren structures at 26th street. there was barely a metalled road back then.

  14. Kar-Achi Battian (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 11:54 am

    @Captain’s Log
    You said
    “un kay zamanay main char anai ka aik liter doodh ata tha”

    I think you didnt listen to these stories carefully otherwise you would have enjoyed it.

    Because, in our Nani/Dadi’s time “Dodh Sair mein milta tha Liter main Naheen”

  15. Captain's Log (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 6:44 pm

    Thanks all for their love. I am overwhelmed.

  16. Concerned (unregistered) on November 6th, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

    Great post, but a little depressing, life changes too fast. I agree with Captain, i would rather not remember the past, not only becuase its not practical but also becuase I dont want to feel depressed.

    For example I still make it a point to drive by my old school whenever I am in Karachi and just looking at it leaves me empty inside. I have to stop doing that.

  17. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

    Ceoncerned, not everyone has a bad past:-)


    I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not.- Mark Twain

  18. Adnan K (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 7:00 pm


    You dumb F*(K! I dont care how old you are or where the F*(K you live now, it obviously hasnt helped you blend into your new place any better coz you sound like you still need to learn the NEW language youre still struggling to use. Youre a traitor and a Bastard! and I hope you never find a place to call HOME!

  19. Adnan K (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

    @ Adnan Siddiqi

    I think youve found a very apt quote, unfortuantely I doubt such subtlety will ever register with the asses of Captain’s kind.

  20. KhiTorPit (unregistered) on November 7th, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

    I disagree with
    @Captain, You are lying yourself as, if you would have started forgetting the names, faces and places you might not be coming here at KMB, it proves that you still love your origin, thats why you are here, so as we. I feel sorry about you if you are trying to forget the faces of your own ppl.
    @Zeeshan, Recalling beautiful memories is always pleasant and its not painful.
    @Yo Yo, Your example doesnt make sense, as we are not talking about ‘duniya’ its all about ‘remembering your past’.

    @Keep Walking & Adnan , Everybody have their own opinion. If you are not convinced with it you can debate on it instead of using those filthy words.

  21. ash (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 3:03 am

    Being nostalgic doesnt mean you want to regress or even go back. Its a reminder of where you have been. And to most people its a warm and fuzzy feeling.
    You are not obliged to feel the same but i am surprised that you’d come to karachi mb just to say you have no interest in karachi.
    What site did you think you were on? Kentucky metroblogs? :)

  22. Captain's Log (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 6:55 am

    Once again, thanks all for their love. I can’t take it any more. Help please :-)

    KhiTorPit, I come here to have some light fun, does not bother me if it were a Mumbai blog. I now don’t visit here very often but old visitors know who am I?

    By the way, I did not say that I do not have interest in Khi. My parents/siblings are there so I do care for the city.

    Illusion, my old friend, I would be 28. Midlife crisis I guess :-)

  23. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 8th, 2006 @ 9:52 am

    @AdnanK: Ok but it doesn’t mean that I’m agreeing with you and disagree with captain. Keeping in the mind few bits of Captain’s life he shared somewhere in the form of Ones and Zeros, I also believe in what Khalil Gibran said in “Sand and Foam”

    Remembrance is a form of meeting.
    Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.

  24. Concerned (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

    @Adnan Siddiqi

    Dude, I never said I had a bad past, my school days were the best days of my life (i guess it is the same for everyone). Its just that now its too complicated.

    The sad part is you cannot go back.

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