In Karachi, let them drink juice

Published: January 19, 2013
Email

There is work to be done and it’s too healthy to take time off to mourn your loss. PHOTO: AFP

Fresh juice, no preservatives, not bottled, made right there in front of you, only for you.

The horror.

I grew up on bottled water from questionable sources and my system will react in unimaginable ways to any form of juice that is not chemical laden.

Its primarily because I grew up in Karachi – I can’t deal with wholesome and nutritious, just like the city.

So today – a typically atypical Karachi day with the promise of violence and death in the air – I wanted to buy my usual supply of unhealthy provisions that will lead to an early death, if I somehow manage to dodge the bullets aimed towards no one in particular.

I teach at a school before my day job at a newspaper. The school was closed – no surprise there, education falls into the healthy/nutrition category. I was taken aback however since a newspaper job sets your body clock to working 24/7 – hence I harassed the guard with my ‘but why’ until he begged me to go away.

Again, a Karachi thing. You just have to go on – the world will come crashing down but the city doesn’t stop. It’s silent for a bit but then it just picks up from where it left and moves on without a blink of an eye at the dead or the dying. There is work to be done and it’s too healthy to take time off to mourn your loss.

What came as a shock to my system, however, was the fact that everything was at a standstill in the morning. The only thing that was open was a juice shop. It was an otherworldly experience as I stared at the man making fresh juice for the three people outside his shop. I considered buying it for a minute and half before reality slapped me and I scrounged for an hour and a half to find a shop that was open and sold what I needed.

When I found one, I asked the shopkeeper how was is it that he managed to open his shop today.

He said ‘baji aap jaisey logon key liye hee’ .

‘Miss, for people like you’

I asked him if he will keep it open during the jumma madness – he said no in a way people say that the sky is high – its an absolute, unquestionable reality. He then went on to tell me that as soon as the insanity subsides it will be business as usual.

No one can afford a healthy glass of juice in this city.

Read more about Amna here.

Amna Iqbal

Amna Iqbal

Publications designer at The Express Tribune, she tweets @amna_iqb (twitter.com/amna_iqb)

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