Archive for August, 2007

Karachi has a history

I wonder how this article escaped my notice before. It was published in Dawn’s The Magazine on August 05th by Azmat Ansari, who calls out to people to realize & protect the history. The article follows:

Imagine hairstylists and dentists practising their respective professions 7,000 years ago in areas which today form Pakistan. A 7,000-year-old handmade machine for drilling holes into weak teeth and then filling the holes with resin is still in use. The chert-stone bit of the drill machine unearthed from Mehrgarh rotates 250 times per second. The modern drills rotate 500 times per second. In 7,000 years we have gained only 250 revolutions. What is stopping us from calling Pakistan the ‘first home of dentistry’?

If we look at the issue closely we will be justified in calling Pakistan the first home of women hairstylists as well. Almost seven millenniums ago, women in Mehrgarh wore brass frames on their shoulders with two long vertical spikes on either side for holding strands of hair upright, allowing their shoulders to stay bare so that their skin below their napes could feel the breeze. The women at the time also used tongs and clips to curl their hair. Some women wore wigs, perhaps the ones who had gone bald. We know all of this from the figurines that have been dug out from Mehrgarh.

If we want to learn more from these figurines, then it would appear that men wore what looked like neckties — if not all of them wore them, then perhaps the royalty did. This should be food for thought for local tie-manufacturing firms. They could name a new brand of ties as Mehrgarh neckties to mark Visit Pakistan Year – 2007. While they do this, they will be saying that Europe and the rest of the world woke up to the idea of neckties millenniums later. Pakistan is the place where the concept of neckties was born.

Karachi-Hyderabad Air Service Launched

And with it, another player in the domestic air travel business in the country. Thankfully, we now have a little more choice in who to fly with.

The airline, Aircraft Sales and Services (ASSL), will use a 48-seater
twin-engine aircraft on the route that links two domestic transit hubs
with a lesser developed city [Khi-Hyd-Lhr], an initiative proposed in the new draft
aviation policy to promote intercity traveling.

A very good step, and i hope the rates and competition will make it a much better market in the future and we’ll see more entrants in this market who’ll be here to provide services and not just to disappear like BhojaAir and such.

Source: Dawn

Where In Karachi # 108

You know the drill. Guess away!

Credits and answer to follow.

Picture-taker (and you know who you are) is not allowed to guess.

Petrol Strike – Preparation

As karachiites, the one thing we are always ready for is disruption of normal life. Be it strikes, natural calamities or long traffic jams. The same kind of preparation was seen last night where a lot of my fellow city dwellers, like myself, decided to head off the impending disruption of fuel unavailability by filling up their tanks.

I had known about the strike and had thought about getting the tanks filled asap very early in the day. However, daily life intervened and i couldn’t get to a pump till atleast 1 AM. And i was in for a rude shock! Each pump i went to had lines 20 deep! For both CNG as well as Petrol! This one Total pump on Dalmia was so backed up that cars were blocking main road traffic. The same was true for the Shell pump at Askari.

Since i had to get both CNG and petrol, it took me another 1.5 HOURS of standing in line before i could finally head off home. I seriously hope this strike doesn’t go too long, not only because of fuel for cars, but also because a lot of us depend on petrol for our electricity needs as well nowadays.

On a side note, company operated pumps of PSO are like to be open for business, and so is this one PSO pump just off the karsaz flyover.

When did you get your tank filled? And how much time did it take you?

Another WLL Service

Worldcall has banners up in various parts of the city announcing the availability of their wireless local loop service which was anticipated since May 2007. The advertisements say free local call, free nationwide calls (presumably on their own network), 85 paisa per minute to US/UK and 10 paisa/min for WLL based Internet.

CDMA based WLL services have already seen earlier players like Telecard and PTCL and have drawn a mixed response in terms of service standard quality. The ‘free on-net’ calling phenomenon which was triggered by Telecard (and is now being followed by Worldcall too) has found some loyal subscribers. I regularly spot shop owners in various localities of the city keeping a ‘Go CDMA’ phone as part of their communication arsenal and most of the time, the end user is doing the ‘least cost routing’ – finding the service that provides the cheapest service to reach the particular end number.

However, with a very high/healthy tele-density that is regularly being cited in anything good is to be said about Pakistan and a stiff competition and friction between DSL providers, it looks like that Worldcall as a late entrant in this digital communication race in Karachi would be having a tough time at best.

Warning to SMS Spammers!

A very good step by the PTA. I, for one, am tired of receiving spam messages, especially offering my loans!

Anyone up to translating it for those of us who cant read urdu?

Source: TelecomPK

In other blogs: The Bohri Bazaar tragedy

A doctor tells what he went through witnessing the Bohri Bazaar bomb blast back in the 80’s. This is one of the best posts I have read on All Things Pakistan.

Drink Satto. has once again started to grip up the city, it’s not too hot but hot enough to make you sweat while you are on the streets in the day. Along with the heat several drinks make their appearance on the streets of our city and I am sure many of you have already tried out most of them but there is one which not many of you may be familiar with.

Car-achi #31: Indepence Day

“The Azadi car”
This might be a little old but it’s still August, teh month to celbrate “AZADI”. Thought of posting it before August goes.

Traffic:Three Things

1.Two things cannot occupy the same space. If you see a car travelling in a particular traffic lane, your car cannot coexist in that lane, with that car at the same time. Please do not try and squeeze that car. Metal will not “squish” to accommodate your car.

2.Inching your car, when stopped at a red light, will not make the light turn green any faster. Please stay where you are, you only block the path for the other cars going across or incoming traffic (when turning right).

3.The steering wheel was created as such so that humans could control the car. Do not allow your car to “drift” from one lane to another. If you want to change lanes, indicate, check behind you and then change lanes. Let it be a definite decision. Such opinionated people here in Karachi, decision making should come easily to them all. Allowing your car to sway from one half lane to the other shows the driver as weak-minded and unable to control the car.

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