Sunday, March 11, 2012

Karachi Diaries....





From the top: With the Coco Chanel of Pakistan.
At a wonderful sunday brunch.
The lovely bride dressed in a traditional Indian designer lehenga.
Gorgeous ladies at a Sangeet.
******************
This appeared in Asian Age-Deccan Chronicle on Saturday...

Karachi Diaries

Clearly,I am a fast learner. Minutes after walking out of the Karachi International airport, after a rather eventful PIA flight from Mumbai ( more about that later), I noticed the printed t-shirt of our baggage handler.Here’s what it said, “I am a bomb technician.If you see me run,try and keep up.” I swear this is true. I looked at my local minder nervously and gulped. She was sweetly saying, ‘Welcome to Karachi,” as she instructed an armed guard in the front seat of the car to make sure we arrived safely at our hotel. I figured the best way to enjoy the next four days in Karachi was to do as the Karachiwalas do and pretend aal eez welllll. The short hop between what could have been sister cities ( Mumbai and Karachi) takes just an hour and a half. Recordings from the holy Quran are played right before take off. Most of the passengers on this particular flight were Karachiwalas. One of them, a blousy woman wearing an animal print outfit was irate as she fidgeted in her seat. She’d been deported by our Mumbai cops on arrival and she was not amused. “I’m losing so much business!” she kept screaming, till she was firmly asked to shut up. An elderly couple seated behind me didn’t like it at all when I reclined my seat later in the flight, to take a short nap. The woman kept kicking hard, till the stewardess intervened and offered me another seat. The old lady asked loudly, “Hindustani hai ya Pakistani?” I’m guessing she would have kicked regardless!
We ( Indians and Pakistanis) share so very many things, besides the obvious ones ( culture, cuisine, clothes,complexion). And yet, the one thing that separates us is temperament.Mutual hostility, I can understand. But the total suspension of logic is harder to accept. Several people I spoke to referred to the Mumbai 26\11 terror attacks, and tried to convince me Pakistan had nothing to do with what took place. Who then could have orchestrated those attacks? And where did Qasab come from? “Look, wherever he came from, it wasn’t in a dinghy from our shores. That route is impossible to navigate without getting caught by naval patrol boats. If you ask us, the whole thing was an American-Israeli plot to discredit Pakistan in the eyes of the world.Why would Pakistanis attack a Jewish place? If it’s not the Americans, it’s your own people who did this. Please stop blaming us.” Well, since I am not top cop Rakesh Maria from the ATS, and was a temporary mehmaan in a neighbouring country, it seemed wiser to order some more food and change the topic.
“Would you like to meet Dawood?” an influential gentleman asked me casually, like he was asking me whether I wanted to meet a famous Pakistani cricketer or movie star. He added, “His home is less than 500 yards from where we are right now.” Suddenly, the delicious chicken piece I was about to swallow threatened to choke me. This was so unexpected. I instantly jumped at the opportunity and asked him to fix it up anytime…that night itself…. the next day. Another friend , listening to this conversation, interrupted quickly to say, “Don’t talk nonsense, yaar. Dawood doesn’t live in Pakistan, remember?” Someone else laughed, “ I ran into him at the hospital when I’d gone for a blood test recently.” This conversation was going nowhere. The offer was promptly changed. “ Okay. No Dawood. But if you want to meet Chhota Shakeel…?” I declined politely before standards fell further.
Though Veena Malik is the one who generates maximum contempt for stripping in India ( “ surely , there are better ways to make money… what a shameless woman. India will use her and throw her like they did with Meera”) , our politicians fare no better, especially Narendra Modi. The biggest fear seems to revolve around Modi becoming India’s prime minister. I told my local friends to relax – that’s not likely to happen any time soon, or at all. “Hindu Right Wingers” are another concern, and it’s no use saying these fears are somewhat paranoid and unfounded. At a wonderful mehendi-sangeet hosted in a grand mansion, I talked to a few of the youngsters between their choreographed dance numbers ( Dhinka Chika and Chikni Chameli, followed by Kolaveri Di). Their fascination for Bollywood gossip cancelled out any fears they may have harboured about India attacking Pakistan. Similarly, extended conversations with the bleached blond Begum Brigade over a long brunch, revealed their obsession for desi fashion and an insatiable curiosity about society scandals across the border… with zero interest in political affairs. I have to say this: in terms of hospitality, they beat us hollow! There is just no comparison. In terms of beauty, Pakistani women are streets ahead. Where we score is in our basic ‘buddhi’ and ‘dimaag’. Our education system as compared to our neighbour’s, is far superior. And our society appears more stable. Divorce and multiple marriages are so rampant, not an eyebrow was raised at a ladies’ lunch when in response to an innocuous question – “ How’s your husband?” the reply was a prompt, “Which one, jaani? I’ve had so many of them!” But I’ll give the last word to a kind porter who saw me through the chaotic maze at the airport while checking in for my return flight, “ Pakistan needs a Khomieni. He really cleaned up his country and killed all the corrupt people.” Somehow, future prime minister Imran Khan does not quite fit the bill in this regard! Just as well…

19 comments:

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Pooja Rathore said...

Beautiful pictures- u r right Pak women r really good looking,good to know what we have in common,where they lack and where we gain.i am not surprised about their take on 26/11,its always we Indians who are after aman ki Asha and also more forgiving at least play fair,but I can never expect that from Pak,they are very smart had any Indian national messed with Pak iam sure it would lead to war,Pak is aggressive and escapist whereas India is mild and too good to them ,never expect such good behaviour from Pak never!

Gyanban said...

You see the statement of truth does not change by the number of people following it.

now a Münchnerin? said...

lovely pictures. but wouldn't you think that pakistani high society is also much less modern? they are beautiful because they have a lot of time to spend their time on their beauty!

Tsomo85 said...

Superb post! The Coco Chanel of Pakistan does full justice; at least for the first time it's good to see fresh & cool behgum without Burkha & spiky hair; that too with you. Apparently, I'm not surprised with your judgement. I've one Pakistani co worker, every day her mouth does more working then her hands. She sits there & can talk dirty all day long, not just ones but every friking day. That too in very sexy tune; but the sad part is she isn't even half as gorgeous as these women in pictures. Many of my co workers from eastern Europe/ Russia were fedup with her. There's this saying at clinic; don't laugh ok. We say that if she were to put infront of blind man or any man who can't see her & let them listen to her, chances are they could probably listen to her all day long, think "what a sexy women she might be." HAHAHA lol That's our inside hospital joke on that super lazy & not so good looking pervert Pakistani co worker. lol Hope this will make your day as an revenge or reward to your awful encounter with them ladies. Which ever! Booo
:p

Tsomo85 said...

Ops! I mean thinking not think...

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Raj Kosaraju said...

Pakistan had everything to do with what took place. Everyone knows that. If you ask me, the whole thing was an American-Israeli plot to discredit Pakistan in the eyes of the world. Wow .....what next.

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Shafi Ahmed said...

paki women r good looking?haha..Give me a break.mam,cut this crap plz.paki women dont cover themselves as muslims should do.they like Bollywood,which is Haraam for us muslims.they harbour terrorist groups,their society is in chaos,its unstable.Karachites fight among themselves(muhajirs n pathans).they dont have any ISLAMIC quality in them.pakis doesnt wear Hijab,they r half nude.they r UN-ISLAMIC.so,they cant b BEAUTIFUL.women who wear Hijab r only beautiful for us muslims.SHAFI AHMED,Hyderabad Deccan

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Swathi said...

I really don't think pakistani women are better looking than indian women. The ones in the pictures don't look any different than the indian socialite women. Also i have noticed that a pretty indian girl is much more beautiful than her pakistani counterpart. most pakistani women are just fair skinned and have long noses. Indian on the the other are darker striking and have better and softer features and to all this add brains. Indian women are streets ahead.

Unknown said...

It is rather subjective !

If fair colour is what strikes you most , then Paki girls are way ahead of Indian ones on an average!

Shobha De is of Bengali origin, an indigenously dark complexioned clan ( although these days they are coming out much fairer due to lifestyle and mixing ) obviously her image and view of beauty is about FAIR complexions !

Sad Shobha De seemed quite complexed while she was out there!

There are several super fair girls in india and when you hold them next to duskier sexier women, they lose out !

Id do a dusky beauty anyday as compared to a fair skinned woman ! Just no sex appeal at all !

Shobha , grow out of your complex!

P.S. Deepika Padukone is a rather beautiful and sexy woman .... and I am a white skinned Saraswat Brahmin man saying this !

Amy Alex said...

Karachi is big metropolitan city i m suggesting you to get flights for pakistan you find even more precious places in Pakistan at tourism point of view.

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