Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mera Sohna Shehr Karachi

I'm back in Karachi these days. It's a sweet feeling, visiting a city that once used to be home. Everything seems familiar. The people, the places, the accents. It's almost like sliding back into a groove. Or maybe this is all just nostalgia.

They're making an underpass around Boat Basin so the roads are all mashed up and jammed with traffic. I walked into Rajoo's Ice Cream looking for a milkshake and was told the electricity had gone out. The crows are still there, crowding the sky at dusk. Have things changed?

The DVD market has collapsed. With the introduction of the new copyright laws, stores that used to be stocked to suffocation are now listless and barren. I suppose this means we have to find new ways of amusing ourselves. Maybe people will start reading again and the book bazar at Frere Hall will swell with eager new customers savoring the books and the spicy chaat, the friendly weather of reading. I saw a copy of VS Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas for 40 rupees on a seller's cart. Here's to hoping.

(For those of you interested in poetry, there's a copy of TS Eliot's delightful Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats at Mr Old Books on Boat Basin for a mere 35 rupees.)

Dilpasand Chaat is still there, our local monument to taste and pleasure. A mixed plate costs fifteen rupees, up from the previous twelve, but still packs a punch. You take the first bite and fireworks start singing in your ears. I still believe that if anyone is new to Karachi and has only an hour to spare, they should be taken immediately to Dilpasand Chaat and then to Sialkot Milk House, to be drowned in the flavors of chaat and milkshake. Apart from making a mean date milkshake, they serve mango milkshake almost all year round at Sialkot Milk House. What more could one ask for?


Anonymous Bushra said...

Karachi's driving me nuts. The distances and the traffic and the noise... but boy am I going to miss it :(

DVD's are still here but they've packed them away in tiny boxes only for trusted special customers.

I haven't been to Dilpasand. Chatkhara (in Defence) is good but more pricey. khair karachi is a funny place to b...

6:49 AM  
Blogger Crazed Teacher said...

yeah chatkhara is good and pricey but u still get a wicked mixed plate from liberty for 15 rs and hmm the dvds in lahore are still there, or could be i havent bought a movie for a long time, though the vcds have vanished sigh

4:53 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...


Bushra: Home is always the best place to be, chahay wo Karachi ho ya Timbuktoo

Ushi: I saw a few at Fortress Stadium the other day but the prices have gone up. Thankfully our local Esquire video store rents them out so we don't need to buy as frequently as before. Besides, the cable-waala shows all the new movies several times a day anyways . . .

9:18 AM  
Blogger Anjum said...

ahh, the beloved mango milkshake! yummm. though a date milkshake sounds interesting, probably very good. but can it beat a mango shake?

2:42 AM  
Blogger cheesoo said...

karachi, karachi.. you make me wince with pain aamir... hope alls well


12:05 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Anjum: nope. nothing can beat mango milkshake. wo sab ka baap hai.

Cheesoo: insha-Allah, I hope you're well, too. what are you reading these days?

12:32 AM  
Blogger The Sane One said...

Oh man..i miss karachi :(

12:38 AM  

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