By Dr. M Mansoor Mohiuddin
Do huftey ka safarnama.
No matter what you hear, Karachi usi tarah zindah hey jis tarah aap ko yaad hoga. Do Crore key shehar main beshak loog her din mar rahe hain magar zindagi ki rawani main koi kumi nahi hey. Restaurants usi tarah bharey hain aur bazaar main wohi chehal pehal hey. In the two weeks I was there we didn’t lose power for even one minute. Mujhe do din lagey apney “induced” khauf ko nikalney main phir wohi surhkain theen aur wohi awarapun.
There is a parallel economy that is running Karachi and perhaps the country. This parallel economy is very strong and very visible. Karachi ki surhkon pe her kism ki garhi nazar aa jai gi Ferrari, Porsche, 7 series BMW, Range Rover, you name it and it is there. Haan her garhi ke peeche there is a 4X4 truck loaded with armed guards. Her ghar key samne guard karha hey. Shru shru masjid jane se bhi dur luga tha magar baad main bhari hui masjidain dekh kar wo bhi jata raha.
Restaurants main “Kolachi” number le gaya. Na sirf khana acha hey, ambiance bhi zbardast hey. I am told that both Kolachi and BBQ Tonight do 80 lakhs/day business. Bundoo Khan has lost its touch but BBQ Tonight has maintained its standard. Upscale restaurants/ cafe like Elantro, Roosters, China Kitchen, flo, Butlers have great décor but food is just okay. 14th Street Pizza is competing with Pizza Hut. Bahadurabad ki chaat is still the same. Theley ka bun kabab for Rs 50 is unbeatable. Thandi botul ka wohi maza hey aur Pathan ki chai main bhi wohi masti hey. Port Grand ki trip hulki barish ki nazar ho gai. Launch main crabbing ka bhi who maza nahin raha. This business is dying down.
Galioon ki cricket bhi rawan dawan hey. Turkish dramoon ney naak main dum kiya hua hey. New malls are close to international standards with many foreign chain stores but you are greeted by ukroon baithey huay drivers before you enter the mall especially Dolmen Mall. Hard to find aasteen on designer ladies shalwar kameez. Sometimes even the gala. Defence key her patthar key neechey se ek designer nikalay ga.
Traffic is still amazingly crazy but having seen even worse traffic in some of the other countries of the world and at times in the DC area, I had no complaints. You see pollution but don’t feel it because your windows are up due to fear of luterey.
The election activity has not yet started. No posters , banners or jhundey yet. NA 250 (Defence) seat will be closely watched with Kushbakht Shujaat (MQM), Najeeb (PTI) Naimatullah (JI) Sister of Aafia Siddiqui and possibly Musharraf contesting.
Got a very positive impression of Civil Hospital and Dow. Lots of improvements are visible. A new multistory building is being constructed at Civil Hospital with a new Emergency Room and urgent care facilities. Child Life Foundation is doing great work at Civil Hospital and InshaAllah my class of 89-2 will start a project with them in the next few months. The MS of Civil Hospital Dr Saeed Qureshi seems to be a devoted person and is doing a good job.
The bad you know about Karachi is still there and you hear about it every day. I just wanted to convey key Zinda hai Karachi Zinda hey.
Dr. M Mansoor Mohiuddin