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Monday, December 6, 2021

Aspiring & Alive Karachi

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Munaza Kazmi

Karachi. The largest and most populous city of Pakistan and second most populous among the world. Reasoning its strategic importance, the city of Karachi is known as capital of Sindh. Along this, the city is the major seaport and financial hub of Pakistan, due to its prime location, as it connects Pakistan coastline with the Arabian Sea; from where Pakistan do most of its trade, obviously this betrays the city’s importance.

With this however, the city is well known for its exotic beaches, delicious food and the beautiful heritage sites; beside business one can enjoy exploring the city with the open options of adventure, foodie and religious tourism.

Readers, you all must have heard that, “Karachi never sleeps” but let me tell you it sleeps and sleeps long during the most glorious times of the day; Mornings I mean…. So, don’t worry if you would find empty streets; people exist and exits in abundance.

My time started in Karachi in the current; September when my PIA flight for Gwadar cancelled, nevertheless I had planned of coming to Karachi but later, hence it was a totally unplanned trip.

What you would be feeling when upon landing at Jinnah International Airport, waiting for the delayed connecting flight you heard the announcement, “Sorry the flight is Cancelled” Disaster!!!

Well I really thank the management of Movenpick Hotel that they booked my room and arranged the pickup sooner.

The pickup took me straight to the hotel, in the mean while I watched the huge sparkling buildings; I wonder what it would be like watching the city from the top of them, the busy roads; yellow taxis, green blue colorful rickshaws, local food stalls: ummm must be yummy and beautiful locals. Let me tell you however I found Karachi more and less like Rawalpindi.

From downtown of the city through Shahrah-e-Faisal road I reached the hotel, where finally I took the breath of relief: whole day in transit from Islamabad to Karachi.

Next morning, I woke up when mouzon calling for prayers, from the balcony of the hotel my view got blurred due to the morning mist, however outside there was lawn of some government building, serene green when mixing with white mist, it gives the viewer a feel of tranquility.

The breakfast started 6:30am on the poolside of the hotel, which was full of variety of tasty and delicious Continental, Chinese and Pakistani food, I took quiet a lot time in selecting and tasting the variety of food. Besides, it was quiet early for Karachi, hence I took pleasure in the luxury of stillness while sitting beside the pool, enjoying my food, with the romantic view of Swans and pretty pigeons flying here and there.

After the breakfast I wished to explore the city, but I was being told that I have to wait for hours as the city is sleeping. At last at 11:00am the driver took me for touring the city, you must hear about the jamming of roads due to traffic but luckily it was Friday; means lockdown, that was good as well as alarming since most of the tourist places and malls were closed.

However, my first stop was Jinnah’s tomb, the resting place of father of the nation besides it was my desire to see and talk to him, well reaching there I got to know of its closure, reasoning the preparations for 6th September, Pakistan celebrates Defence Day on that particular date, however following my continued pleading the men in uniform never let me enter, which still hearts me, well I said him a goodbye later from the sky.

After the car took me to the Residency and Museum of Jinnah, where he lived in the year of 1943. One could be overwhelmed by the structure and splendor of the magnificent building and the lawns, which could give the idea that how glorious Jinnah would be, my eyes took pleasure in watching around and luckily the inside of his residency, I found the beautiful Victorian style home so grand and comfortable. There were belongings of Jinnah and her beautiful little sister Fatima; I wonder he never allowed me to visit his resting place but am glad that he let me visit the place where he breathed, smiled and lived.

Next, I went to see the majestic Mohatta Palace, built in the year 1927, it was summer house of Shivratan Mohatta, a Hindu businessman of Rajasthan, later it had become the residency of Fatima Jinnah, where she spent rest of her life. Mohatta Palace one of the masterpieces, reflecting taste and culture of the region, now converted in a heritage museum showcasing the diverse culture of Sindh.

After, the clock was telling me of having lunch, hence for satisfying my hunger and giving my taste buds an exotic trip of flavors, I went to Burns Road, Karachi’s oldest and biggest food street. Although it bears no semblance to any street from the colonial era, the famous Burns Road derives its name from a British spy-doctor Mr James Burnes, who served the Raj in the first half of 19th century in Sindh. Where I found hundreds of people from different ethnic background buying and eating delicious food items.

Well, seriously I don’t know which the best food supplier would be however I liked a name in the crowd, “Dil Bahar Dahi Baray” where I had a really nice ans spicy Dahi Chat and Dehli Rabri House, ohh the sweetest! And the bun kebab. Karachi is really fun for a foodie.

Next day first I went to pay visit to Abdullah Shah Gazi, the famous eighth-century Muslim mystic and Sufi, then to the beautiful Seaside where I watched the playful dance of waves, that I found much hospitable that they welcome its guests by kissing on feet. Later I went to the well-known Dolmen mall, where I took pleasure in collecting things for my next trip.

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