KARACHI: With annual events like Karachi Eat and Karachi Literature festival gaining increasing popularity each year, we can’t help but wonder what makes these large-scale events so popular among Karachiites?
Is it because of the lack of recreational activities in the city or people just want some fun time to hang out with friends? The recent ban on sheesha doesn’t help either, it means recreation in Karachi has come down to one of two things: eating out or going to the movies.
In an attempt to remedy this current scarcity of leisure activities, here is a list of six activities, that take place around the world, which would make great additions to our city.
A personal favourite — which is why I’m leading with it — PaintNite’s idea, as obvious by the name itself, is to paint and party with your friends at a bar or restaurant in your neighborhood.
In various cities around the US, ‘PaintNite’ rents a café or bar, and calls a local artist to teach a group how to recreate one of the artist’s paintings. On visiting PaintNite’s website, you can choose the city/state, pick a day and painting you like, and make a booking.
You may think this is only for those with an artistic flare, but I assure you that I cannot even draw a stick figure with any consistency, and I still had a great time amid the oil paints and brushes. Here’s a picture of my friend and I featuring our lack of artistic skill:
Here are some people who had more success with a different painting:
The artist makes the painting as simple as possible with step-by-step instructions.
To add to the event, cafés serve their guests with drinks and snacks. Perhaps we could put our own cultural spin on it and serve chai and samosas?
Yes, for those of you who remember (or have forcibly forgotten), we had Purple Haze many years ago, which offered karaoke. As someone who has spent the last month, after the sheesha ban, on PlayStation competing in a karaoke game called SingStar, I think it’s high time we opened up a karaoke joint here. Nothing beats belting out Spice Girls or Bon Jovi with your friends, at the end of a long day.
3. Cat café
This suggestion may sound a tad bit ludicrous to some of you but for the animal lovers out there, a cat or a dog café, would be the most therapeutic way to spend your time. You can enjoy a cup of coffee and mingle, all with a furry sidekick.
4. Ceramic painting studio
Again, you’d think this activity requires some artistic talent, but you could literally paint a mug all black and still have a fun time at a ceramic painting studio. This is how it works:
You buy a ceramic product – it could be anything, from a miniature ceramic horse or a standard mug, to a flower vase, or fruit bowl. Once purchased, the studio supplies you with brushes and paints to jazz up your buy and go crazy. And once you’re done, they glaze your piece and dry it, and you pick it up when it’s ready.
Plus, these make for great sentimental gifts to give to friends and significant others.
5. Board game café:
This may be the simplest idea, and granted many cafes do keep cards or Ludo for customers, but a board game café would be the ultimate way to spend your pastime.
A café that stores more than just one or two board games — everything ranging from snakes and ladders to Risk. The idea is simple: you can rent a game per hour or per game (though with long games like risk and monopoly, it may be more profitable for the owners to stick to an hourly rate) and have snacks and chai with your friends.
And last but not least…
6. Escape Rooms:
Washington DC has a unique alternative to its generic tourist activities, called Escape Rooms. The website describes this activity as a live version of board game, Cluedo. Each room is theme decorated and filled with clues that need to be found.
Now it may sound questionable to pay to be locked in a room with a bunch of strangers (maybe even like a scene from the horrifying SAW movies), but as the website explains, there are different kinds of rooms – some locked, with the sole mission to solve the mystery which will unlock the door, while others are simply about solving a mystery.
Not only does this promise a fun time, but it also creates a sense of camaraderie among strangers by creating an atmosphere where you work together with a group to achieve a unified goal.
For the entrepreneurs out there, please consider opening up any of above for your fellow Karachiites. I’ll be first in line when you do!