Mo(u)rning in Karachi

Tomb of Mohamad Ali Jinnah, Karachi
Karachi-home of the Quaid's mausoleum

The Karachi horizon must be filled with wonder and awed by the beauty of the orange sun as it rises above it. The clouds change from silver to streaks of sparkling gold. The azure sky basks in this royalty but are the streets of Karachi lucky enough? I wonder……

Does the sun glow upon the villas along the shore? The sun does gleam upon the sand, I have read, but doesn’t it also sparkle upon the litter speckling the dark grey asphalt of the roads? The sun does mirror itself on all the dirt-streaked and the shiny windows of the high-rise buildings, some of them revealing their patches of cracked beige paint, the sun highlights the moss-covered dripping pipes hidden into the dark ducts, but doesn’t it also warm the starved bodies of the homeless dozing off on the cemented footpaths?

Doesn’t it ponder on the stark contrast in the two sides of the picture-a picture that activates itself into a bustling metropolitan? Beggars lie under the shade of buildings owned by the elite, the villas lie upon the shores of the Arabian Sea but so does yesterday’s garbage. The sputtering rickshaw travels alongside the gliding Toyota Corolla. The homeless orphan, her clothes in tatters, knocks helplessly on the windows of the school bus full of breakfast-fed, bright-eyed ‘students’, Pakistan’s ‘next generation’.

Indeed, the sun must be absorbing all the contrasts so explicitly displayed, how then, I wonder, does it turn into the yellow spot in the sky from the bright, frivolous orange disc upon the golden horizon?


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