Karachi Tips: Uniting people, bit by bit

Published: July 3, 2011

We might not like to believe how such a tiny online initiative can end up uniting people silently bit by bit, but there’s always a chance of hope.

One day, as I logged on to my Facebook account, I found something posted on my wall that made me smile in a way I hadn’t in a long time.

It was a series of one-liners typed in as pictures; One of them said:

“If a friend calls you and says “baat ker” it means you have to bail him out of a traffic police incident. Remember that.”

I smiled and recalled all the times my friends and I did this.

Another message said:

“Never whole-heartedly believe your exam schedule. Strikes happen.”

Yes, that has happened to me too.

So, I opened the page from where these were being shared, and ended up smiling ear to ear going through all the pictures.

The page was ‘KarachiTips’ – founded by three young people from Karachi – two boys and a girl.

It came a day after ‘LahoriTips‘ was launched, a similar Facebook page that popped up in the series of other tips like ‘Burger Tips,’ ‘Maila Tips’ and ‘Sindhi Tips’ etcetera. ‘KarachiTips’ was initially started “just for the heck of it” as the founders like to put it, and most probably to compete in the age-old battle of Karachi versus Lahore.

But, it ended up being more than just a page.

The way thousands of people from Karachi related to the tips, gave the page a great head-start as the growing fan-following compelled the founders to keep the page updated and also to expand on to other networking sites like Twitter and Tumblr.

In merely a month, ‘KarachiTips’ managed to gather more than 13,000 fans on Facebook, which is more than any other Tips page from Pakistan. The tips which are open to contributions from people have risen up to 150 in number and are updated every weekend. The founders were also featured in two radio shows and a new campaign was also initiated by them titled “Karachi – meri nazaro se” where people send in pictures which depict the way they see the city. The album has 34 pictures so far. If that was not enough, ‘KarachiTips’ also decided to print T-shirts with the top ten tips on the page, which can be ordered online.

Every day, as we are exposed to news of horror, misery and hopelessness, we are forced to live each day amidst fear and anxiety. Every next day, we smile a little less.

Their so-close-to-reality tips are not merely a sign of success on part of the initiative but they rather help in giving reasons for people to smile, who are otherwise perpetually distressed. The people running the group are no different from the ones we see around us every day, equally affected by all the violence, pain and depression that has engulfed us, but they sure are aware of the small pleasures of life.

We might not like to believe how such a tiny online initiative can end up uniting people silently bit by bit, but there’s always a chance of hope.


Ema Anis

The social media editor for the web desk at The Express Tribune. She tweets as @EmaAnis (twitter.com/EmaAnis)

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

  • Abdul Muqeet

    Haha ET! Please Please stop this! or else I’d post 100s of posts like this about Emile Heskey, Fifa 12 achievements etc which make us smile all day!Recommend

  • po

    ‘There’s always a chance of hope.’

    Ohmygod, they’re just tips. Laugh at them, but there’s no need to get so damn emotional. Recommend

  • http://ammar-aziz.blogspot.com Ammar Aziz

    These conscious attempts to create some ‘hope’ out of nothingness, depict how worst the situation is when we have absolutely nothing to celebrate and feel happy about.
    Our people who have failed to get ‘united’ despite their illusion and narcissism of one nation and great religion, can NEVER get united by silly pages like whatever-tips.
    You’ve wasted your time and energy in writing that.Recommend

  • muzzamil

    I am studying in UK for the last two years and now i am finally going back to karachi for vacations . honestly speaking i was not very excited to go back at first but when i saw people sharing karachitips on their facebook profile, i opened it out of curiosity and after went through half of them i had tears in my eyes. we all have experienced hardships in the face of terror attacks, ethnic probs and what not, but karachi is still what it is and it will remain in that way forever. love you karachi and karachiites :)Recommend

  • Talha

    I have all 200 tips till date and found it pretty awesome…the collection is based on highly imaginative and thought provoking discussions…You will literally see these things on street which creates the distinction for other part of the world. Recommend

  • parvez

    As a mega city Karachi is a DUMP of a city. Its only its people who shine.Recommend

  • Sarah

    The first time I saw the page, I thought it was going to be like any other, but living away from Karachi and Pakistan, this page has bought me close to home. Kudos to the team!Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Well-written Ema :)Recommend

  • http://kulsoom.wordpress.com Umme Kulsoom

    Karachi Tips is one of those initiatives that intended optimism and unity among the people of Pakistan. I am glad with the success and the popularity that these 3 youngsters have managed to achieve in such little time and nevertheless they will be using the returns from their t-shirts to be used by charities for all the good purposes to make this place a better one to live. Youngsters at this age tend to get carried away with fame and the charm created by media but I really appreciate these kids who exactly know what to do and at what time. Thank you for sharing :)Recommend

  • http://quratulaintejani.blogspot.com/ Quratulain Tejani

    Couldn’t agree more with you Ema. I am pleased to be a part of this wonderful city and fell all over in love with it. Thanks a lot to the people who found this page and made us all realize what we weren’t since a long time! :)Recommend

  • Jibran T.

    Free promotion ;)Recommend

  • Kinzah

    KarachiTips may have started as way to kill time, but it resonates to all of us living in Karachi…Karachi is not just a city but an experience…! And if you live in Karachi, you have indeed lived! Good Job guys….! Goes to show what we are capable….We live in troubled times…and this really gives us a reason to smile and treasure what we have….and to all the haters….i bet ur NOT from Karachi otherwise you wont be talking like this….Recommend

  • Fooz

    KarachiTips suckssss… LahoriTips is where its attRecommend

  • anam

    Lahore tips are merely tips:P they dont even relate to lahore:P tch tchRecommend

  • A.S.K.

    All the negativity is coming from Lahore, get a life people! If the media up there does’nt promote you it does mean your tip don’t reflect Lahore. And you won’t understand Karachi Tips as you are not from Karachi to understand how deep some of the tips are.
    Karachi has a culture of it’s own!Recommend

  • http://www.issues2011.webs.com M.Ayaz

    In the deep thot ur rite Ema..actually its not about who has the best tips Khi or Lhr..these are the small things which leads to the bigger ones…so frendz stop fighting who is best…just think the thot behind it…we have to unite some where…as if we take example of Egypt,the revolution came beacuse of a page..where ppl unite…take these small issues seriously plzz…after osma incident i was searching of Fb that if there is any page against the drone attacks then i will join it…but i was ashamed when i saw there was not a single page…its just bcuz may be we khi aites,lahories or othere are not facing it…then i made a page against the drone attacks…but the most ashamed thing happend when i saw that there are 80above members there but only2,3ppl are just sharing there thots on it…others are just like our politicians..so give a side to these thoughts of khi,lhr,isb culture..plzzzzz be Pakistani..Well-written Ema:)Recommend

  • http://www.mylifeinjaypeg.com Arslan Shaikh

    I think Karchitips is one really good way to know what karachi is all about. Its fun reading just like other pages online where people write one liners and others like it. Thats it. Recommend