When an individual is devoid of entertainment in a metropolis like Karachi, what is he supposed to do? Catch up with family or friends, enjoy a movie, a play at the Arts Council, or at the most drive to an amusement park and later have some food before returning home. Other than this, is there anything else you could do in Karachi? Oh yes, we also have Sea View.
When concerts, fun fairs or any other kind of gathering where people-to-people interaction enhances the levels of entertainment are lacking, they are considered a luxury whenever such events do take place.
Every day one comes across tens of events on Facebook and other social media. If we divide Karachi’s residents into two categories — those who can afford and those who cannot — we come to a very stark deduction that most events are for the former category.
Let us start with events for students — Model United Nations conferences have been the ‘in’ thing for college and university students for the last few years but can a parent who earns Rs25,000-30,000 a month send his/her kid to these? No. Meanwhile, we are all well aware of the standards of our intra- and inter-school and college co-curricular and extra-curricular events.
Now let us focus a bit on the all-so-promising ‘youth’ of the city. A stroll through Karachi’s Khadda market is enough to provide you with a sample for your research. The focus group will be extremely focused on smoking, talking and eating. This is a source of entertainment for the younger lot of the city, and perhaps even the rest of the country. And if you are not satisfied with this conclusion, then perhaps have a look at the crowd thronging the more-expensive-than-five-star-hotels chai dhabas in DHA and Clifton.
Then come the adults. Well, one could very easily deduce that they are too busy earning their livelihoods and their only source of entertainment is hanging out with their families and at the most, a group of friends, if anyone has survived from their college days, or perhaps workplace acquaintances.
A lot of conclusions can be drawn from the above rant. The next time you see a bunch of bikers zig-zagging their way through cars, don’t complain because that is the only source of entertainment they have. Secondly, if you think Sea View, the Karachi zoo, the Quaid’s mausoleum, Safari Park and Alladin Park have become too over-crowded and are not the ‘in’ places to hang out anymore, then please suggest affordable places for those who can’t afford to go to luxurious entertainment events like Karachi Eat!
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2016.