Stories about traffic

Pakistani drivers: A nation or a mob?

It is said that the way people drive in a country tells a lot about how disciplined and orderly its citizens are. Well, I realised this on two occasions; first, when I came back to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates and second, when I returned from Sri Lanka. On both occasions, the contrast in driving patterns was painfully evident. The impatience and desperation of Pakistani drivers and their low maturity level made me feel worried about the future of this nation. I saw people taking the wrong side of the road just to save around Rs10 worth of petrol ...

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Dear Advertisers, no, we do not start dancing in the streets when we sip on tea!

A few days back, while I was on my way to college, I came across the road near Expo Centre, where the traffic was choked. Naturally, I flipped my hair and smiled at the people in the neighbouring cars; and what do you know, they smiled back! After that we got out of our respective cars, started dancing in the middle of the street with cups of tea that magically appeared in our hands. We danced and swirled while others clapped and hooted. Then, all of a sudden, the traffic opened up, everyone got back into their cars and drove on ...

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Yes, Karachi does need a Metro Bus service!

Nawaz Sharif’s visits to Karachi have been brief and mostly concerned with law and order. The last visit, however, was a bit different from the previous ones; the prime minister (PM) has announced to launch the Metro bus named Green Line for Karachi with a gigantic budget of Rs15 billion as reported by the media. He also supervised another important meeting at the Governor House, regarding other development projects in Karachi. Millions of commuters, every day, have to rely on obsolete and dilapidated buses and recklessly driven Qingqi rickshaws to reach to their destinations and back. The beautiful bus stops that ...

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The tree trunks of Cambridge and an old people’s home

I have always been an ardent admirer of trees. One of my earliest childhood memories is accompanying my elder sister to watch a parrot living inside an old tree trunk. Very stealthily, we used to approach the old tree, making sure we did not cripple dead leaves or twigs under our feet, thereby alerting the parrot of our visit. It was a surreal moment for me as a child; witnessing a tree being home to a bird, since before that I had only pictured birds either flying or preying upon insects from the ground. Ever since, I started keeping an eye ...

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Get out of the way, you pedestrians!

Although driving anywhere in the world is an amalgamation of knowledge and respect of traffic rules and a good command over ones reflexes. In Pakistan it is a different ball game altogether. Not only do you have to possess nerves of steel but also reflexes that can be pushed beyond normal human abilities.  Since there is complete disregard for traffic regulations as well as no sanctity for human life and property. Our attitude on the roads, and almost everywhere else, is utterly deplorable. Every time I get behind the wheel I face 4×4’s with tinted glasses, guards sporting handlebar moustaches and toting guns (with muzzles pointing at ...

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The Prado effect

Adam’s story I backed out of the driveway, closely monitoring the environment around me. This was the first time I was driving such a large vehicle and it was safe to assume that there was a very steep learning curve with regards to keeping the jeep on the road. “I need to pick up something for Natasha.” Amir squeaked from the backseat. There were around five people sitting atop each other. I nodded, glancing towards the road ahead before putting the jeep in gear. A slight tap on the accelerator and the monstrous engine roared to life, launching the vehicle onto the road. Sitting behind ...

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Travelling on a Pakistani public bus is never boring!

I am sure many of you have travelled on public buses in Pakistan or know someone who has gone through the ordeal. In case you haven’t, allow me to enlighten you of what the rest of us have to go through. Here are ten of my experiences while travelling on public transport and the issues many of us have to face on a daily basis. 1. Bus stop? What’s that? Drivers of public buses in Pakistan never bother to wait for their passengers at the bus stops so there is hardly any point in waiting there. And it goes without saying that if you ...

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Umar Akmal: When the going gets tough, the tough… run to ‘daddy’?

I still remember how as a young child I said something rude to a cousin of mine, a typical childish remark like, “I don’t want to play with you, you always whine” or, “You don’t have any nice toys” or something like that. When my parents found out, I was not only berated for my rudeness, I was even made to apologise to my cousin with a promise that I would never again be intentionally mean to anyone. This incident not only helped me being careful of what I say or do for years to come but also made me realise that accountability ...

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Umar Akmal: A great player but a bitter citizen?

Umar Akmal became the subject of much debate because of his recent run-in with the police. He violated traffic rules by going through a red light and when stopped by the police, he tried to bully the traffic warden by flaunting his stature of being an international sportsman. Yes, he is a talented player but in this one incident, he proved himself to be a careless and nasty citizen. As a result of his actions, Akmal has been booked under Sections 186, 279 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to police reports, the 23-year-old Akmal did not stop at a traffic signal in ...

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10 ‘argh’ moments with a Pakistani tailor

You’re a Pakistani and you’ve never made a trip to the tailor? I find that hard to believe. Whether it’s a job interview or a high school farewell party, tailors are the ones who can make every little occasion of a typical Pakistani woman’s life either completely miserable or an absolute fairytale. You stand in front of a full-length mirror and study your newly stitched dress like a hawk. You look at the loose side fittings and feel aghast. The long, loosely dangling sleeves feel out of place. You swear to yourself that the deep neck you see in your reflection ...

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