Stories about car

Pakistanis, the ‘ustad’ mechanic isn’t always right!

We, as a nation, have one trait that dominates our behaviour in almost every walk of life and that is to follow the crowd. We’d rather do what everyone else is doing instead of using our common sense, even if the majority is wrong. In local terms, we call this trait bhair chaal (follow the crowd). Unfortunately, we do the same when it comes to dealing with cars. Our decisions are almost always hijacked by the opinions of other people; people who have little or no information about cars and yet, they do not refrain from commenting on what they don’t know. And ...

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Of Ghani’s greed and our gullibility

Greed is a disease that infects us all and there are plenty of scoundrels in Pakistan who take innocent people for a ride. However, as people have become more aware of these scams and are less gullible now, these lowlifes have evolved and become more sophisticated. What I will narrate below is perhaps one of the most high-tech and elaborated scams I have come across so far. I, myself, was about to fall prey to this fraudulent scheme and hence I know about its logistics first-hand. Fortunately, we had the common sense to understand, at an early stage, that something was wrong with the scheme ...

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Is it a crime in Pakistan for a boy to drop a girl home?

A few days ago, as a friend was dropping me back home after dinner; we were pulled aside by the cops on main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz road in Defence, Karachi. No dark corner or shady alley but while driving smack in the middle of a bustling road. While we pulled over the car, the men in uniform, (who in all likelihood belonged to the Darakshan police station since the area falls under that jurisdiction) asked my friend to get out of the car. As expected, he was asked to produce the required ‘kaaghzaat’ and give details of our whereabouts. Upon inspection and failing ...

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Help, I am a pedestrian!

While walking in Lahore, I stepped onto the footpath like any other pedestrian. I had only walked for five minutes when I realised that being a pedestrian in Pakistan is the saddest thing that can happen to a person. Apart from the government, that waves away the concerns of pedestrians quite often, car owners also make sure that things are not easy for those walking on the road. This wasn’t the first time I had walked down the street. In fact, I have been a pedestrian for eight years now. I have always been an outdoor person and hence, I enjoy walking and ...

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Honda CR-Z or Toyota Prius, which hybrid car should you buy?

Hybrid is a term used to describe a combination of two or more distinctive things, aiming to accomplish a common objective. By this definition, a hybrid car is a fuel-efficient vehicle with two motors – a gasoline-powered motor and an electric motor. The purpose behind combining two kinds of motors is to use their combined strengths and reduce inefficiencies, both in the vehicle as well as in the environment. Hybrid cars are considered better than conventional cars since they are fuel-efficient, require oil changes less frequently and are environment friendly. With fuel prices at an all-time high, most car owners have major concerns over their ...

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Karachi Sea View: The sun, the sea and … harassment by the police?

A friend of mine was visiting from Lahore and asked me to show him the beach in Karachi. So, on a nice Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2013, I took him to the Clifton beach. He had never seen the beach before and was quite excited. Two of our other friends also accompanied us. I parked my car in the service lane by the beach and we started walking along the promenade. My friend purchased some souvenirs made from seashells for his family and as we were walking back towards our car, we were greeted by three men wearing white shalwar kameezs’. One of the ...

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Begging: Pakistan’s new profession for kids?

They keep navigating from one car to another, knocking at your car windows and doors until you pay attention to them. This is the time when we are waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. They make sure their appearance is seen and not ignored. They are adamant and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Every summer I come down to Pakistan to spend time with my grandparents, and on my way home from the airport, I feel disheartened looking at these children navigating between cars. These are the handicapped young children on the streets of Pakistan asking for alms. The secret of getting ...

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Remembering Paul Walker, our Fast & Furious hero

December 1, 2013 - 8:30 am I woke up Sunday morning, dreading the day that was going to be full of guests very soon. I had a busy day ahead of me and all I could think of doing was lazing around in bed, not bothering with anything in the world. Knowing, however, that I couldn’t do that, I struggled to move the warm embrace my blanket insisted on giving me.  December 1, 2013 - 8:30 pm The last few guests moved from the dining room, into the TV lounge for green tea before they (finally) made an exit. Whilst serving them hot cups ...

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I witnessed murder in Karachi

Last week, someone was murdered very close to my house and a friend of mine witnessed the crime. Three men mugged my friend and then asked the person in the next car to give them her phone. She resisted. They pulled her out and shot her dead, just like that.   Two nights ago, while I was still reeling from the shock of this incident, I witnessed two murders myself. Two friends and I were on our way home after dinner. We took the Nursery Bridge to drop a friend and right when we turned from Allahwali Chowrangi we heard gun shots. Terrified, ...

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Security checks: Why are military (looking) men and women exempt?

My husband and I had the dubious fortune of visiting a government office recently. Before we entered we were stopped at a security barrier as usual. My husband has a martial air about him, it seems, because they often mistake him for an army officer. In Lahore, that’s useful.  Not one to be left behind, I too can produce my alter ego when required, you know, as though there’s something smelly under my nose, like Mrs Malfoy, and that’s useful too. The security guard took one look at us two stiff necks in the back seat and his resolution ...

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