Archive for May, 2007

In other blogs #5: Karachi & the Existence of God

Karachi is a proof for the existence of God. Without a merciful, compassionate, caring, and forgiving Lord, Karachi and Karachians would have long disappeared.
[No, not in the rigorous, logical sense of “proof.” Karachi and its people are beyond logic.]

Its always interesting to note what how visitors perceive are city as. The above observation is that of Shyakh Faraz Rabbani, a researcher in Islamic law who answers religious questions and teaches at the popular website Sunni Path. He is in Karachi these days learning under Maulna Taqi Usmani’s guidance and maintains the regularly updated blog Seeker’s Digest. What he suggests isn’t exactly a compliment, but you can hardly deny its accuracy, can you?

Fire in building at M. A. Jinnah Road

As has been commented elsewhere on KMB, a fire had broken out in a residential cum commercial complex opposite Radio Pakistan on main M.A. Jinnah road late last night, and though no one lost their life, several fire fighters and a few locals suffered minor injuries. It is not clear yet what caused the fire in the first place, but on lookers speculated a short circuit in one of the foam shops or possibly an ignited cigarette -the road there, according to locals, is habitually occupied by “charsis“- may have been the cause. As it is with all things in this country, an inquiry has been ordered, which means that we’re unlikely ever to find out what the real cause was.

Say No To Tobacco

1100195497-1.jpgToday is International No Tobacco Day. On March 31st each year the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative (TBI) organises events world wide in order to “raise awareness about the existence of a great variety of deadly tobacco products in order to help people get accurate information, remove the disguise and unveil the truth behind tobacco products – traditional, new, and future.” In this vein, efforts are also underway in Karachi, something I noticed personally, were these adverts by the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as the city district government in today’s Express.

Where is the progress?

For those who think recent events in the city had no effect on the development work whatsoever, here is an eye opener.

It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out. Investors keep an eye on the happenings in an area before making a decision. If there is uncertainity in the air they will not think twice before backing off. No one likes to take worthless risks. A single day of strike causes unrecoverable losses. Add that to rallies, protests, power cuts, traffic jams, and you know why inflation is exponentially increasing. Everyone tries to make up for the losses by increasing the prices, and working middle-class suffers the most.

It cracks me up to the core when I hear authorities claiming that economy is thriving and investment is booming. They might be right, but can anyone explain why prices are sky high despite all the progress and foreign investment?

The Internet & Blog censorship scenario in on going events

Update 1 : Just found this BBC link about journalist story.

First read this on a side note:- Latest is, three journalist from Karachi have received letters along with 3 bullets inside. It triggered protests by journalist in different cities across country. The message in letters is same: They have been asked to shut their mouth for good. There is hardly any doubt about where it would have come from.

Media played a crucial role in recent events which was also a long-awaited & due role. Gov, for obvious reasons is not happy & is using its old & outdated but yet effective tactics. Many people turn to Internet for news & info apart from channels & we could see websites full of content on current events but due to many factors this medium may hardly be able to influence a reasonable percentage of readers.

I received dubious SMS messages last week. Later I found out that it was some friends, who read KMB & decided to tease me, & on going events helping them as catalyst. While my fears immediately disappeared in thin air but I do remember the story about the Egyptian Blogger, put in jail by gov. Given the fact that this is Pakistan, worse is expected if someone get really pissed off in gov.

Does anyone have any idea on how much gov looks upon internet websites? Given the amount of deafness it shows & its Sate-of-denial policy I hardly see any reason if we are ever read by gov officials or taken notice of. But at the same time the famous blog ban episode (Also here) is still fresh in memories. Is there any chance we ever see KMB feel the heat too?

How much bloggers should be careful when writing their posts?. What should be the ratio of sacrificing reality vs taking precautionary approach or as TM asked us on KMB email list , to be “low in profile” for some time.

Suraj ko Charagh’s around 630 in the evening. The sun is still out. A little overcast but the visibility is very good. Certainly no need to turn on the headlights. Yet, the street lights are lit up. Meanwhile, some neighborhood in the city is braving the power cuts.

Where in Karachi # 95

Everyone knows that if you are a true karachiite, you dont know the names of the roads. Instead you know places by landmarks. So i thought we’d do something different again, how many of you can guess where this road is?


New, faster elevators in HBP

How many of you have seen the new elevators installed in the Habib Bank Plaza building?

The elevators have a numeric panel outside (instead of the usual call button). You press the number of the floor you want to go to and it displays the elevator number on the screen (there are 6 elevators in HBP). Then you wait for that elevator and it takes you to your desired floor. There are no buttons inside the elevator so you cannot change your mind once you are inside. And the elevators are super fast.

I think these elevators are great, as they automatically assign people going on the same floor to same elevator, thus balancing the load on elevators and saving everyone’s time.

I saw the same elevator in National Bank building on IIC road.

Car-achi # 28

Credits : Aizaz Ahmed, Any idea about the model?

A Tale of Tailors

Desingers at work...

Hamid (in backrow) is a young, talkative, but hard working man in his late 20s. He is tailor by profession. I also give him my clothes. The only problem here is that he’s not exactly very professional. He’s hardworking, diligent, and sincere to his work even, but it’s just that his concentration span is so limited, its just altogether erases his ability to gain 100% customer satisfaction (if there is such a thing, Hamid would probably argue otherwise). But this is something of a plague that is present, to varying extents, more or less, in all of Karachi’s tailors.

Actually, if you think of it that way, lack of professionalism is plague that is present in all kinds of professions through out this country of ours, not just Karachi or in just the tailoring business, but since I’m talking about tailoring, for the moment, I’ll stick to that.

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