You know you’ve been a procrastinator when you set out to explore your native city and feel like a tourist. That’s exactly how I felt driving to PECHS in Karachi this Friday afternoon. The sun was blazing overhead but that’s unnecessary information for it’s Karachi and who are we kidding? The “Kaala Pull” as the driver called it stood there like a bridge between two different worlds: one, the more coveted sibling, the other – well..
Thanks to the bumper-to-bumper traffic, the conversation in the car was actually the only thing that seemed to be getting ahead and maybe of itself.
“Do you notice how it’s suddenly very polluted? In Defence …” and the rest of the conversation mimicked the outbursts of overseas relatives who are found throwing in sentences about how where they live is inherently superior when they arrive once a year to either bid goodbye to their ailing parents or to attend one of those desi styled weddings.
In their defense, they aren’t much far away from the truth and neither were we. It did get more polluted as we crossed the bridge, or the foggy air that stood overheard seemed to have gotten darker. Billboards, bikes and untimely honks stayed as faithful companions throughout the the entire “journey”. For a journey it was. It took us almost half an hour to go around one of the market streets while tempting burger deals mocked at our rozedaar selves, sweaty uncles continued to peer inside the car, Aamir Liquat stared back from one of the countless billboards and this rickshaw almost collided against our car but (God bless the immobility of flat tyres) decided against it.
(Written as part of a class assignment for a course called “Mediated Cities”)