Karachi: No longer a tourist spot?
The rainbow colour, the international flavour that was part of Karachi is long lost and I still think of days gone by.
It happened a few months ago. I was on a bus, on my way home. Just when the bus reached near Old Sabzi Mandi, no less than twenty people, all belonging to a single family, climbed in. There were many children too, causing a lot of commotion on the bus and making it look like a packed circus ring.
I asked who they were and where they were from. One young lady, who said she was hosting all these people said,
“They are my neighbours, have travelled all the way from Larkana to see Karachi.”
Amazed, I asked, “Why Karachi?”
“Oh, they hadn’t seen it before and now that they journeyed here, they want to see every bit of a busy city life.”
The noise created by the young children continued, ever so. The hostess, getting tired of it, said,
“I had warned them, they shouldn’t bring the children but would they listen? Going to the park was another hassle. The children just went crazy!”
In those ten short minutes, I thought about this city that I boast about as my home town. It used to be a tourist spot till as late as the 1980s. Never mind people from within the country coming to visit, even foreigners too found it very welcoming.
It was not until the Taliban showed up on the world map and the cruel and inhumane murder of Daniel Pearl, the American reporter for The Wall Street Journal, that my city lost its charm as a tourist spot.
What a nice sight it was to see: a foreigner or two waving at you as you toured through Zainab Market or Clifton. I can even recall foreign students who used to occupy apartments in the same area where I resided but alas, no longer.
The rainbow colour, the international flavour that was part of my city has been long lost and I still think of days gone by.