Monday, June 8, 2009


For a country that's supposedly at war, its most populated city Karachi, is serene. The weather is warm, sunny and humid, traffic is at its peak and people go about their daily business with cheerful apathy, oblivious to the suffering of fellow countrymen and women in the north. 

The wedding season will begin soon, once students' are through with their final exams. Millions of rupees will be spent on lavish arrangements, jewelry, outfits, food and gifts. There will be music, singing, dancing and fun. Kids will attend summer camps and take swimming and music lessons while older siblings will hang out at the numerous cafes and coffee shops and take exotic trips abroad. Mums will attend kitty parties and dads will play golf or go to the club.  

Somewhere in an obscure part of the country, several children will become orphans, men will lose their lives and women will forfeit their honor and dignity to support their families. A few million have already been made homeless and are now battling heavy monsoon rains in addition to scorching heat in the makeshift tent camps for the Internally Displaced People. I realized I don't like the term IDP- it's desensitizes us to reality... 

The contrast between the haves and the havenots in Pakistan is amazing, scary and ultimately depressing...  

The other day, I was listening to a commercial on the radio, "Bijli bachaein, mustaqbil barhaein" (conserve electricity, salvage the future) vocalized by little kids (apparently, this has a greater psychological impact on listeners). KESC is also publishing full page ads in DAWN encouraging consumers to conserve. I think it's a step in the right direction but it would be nice if they would put another 5000 MW online by the end of the year... :p

My mom took me shopping for summer clothes... Women of all ages in Karachi are now wearing looooong kameezes (almost down to the ankles) with culottes (a split or divided skirt developed for horseback riding so that women could sit astride a man's saddle rather than riding side-saddle). Dupattas are no longer part of the "modern" Pakistani woman's attire... Skinny fifteen-year olds can pull off "the look", but it does NOT suit sixty-something year old aunties with multiple tummy tires. 

I also went to the police station in Kharadar for fingerprinting (a prerequisite for my visa application). It was my first time in a police station in Pakistan... the officers were surprisingly polite and efficient and gave me Surf excel to wash the ink off my hands.

Now, back to work in Abu Dhabi... (which was actually known as Umm Dhabi until they changed the name). 

No comments:

Post a Comment