KARACHI: With Independence Day around the corner, the city’s old paper market has been adorned with green colour. The old market on MA Jinnah Road, opposite the Light House, has the patriotic colours blooming at every corner. Several vendors have set up shop with the national flag, badges, bands, souvenirs, accessories and other trinkets reflecting the patriotic spirit. Vendors have launched new products this year much to the delight of enthusiastic customers visiting the market.
The patriotic fervour is shared by the vendors and customers alike. The latter say that since the day of independence and Eidul Azha are falling side by side this year, the excitement is twofold. Whereas the former say they had been preparing for this months in advance and began bringing in various patriotic-themed products since mid-July.
The vendors inform that inflation has not affected their Independence Day business as citizens are purchasing accessories as they do every year. According to them, ornaments and embellishments have also been bought in bulk for decoration of houses, buildings and offices while the demand for large flags has risen in comparison to the previous year. The cottage industry also contributed heavily to the products prepared this year.
While badges, flags and buntings are popular each year, this year youngsters are also happily purchasing colourful trumpets, pipes, masks, joker caps and wigs reflecting the patriotic colours. Green and white paints are also available at some stalls for face painting purposes. Various accessories such as the traditional Sindhi and Balochi caps, scarves, stoles, bangles, purses, all embellished with the green and white colours are also on display.
Nisam Ahmed Sheikh, an expert flag maker, said that this year he would urge people to put up the Kashmiri flag along with the Pakistani flag. “So that solidarity is expressed with Kashmiri’s and a positive message about Kashmir could be conveyed to the world.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2019.