Archive for December, 2008

Blood Camp on 10th and 11th Jan 09 in Karachi

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Story of The Brute of a Father.

 The hospital room is dark, the thirteen year old boy in his bed, his right eye is wrapped with a fresh bandage, his arms and face purple at different spots indicating injuries, surely in pain he looks at me with one barely open eye, and remains’ silent.

 His father, a seemingly gentleman, educated, masters in commerce, businessman by profession, seated on a chair by the bed moves his gaze from his son to greet me, with a feeble smile and warmly shaking his hands he says ” Kids these day, they get into all sorts of fights and end us, up in trouble”. A slight anger stir the calm of my face for a split of a moment, I respond him back with a stern cold look. He still thinks I don’t know the story, but I know it all in details. He slowly gets up and quietly leaves the room. A calm surfaces from the pale of his son’s face.  (more…)

Wedding waste

The winter month of december is ending in its full and nippy glory here in Karachi and the never ending series of weddings just keeps going on and on and on. Not only are the residents of this city being made to suffer due to 12 hour load shedding in these cold and desperate times but they also have to lie awake listening to band baja’s, firing and fire works of each and every capacity accompanied by loud and vlugar Indian music and dhols in the middle of the night.

When will this all stop? Each year everyone who is going to get married does their best to schedule a date in this month and then proceeds to indulge in the most possible waste of money that they can manage. It starts from exorbitant amounts spent on clothes and jewelry to crazy decorations to the biggest waste of them all, the food that is leftover after these weddings. I remember a time when 3-4 dishes would be good enough for any palette but unfortunately in the race to outdo one another we have turned elegance to debauchery at the buffet.

Have we ever paused to think what any family has to go through these days to manage a “decent” wedding for their offspring? Not only is a hell of a lot of food just thrown away but this is being done in a time where most of us cannot even afford to waste anything at all. The recent and insane rise in prices of edibles in this city means that caterers which used to charge 250 to 300 rs a head do not even blink in offering the same menu for 500-650 rs a head.

Cities all over Pakistan have adopted the one dish rule for example Lahore and Faisalabad where this is being enforced to a large extent by the law enforcement and marriage halls. Why can we not implement such a law for Karachi which limits not only the number of dishes kept in a wedding banquet, but also the amount of noise one can generate and uptill what hours.

If we can control the amount of food consumption and wastage in our weddings perhaps this will reduce the artificial levels of demand in the local market and bring down the prices of edibles to the benefit of us all.

I appeal to the city government to make and enforce the one dish rule as well as a noise pollution rule for us Karachites and enforce it with its full power to ensure both the regular supply of edibles in the local market and a peaceful nights sleep for all of us, even if it is in complete darkness.

Punishment to those breaking this rule should be to consume their offered buffet for one week straight while listening to the nerve racking sounds of pappu can’t dance salaa!

Karachi – Early morning fog

Bundle of thanks to friend Asif Khan for pics. My immediate reaction was “Heck no, this isn’t Karachi, or is it?” . See if you can figure out difference places in these pics.

Karachi International Book Fair

It was the first day of the 4th Karachi International Book Fair, and a fair number of people turned up to browse through the goodies on offer. This year, the numbers of stall were a lot less than the previous couple of years. There were some a couple of Indian publishers but a lot less than one usually sees at such an event. The even was curiously sponsored by Zong (Why would a book fair be sponsored by a cell phone company) who were marketing their service pretty aggressively. It will remain open for another 4 days, do go and get the goodies, most of them are on discounted prices.

Visitor signing Zong's comment board.

Visitor signing Zong's comment board.

Bird of Prey

Bird of prey

Bird of prey

Rarely you see a bird in a crowded shopping area (in this case: Bahadurabad). However, this did happen and camera caught the bird of prey perched majestically on a ‘perfect’ automobile.

Credit: Omair Iqbal

Load-Shedding Continues to Haunt Karachi.

 It seems to be so that, load shedding has become an all season brute for the citizens of Karachi the bare with even in this season when the pleasant weather insures the air conditioners around the city be at rest and the heaters too are not even out of their storage boxes, which means that consumption of electricity in the city is at it’s minimum these days.

 We in Gulshan have been experiencing at around four to five episodes of power load shedding, which sums up to at least 6 – 8 hours of power outage for each 24 hours. The worst part is that the timings of this un announced load shedding is totally random, insuring to cause maximum inconvenience  

 

 According to this news report published in The News on the 24 of December, the KESC spokes person Ayesha Eirabie attributed the load shedding to frequent tripping of lines, cable faults and routine bad management.

 

The news item also states:

 ” It is learnt that two units of the KESC’s Bin Qasim Power Plant have been closed while those functioning are also not performing up to their maximum output. The KESC spokesperson maintained that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) were not providing the required electricity either owing to their own maintenance and repair requirements.”

 

I wonder if this routine continues what will be the hours of load shedding once we are over with winters…

Where’s the rest of them dummies?

This was a photograph I snapped outside a store on Zamzama, whilst trying to navigate my way through the one-way streets. The lower portions of these dummies were just standing around, quite freaky until I realized how they were probably just waiting to be picked up… ;-)

(This could technically be categorized under the category or theme of “Breaking News” but then I didn’t want to catch people off guard!)

War rumours – Who is hearing what?

Not sure what others hearing but i am hearing (and reading) war rumours whose authenticity is not yet verified. Two incidents that made me make this post was 1. Saw 10-12 Huge Military trucks carrying small tanks, armoured vehicles and equipment last night on Shahra-e-Faisal. I immediately rang Raja who was also at SF then but didnt have a camera. The qafila was moving towards Karsaz ( i was at Nursery then) and 2. This this afternoon i heard a PAF plan sound coming from some distance on SF again (verified through BBC though it doenst mention KHI). I have been told by some CS people that people are requesting national songs as call back tunes on mobile. I also have some inside stories but wont share just to escape creating tension without much substance. Karachi being the main city, is very sensitive to any such event, if ever come GOD FORBID. What others hearing ?

Benazir Bhutto Coin

State Bank of Pakistan here in Karachi announced that it will issue about 300,000 special 10-rupee coins. The coin will read in Urdu, “Daughter of the East, Benazir Bhutto”. I shall reserve my comments for 27th when the coin will be issued but i would like to know what readers think on this. Previously we had only Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal and Fatima Jinnah in the list.

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