To Karachi, with love

Published: October 14, 2014

You have evolved from the city of lights to a city of demise. PHOTO: FILE

Dear Karachi,

I know that you’re probably busy with your everyday schedule but I decided to write to you anyway. I hope you listen to the complaints I make and the compliments I mean.

Almost every few days, you witness something awful. But I am so glad to see the strength that you have sustained. You’re still living. You moved on. And that’s what makes me fall in love with you. You’re beautiful, chaotic and dangerous in your own manner. At times, I can’t really tell who you are. I can’t decide if you’re the Lady in Red, who seduces people by bribing them with money and employment, or if you’re the Black Widow, who scares away people with pistols, murders and bhattas. I can’t decide if you’re a Mercedes or a high-roof; you depict both ironically. Your malls and restaurants are opposite to your small, congested, ghetto areas. Frankly, you’re a mixture of both.

You, my dear, have taken so many lives. You have provided bread to so many people and have become a home to countless. You are an inescapable hope. Your tumult, in fact, every single face of yours, is like heroin, so addictive. The addict wants to go away, far away from you… but he fails. He struggles to find peace away from you, because he knows that you can only be a safe haven to danger and depression. But somehow, despite cursing you, he fails. He is still madly in love with you, so much that he can’t imagine living without you. He realises that all this is now a part of his life, without which he is incomplete. He accepts this and lets you eat upon him like a cancer.

Tell me, Karachi, are you a predator or a prey? Do you hunt Karachiites or have they victimised you? It’s hard to say. But one thing is clear, whether a predator or a prey, you’re the one who’s losing. You’re deteriorating. You have evolved from the city of lights to a city of demise.

You are broken.

But the good news is that you don’t need to get depressed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe it’s a train, I can’t say. What I can surely say is ‘you are strong’. You have proven that broken cities are not a sign of weakness. They depict strength and patience. They sustain power. They know how to survive… you know how to survive. Even when you’re burning, you manage to earn the highest income for the country. Your loyalty to Pakistan cannot be questioned, my dear.

You’re like an acid victim; completely destroyed, yet extremely beautiful. You’re like autumn leaves, falling apart. You are like the Tower of Pisa, leaning towards downfall but standing against gravity. You are like a mountain, high and rugged. Like a goat escaping a slaughter scene. Like an injured bird, who knows how to fly but cannot fly.

You are Karachi. You refuse to fade into oblivion.

Oh my darling, imagine the wonders you can do if, for once, all the obstacles are removed. My lovely Karachi, every cloud has a silver lining and I am sure you’re going to find one. All you need to do is stay calm and non-violent. I know it is too much to ask but this is for our future. You need to stop your enemies from throwing gasoline on you. I know you will get through all this; I am sure you will go through it and come out alive. You will make it to success. You’ve dealt with so much and you’re still standing. Nothing can break you down, Karachi, for you are magical. You are hopeful and this is what will help you shine one day, even brighter than the koh-e-noor.

I promise. Just hang on tight!

Your everloving,



Asad Zaidi.

A 16-year-old Karachiite, doing his O Levels from the Beaconhouse School System. He tweets @asadzady1998 (

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

  • Green Blood

    This is so beautiful . It is exactly what karachi is like . This line ‘You’re beautiful, chaotic and dangerous in your own manner’ describes this city perfectly. The best part about Karachi is that it survives and moves on and no matter how brutally wounded this city is , it is still a home to thousands and Karachiites love it to bits and pieces ! Long live Karachi long live Pakistan !Recommend

  • Iqbal

    beautifully doneRecommend

  • Parvez

    I liked the sentiment and feeling with which you wrote that…….and yes, Karachi is also my city.Recommend

  • S

    Great work at such a young age! Keep it up!Recommend

  • Queen

    Nice one. Karachi is beautiful despite of its turbulent law and order situation. The city has its own charm :)Recommend

  • Zeb

    It’s written very beautifully. :) Keep it up Recommend

  • 2Paisa (Khi)

    Karachi – a single tale of two cities?Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Proud Karachiite. Good writing.Recommend

  • kinzaasif

    Just moved to Islamabad after spending 19 long years in this beautiful, mystical city and it felt wonderful to read this, keep it up!Recommend

  • hamza khan

    yaar ap tou hero nikalay,
    well done bro!Recommend

  • Napier Mole

    Fantastic piece of writing. Spirits like yours, my dear, keeps The Karachi Dream alive.Recommend

  • aaliya

    Bravo! I loved the sincerity that comes shining through in this piece.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    mashallah ! are you sure that the author is 16. Wow .I dont know much about Karachi but I can sure see ‘a spark’ in his writing . Well elucidated/ enunciated / communicated/ explained/ described … am running out of adjectives to describe his writing . Great going man.Recommend

  • Rehan Ali

    Karachi is an intoxication. Every hurdle and tantrum is absorbed and at the end of the day she provides far greater than what it consumes. The metropolis has her lows but her unparalleled highs reign supreme. Excellent write-up!Recommend

  • S M Ali Abidi

    Great effort Asad, I am impressed, that at such young age you are that sensitive. May God bless you with wisdom and courage.Recommend

  • Asad Zaidi

    I am glad that everyone liked it! Thank you so much for the appreciation :)Recommend

  • LubainaMansoor

    This article is heart-warming and brilliantly written. It reflects the mix of love, warmth, hate and frustration we all feel being Karachiites. Great job Asad!Recommend

  • Aqsa

    The post is really relatable. Recommend