Botal Gali is not very welcoming on a Sunday night, or on any other nights of the week for that matter. For one, the feel of the place is quite foreboding at best what with all the shops in the narrow street all shut down and your mind wreaking havoc thinking about all the Mary Janes who could get abducted here. In fact, given the state of the said territory, one may even find themselves briefly worried for the cosmopolitan’s Peter Parkers, what with all the bikers swarming about the completely shut place like it’s nobody’s business.
My brief patrolling visit to the place allowed me to identify how the place has totally gone down from being one of the busiest places in the area where one could find all sorts of bottles to a place where the most likely visitors tend to be people looking for a quiet spot away from all the hustle bustle in Saddar. For anyone who wants to throw in the “choice of time” arguement to defend how Botal Gali is still a happening place should be told that the rest of the area, in stark contrast was found giving too hoots about how late it was in the night or was going to be, for it was only 9:30 P.M.
The popular opinion blames the surge in plastic bottle usage for the dismal state of the place since it has supposedly diverted the demand for bottles away from the gali. Even though, it’s kind of disheartening to find an addition to one’s “things that used to be better before” list, one can’t help but notice that there is more opportunity to explore now that the street is untainted by the market-place commotion.
While the more popular streets were alight with a frenzy that only food streets seem to bring out in Karachiites, Botal Gali appeared to go quieter by the minute making my presence feel unwelcome as the seconds in my imaginary wristwatch ticked by. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought it was one of those crime scenes they show on TV that get closed for public while the police investigates.
Common sense dictates that one be wary of how one moves about in the area, yet the unforeseen fate of the place calls on the travellers to stop and get to know the now no-longer famous, Botal Gali. For chances are, no one else will.