The horror of ‘the other side of the bridge’

Published: June 19, 2012
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I bet Hardees opening here was a real buzz kill for those who have never set foot near Nazimabad. GRAPHIC: ERUM SHAIKH

Phrases like, ‘Oh no! Your house is on ‘the other side of the bridge’,’ or ‘That side of the bridge is so far away,’ often frequent the regular Karachiite’s tongue. In fact, there is a general feeling of time wastage, shock, disgust, annoyance, frustration and condescension associated with ‘the other side of the bridge’ in Karachi.

Many of these chords ring at the mere mention of the bridge that connects the Defence side of Karachi to the rest of the city; the ‘other side’ of the city – the darker, scarier, gloomier side of the city.

Sheesh, the drama!

Here are a few things I have a problem with about this whole ‘other-side-of-the-bridge’ saga:

1. The eyes wide shut syndrome.

People living in Defence have the inherent perception that Karachi comprises just the ‘Defence’ side of the bridge.

“What is University road? Is that in Karachi?”

Seriously? Most of Karachi’s heritage lies on this side. You may want to book yourself a tour of ‘Karachi city’ and see for yourself.

2. The disgusting double standards.

“I can’t come to your place; it sounds very unfamiliar and far away from my home. Why don’t you come here instead?”

News flash! Your place sounds pretty far to me too; and technically, I’d have to journey all the way to you, covering the same distance. But you wouldn’t know that, would you? You have never really been out of ‘Karachi’ (read: Defence).

3. The exasperating excuses.

“You are used to coming here but we don’t ever go to your side.”

Why? Because your delicate, pedicured toe nails may not be able to take the scorching heat of this side of town? Why must you always presume that when we decide to hang out, it’s over to ‘the other side of the bridge’ where rainbows descend and the sun shines in cool, lemon yellow?

4. The new venture prejudice.

Boutiques, restaurants and other outlets prefer to first serve the Defence side of the bridge. Only once they have generated enough curiosity over this particular side will they come here as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Oh, thank you, your highnesses! We are ever so grateful. Please tell us, tell us how we can repay this generosity?

5. The non-delivery-area conundrum.

“Good afternoon! XXX Pizza place. How may I help you?”

“Hello, I need to place an order for a pepperoni pizza.”

“Where are you calling from, ma’am?”

“Karachi.You deliver in Karachi, right?”

“Yes, ma’am, what area?”

“Gulshan-e-Iqbal.”

“Oh. Sorry, ma’am, we only deliver in Zamzama.”

Click.

Ouch.

I guess that must be the whole of Karachi then, huh?

6. The non-availability of stock.

When you go to a boutique over the ‘sad’ side of the bridge and ask for a latest design that you had seen a friend sporting, you may get the following response:

“Sorry, ma’am, that design is only available at the Zamzama and Clifton outlets. Why don’t you try out these designs?”

This will, undoubtedly, be a design that practically everyone over that side of the bridge has already worn and disposed of.

Typical.

7. The where to dine problem.

A common argument among friends:

Friend over this side:

“Let’s go out, yaar?”

Friend over that side:

“Sure, let’s go out. How about Butlers? Or maybe Snog? Let’s try that out.”

Friend over this side:

“Hey, why do you always come up with places that are on your side only?”

Friend over that side:

“All the good places are on this side.”

Friend over this side:

Shrugs and accepts defeat.

8. The unequal pocket drain.

You spend thousands of rupees worth of gasoline just so that you can go over to that side to meet your friends. Contrarily, these on the other side happily await your arrival and wonder why you are broke and tired all the time.

9. The we-are-better-than-you attitude.

I have often been victim to jeers and remarks from my friends on the other side of the bridge about how limited my side of town is.

Guys, regardless of whether you think you are superior to me on not, the fact remains that Hardees decided we are better than you.

Case in point. I win.

Sana Ashraf

Sana Ashraf

A BBA student, majoring in Marketing from IBA. She is an occasional writer and will be graduating this year kick-starting her professional life. Her interests include reading fiction, blogs and articles, baking, and watching movies.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.