Are you a real Karachiite?

Published: December 21, 2012

You swore at the KESC, you laughed at a verse written on the back of a rickshaw, you craved garlic rolls and waited for your turn in the CNG line. You're a true Karachiite! ILLUSTRATION: IMAAN SHEIKH

Imagine this. You’re lying down, dead beat from a long day and really not looking forward to yet another monotonous day ahead of you. No, not because you hate your boss but more so because your boss hates you.

You’re done surfing through all the 87 useless channels that your beloved cable TV operator provides. You refresh your Facebook profile one last time on your supposedly ‘smart’ phone, hoping for a new notification, friend request, or a wall post ─  anything. You put on your PJs and hop into bed. The last two minutes before you slumber, that’s when your whole day flashes back. You check if it’s complete and then snooze.

To help you use those two minutes efficiently, here is a quick checklist that you can keep by your bedside, at all times. Through this list you can ascertain whether you spent a typical Karachi day or not. Keep it close, keep it safe.

  1. At least two people in the city were gunned down by na maloom afraad (unidentified people) Check.
  2. Used abusive expressions in at least three different languages to refer to KESC. Check.
  3. Waited in an excruciatingly long line to fill up CNG in the car. At the end, had to dish out cash to fill up petrol instead since you were getting late for work. Check.
  4. Your window was tapped on by a man dressed up as a woman who repeatedly called you Shahrukh Khan while giving you cute looks. Check.
  5. You cursed or waved your fist at someone on the road. Check.
  6. Someone cursed or waved their fist at you on the road. Check.
  7. You lodged a complaint about your internet connection with WorldCall or PTCL. Check.
  8. At least one person you know got deprived of their cell phone and personal belongings at gun point. Check.
  9. Rolled your window up and held your breath till you were way ahead of the damn fish truck. Check.
  10. Covered the 5km distance from II Chundrigar to your house, in a record breaking two hours. Check.
  11. Your lungs repeatedly filled up with a mixture of second hand smoke, carbon monoxide and methane (courtesy of your co-workers) several times during the course of the day. Check.
  12. Had a craving for dining at Burns Road. Check.
  13. Had a delightful conversation with someone who could barely keep his mouth open lest the paan would fall out. Check.
  14. Had a craving for some chicken garlic mayo rolls. Check.
  15. Had to take a detour because a perfectly functional road was dug up randomly and magically over night. Check.
  16. Heard someone use the cerebral expanding phrases ‘haath kay haath’ and ‘de maar saarhay chaar’ needlessly in a sentence. Check.
  17. Spotted another one of those Dr Gholam Mujtaba billboards. Check.
  18. Spotted a traffic policeman hitching a ride from someone to get to work. Check.
  19. An elite, highly trained sniper paan spitter hanging heroically from the entrance of a mini bus splattered your driver side window with his precision shot. Check.
  20. Heard someone blaring the multi-Grammy award winning songs ‘Munni badnaam’ or ‘Jiay Bhutto Benazir’ on their 15watt car speakers in an unnecessarily souped up Alto. Check.
  21. Spotted ‘Bad Boy 420’, ‘Don’t Jealous’, ‘Gorilla Commando’ and ‘Jhokia No.1’ roaming around the city. Check.
  22. Memorised a new shair (verse) from the back of a mini bus or a water tanker and reproduced it for your friends and had a laugh. Check.
  23. Car’s windshield was needlessly wiped clean by a pack of pre-pubescent four-footers who refused to acknowledge any sort or language; verbal or sign. Check.
  24. Thanked God there was no ‘incident’ in the city. Or if there was one, thanked God you weren’t centre of it. Or if you were, thanked God you made it out alive. Check.
  25. Checked off another day on the calendar till the weekend. Check.

Note: If you ended up checking 15 items or more every night for a week, you truly are a Karachiite!

Read more by Mobeen here.

Mobeen ur Rehman

Mobeen Ur Rehman

A doctor, an artist, a musician and a short stories writer, who is working on becoming a better human being.

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

  • Muz

    good one! but where are you from? ;-)Recommend

  • Hajra

    Nice one.. got to read something really different!!! Recommend

  • Philosiraptor

    Boat Basin because of fish trucks. Recommend

  • The Author

    Thank you to The Tribune for publishing this, thank you to all who have or will read it. This blog was originally titled ‘The Karachi Bedtime Checklist’. The unchanged, true to the essence how the article was meant to be, can be found here for those who are interested in the writer’s actual version.

  • umer

    at last something new and other than supporting Malalas and Veenas and all those hypocrites……thankyou.Recommend

  • Hira

    Haha a true Karachiite!
    Practically everything is true!Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I am originally a Karachiite but after spending some time in Islamabad, I like to call myself an Islamabadi :) Isloo rocks! Btw cool list!Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    LOL. Good.Recommend

  • Pinky

    very difficult-to-accomplish combo of humour & tragedy..Recommend

  • Qasim waqar

    Haha cant hold back myself from laughter, Well said…. Recommend

  • Ayesha Pervez

    This list is EPIC! So true!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Expat NY Lahori

    The best thing to come out of Karachi … a road to Lahore!Recommend

  • http://[email protected] A.Samuel

    you missed the lawn models publicity….Recommend

  • waqar

    Hey bro! you miss the one thing…..
    What did the Bhai say?????Recommend

  • s shah

    Well written. Made me chuckle and miss Karachi. I still love you, Karachi!Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    sumthing of sense finally..and as much i hate to admit..i nearly checked all of it..!!Recommend

  • xaeema

    10.Covered the 5km distance from II Chundrigar to your house, in a record breaking two hours. Check. dil ki awaz ;p
    and men spitting all the time from the window of the bus or walking by a road side. urghhhh

    v.well written … clapping :)Recommend

  • Nouman Ahmed

    Wohoooo! I am real KarachiiteRecommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    2,3,7,14,20,21,23 on daily basis. CHECK.Recommend

  • anwar suhail

    This for this refreshing piece.
    U should write more often.Recommend

  • PakistaniTeen

    Haha! Epic. Whoop whoop! True Karachite.Recommend

  • abdul haseeb

    Had a craving for some chicken garlic mayo rolls. Check.
    DOUBLE CHECK…. mirchi 360 <3


  • Turbo Lover

    Even though I am a Lahorite, it is very strange that I have experienced all this. Keep in mind that I have visited Karachi many times, are you saying that I became a Karachiite over night?Recommend

  • Muz

    @Turbo Lover: your feelings are somewhat noteworthy imo and shows that the checklist is more to do with wannabe-Karachiites especially when there is no mention of Paan, Nihari, Pathan kee chai, a teenager driving a motorbike with an infant in the lap, overloaded but colorful minibuses, etc etc :-PRecommend

  • Madhia

    hahaha craked me up.. encourage such wriet ups :)Recommend

  • Turbo Lover

    @Muz: I made my point according to what the article said.Recommend

  • Umair

    you forgot to mention theme song of MQM “saathi … mazloomon ka saath”Recommend

  • Childewhenike

    There isn’t any proof whatsoever that training applications or magic pills will ever improve your height, the only certain fire way would be to wear shoe lifts insoles