Stories about karachi

RIP Masood Ahmad Barkati – the unsung hero of my generation, the voice of patriotism, morality and equality between all Pakistanis

It pained my heart to read that Masood Ahmed Barkati, the renowned author of children’s literature and the editor of the Urdu magazine Hamdard Naunihal, is no more among us. The last three generations of Pakistan are in a state of total grief right now. There is a strong sense of loss, a feeling as though an important piece of our childhood has been taken away, leaving us bereft. For people who loved reading books during their childhood, he was the superhero without a cape. Barkati had been the right-hand man to Hakim Muhammad Saeed, the owner of Hamdard ...

Read Full Post

With its fresh talent and catchy music, Maan Jao Naa seems like a complete entertainment package

In the last decade or so, we have seen Pakistani cinema seemingly thriving, with TV actors shifting to the larger screen, and directors and producers experimenting with new and innovative ideas as well. Moviegoers are buzzing about at the moment as Aabis Raza’s upcoming Maan Jao Na, which, based on its recently released trailer at least, looks dynamic and diverse in terms of its talent, cinematography and music.   What caught my attention was that a lot of new faces were seen in the movie, with some of the cast being known for their comic roles in our TV dramas. ...

Read Full Post

Happy Children’s Day, Pakistan! BTW, child sexual abuse increased by 10% since 2016

Child abuse is one of the most prevalent social issues in Pakistan. A 2017 report suggests that there has been a 10% increase in cases since last year alone. The issue is only made worse by the fact that neither do we talk about its prevalence, nor do we take any preventive or rehabilitative measures to deal with it. Topics of importance, such as child abuse, rape, sexual assault, honour killing, forced marriage or mental illness, all are considered taboo and often brushed under the rug. The fear of being shunned by society and victim-shamed is perhaps what keeps some of the victims from speaking up about the issue ...

Read Full Post

Because I own Karachi

Standing somewhere in the middle of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, I guess my attire gave it away and they all greeted me with a seemingly customary “jeevay, jeevay Pakistan!” Towards the end of my trip, the salutation actually became comical – until this random shopkeeper asked me where I was from and what I felt my city represented. Before travelling to Turkey last month, I was told about Turkish hospitality and I got to witness their warmth towards desi tourists for myself. But for a total stranger to ask me what Karachi means to me, was something entirely new – I’ve ...

Read Full Post

After Verna and Arth 2, Rangreza’s colourful and gripping trailer has left us anxiously waiting

This month, a lot of Pakistani potential blockbusters have released their trailers one after the other. First it was Shoaib Mansoor’s Verna, then Shaan Shahid’s Arth 2, and now the colourful trailer of Rangreza has struck our eyes. Rangreza’s trailer makes a person think twice considering the storyline it possesses. The trailer seems to have two distinct personalities that make this movie seem interesting. The first half gives off a vibe of a romantic-comedy based on sweet melodies, followed by a tragedy and a happily ever after. However, the second half of the trailer makes one sit up straight when it starts addressing a ...

Read Full Post

Irfan Bhai and his solar eclipse

“I really need to beat Amir’s high score,” I said to myself as I played another round of Temple Run, not realising my battery had drained down to 5%. My phone got warmer and the LED light on my screen began to blink red. I turned on the battery saving mode and slid my phone in my pocket. I looked out my car window only to realise that the car had not moved an inch. I guess I’m just not used to Karachi’s traffic anymore, and a 20-day visit is not even minutely enough to adjust to it. After being thoroughly engrossed in ...

Read Full Post

#MeToo: I am older, wiser and more determined than the little girl who was forced to hold an imam’s genitals – but not safer

The first time it happened, I was seven. An imam in our neighbourhood mosque held me, taking my hand, wrapping my fingers (they were still tiny) around his genitals, then massaging it. I was so small I did not know what it was that was in my hand. I had never seen it before and I certainly did not know what it felt like.  “Do you like it?” he asked again and again, until someone came to the room, and he quickly let go of me. Later, I told my mom about this peculiar incident, and she wept for weeks and months over ...

Read Full Post

When we’re told to “limit ourselves to the imambargah or shift these processions outside the city”

Recently, I came across a post on Facebook which stated the following: “Roads blocked, no mobile networks and markets are closed. Please stop bothering your fellow countrymen and limit yourselves to the imambargah or else shift these processions outside the city, somewhere on highway.” A typical, insensitive and privileged Pakistani comment. But this statement was not the only one. It is not unusual for the Shia community to hear such insensitive comments from Karachiities, whose lives are completely uprooted during 9th and 10th Muharram. Such insensitivity may not be uncommon, but it is hurtful, given the day and the solemnity of the incident being marked in Muharram. The ...

Read Full Post

The women of Kohistan suffer in silence as they search for water that doesn’t exist

Hazoora, a 24-year-old native of Kohistan (an arid piece of land located near Thatta), complains that her hair is falling due to transporting heavy cans of water on her head since she was eight-years-old. She travels approximately one to eight kilometres every day to fetch her share of water, and her body aches from carrying six to seven buckets of water daily for domestic needs. Even her pregnancy did not put an end to her ordeal since water is not a commodity one can live without. This is not just Hazoora’s plight, but the plight of thousands of women living in this ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan does not need more thieves, harassers or mobs – its police officers are doing the job for them

Recently, I came across a news article about senior police officers breaking down the door of a house in Rawalpindi to arrest a murder suspect. The house they raided belonged to the cousin of the man suspected of having committed said murder. In addition, when these upright gentlemen did not find the man they were looking for, they decided to take with them cash and jewellery, worth at least a million rupees, which belonged to the owner of the house. Naturally, the poor victim immediately went to the nearest police station to file an FIR (without which the police cannot investigate a crime) ...

Read Full Post