Stories about rich

Kuch Khaas open mic night: Good times in Islamabad!

Last weekend I attended an open mic night at Kuch Khaas, a famous social enterprise in Islamabad. The occasion held all the promise to be yet another “mass brain cell genocide”; a phrase I use fondly each time I end up at one of these gigs. I had anticipated a night filled with tone-deaf kids hopped up on drugs, with couples leering in the corners and of course bad karaoke music. But I was wrong on all counts. This open mic night has to be one of the finest youth events I’ve attended in a long time. Kuch Khaas is located ...

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Would someone please pop the desi-elite bubble?

Have you ever tried to see through a soap bubble? The world seems distorted; askew. But what if you were inside the bubble? What if everywhere you looked, your vision was tinted by the soapy, bubbly lens – the world would still look distorted but you wouldn’t really know, because no matter which angle you chose to look out, the world would seem the same. So, when one lives in the ‘elite’ bubble, all seems quite well with the world! People in this bubble hail from rich families, have been educated at either the most expensive schools or have a foreign degree, promote ...

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Hunger knows no friend but its feeder

While a minority, born with a silver spoon living in their palatial havelis, luxurious farm houses and bungalows, can talk about the problems being faced by the country such as fake degrees, terrorism, the presidency and target killings on their dinner tables, with generators on standby and water tankers at their disposal, there are millions in this ‘land of the pure’ who survive on one meal per day and it is nearly impossible for them to make both ends meet no matter how hard they try. They are the deprived class, peasants or the masses that are being continuously exploited ...

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Pakistan: poor economy, rich country

It was January 2008, a relatively cold morning in Dubai. I was walking on Shaikh Zayed Road after parking my car about 300 meters from the meeting point with my client. I stopped suddenly before Crown Plaza upon hearing a Pakistani labourer arguing with a guy, claiming that UAE was not a rich country. I went up to the gentleman and said “Khan Sahab are you crazy? You are standing on Shaikh Zayed Road, the heart of Dubai and you are saying that this country is not rich?” He smiled and responded with a statement that I can never forget. He ...

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Whose country is this anyways?

Over the past few months the case of commercial activities in F-9 or Fatima Jinnah Park in Islamabad has seen the the CDA, the owners of Megazone and the Nazriya Pakistan Council embroiled in a case of illegal possession in the Supreme Court. One of the projects under review was the construction of the Islamabad Citizens Club by the CDA. Sadly, this was hardly the first instance ofencroachment by the land mafia or the state on what is a designated public space. I find it very hard to get my head around why in a country such as Pakistan, where millions ...

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Irony on wheels

I was on my way to a meeting at II Chundrigar Road yesterday. As usual, there was a big, annoying traffic jam on the street, courtesy it being the main artery of Pakistan’s famed financial district. With everybody stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, my car ended up wedged next to a Rolls Royce Phantom, net worth Rs 34 million. Inside the car was a prominent Pakistani media personality, who was driving the Rolls himself, and accompanying him were two Toyota Vigos in front of and behind the vehicle, with private guards openly displaying their AK47s to everybody on the road. I was ...

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