Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sleepless in Karachi

Karachi and electricity. We just don't go together. Load-shedding and Karachi - now that's a perfect match made in Heaven! If there ain't any load -shedding in Karachi, then it ain't Karachi. I don't know which lunatic dubbed Karachi the "City of Lights" but he must have been really, really dumb...probably never set foot in the city. If he had, he would know that the city hardly has any light despite being the industrial hub of the country. Well, yeah, you could count all the light on the street, but, hey, wait a minute... all that "light" on the road is from the car headlights. Any surprises? Nope. Even while driving in the city you feel like you're driving on the highway. The picture on the top is proof to this fact.

Having lived in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia most of my childhood which has superb roads , brightly lit and lined with neatly cut bushes and trees, I got a pretty big shock when I came to Karachi. Streetlights are almost non-existent here and, even if they are present, they don't switch on properly. The city is in the dark most of the time, of course, apart from the posh areas, home to all those fat ministers and their body-guards. So, all in all, the most of the light on the road, as I said, comes from headlights. The credit for lighting the city goes really to the people of Karachi. *Hats off to those Karachites and their patience!*

Summer is probably the worst time to be in Karachi because both the heat and load-shedding are on their peaks (not to mention the mosquito population!) Well, as luck has it, this time we didn't have load-shedding. We had something even bigger and nastier... and boy was the mosquito population happy! Karachi had a complete power breakdown so that most of the city was plunged into darkness. There was some fault in the main line so the electricity supply to most parts of the city was terminated. But, not to worry! Karachites are like rubber-bands... stretch them to the utmost limit and they still don't break.
MashAllah they are so strong and patient that they endured the power breakdown and then bounced right back on their feet. *Thumbs up for those elastic Karachites!* Of course, there was loads of complaining and frustration with politicians being cursed left and right as people swatted flies and mosquitoes in the dark, but at the end of the day (or should I say night) people continued on with their lives. It was like a bad nightmare. Now lets just go back to Facebook and Twitter and change our status. How about "Karachi: The City of lights?" Humor and Karachi. Now, they really go together.

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