No double sawari at Katti Pahari: KarachiTip #161: Scene on hai

Published: July 17, 2011
With humour as its weapon, internet group launches full-scale attack with t-shirts.

With humour as its weapon, internet group launches full-scale attack with t-shirts.

With humour as its weapon, internet group launches full-scale attack with t-shirts. With humour as its weapon, internet group launches full-scale attack with t-shirts. With humour as its weapon, internet group launches full-scale attack with t-shirts.

It makes no sense to be apologetic about Karachi. Instead, embrace reality, express it in the language you really use and slap it on a t-shirt. For example:

No double sawari at Katti Pahari.

Rehman Malik: Dehshat gardon ke khilaf karwai ki jaegi. Topi Alert.

These are the pithy one-liner ‘tips’ on Karachi created by three students, Baakh Nusrat, Abdullah Syed and Bilal Khan who decided to venture out from posting them online via Facebook and Twitter to launch KarachiTip t-shirts once their fan base crossed 15,000. The ‘ceremony’ was held at Cafe Coffee Day off Tariq Road where the excited young trio – they’re between 18 and 21 years old – sold the shirts for Rs550 a pop.

“One of our aims is to bring both positive and negative aspects of our city into the spotlight and portray them via productive humour,” explained Abdullah Syed while holding a shirt that stated, “City of lights, city off lights. Love it either way.” The idea is to say what everyone is thinking, to put it out there, to create a sense of unity among the madness. It may be small but it’s a step in the right direction for a city that is rent apart by divisions.

Indeed, so popular was the concept that it went viral after its June 2 launch on the internet. The irony is, though, that KarachiTips was not an original idea. It was inspired by the Facebook phenomena known as BroTips – comical one-liners centred on popular culture. But somehow, KarachiTips hit the spot because of its unique grounding in Karachi, a city which may have a population of 20 million but whose residents share the same challenges.

The KarachiTips team has mined this rich vein, captured the way the city talks and plugged in to the energy of young people especially. Take this thumbing off to Lahore, for example: “Your best argument in a Lahore vs. Karachi argument is well, we have the beach”.

The shirts come in five designs and five colours and can be ordered via their Facebook page. On Saturday, at the launch, they were selling like hotcakes to a crowd of 40 people. “It’s all about the message we portray, we aim to unite the city despite our differences” explained Baakh.

Their long-term goal is to create a platform that ultimately promotes Karachi’s culture. “There are very few things that create awareness about the positive side of Karachi therefore we aim to do so in a humorous way,” explained Syed. “Shirts are the first step; our next step is to get involved with community projects in order to reignite a love for Karachi.” Sab set hai.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2011.

Some of the tips can be seen here.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (13)

  • ugh
    Jul 17, 2011 - 11:40AM

    Selling like hot cakes to 40 people…..40 people! hahahahaahah And this is worth reporting


  • Bilal
    Jul 17, 2011 - 3:15PM

    400* it was. :)


  • Waseem Soomro
    Jul 17, 2011 - 3:23PM

    nice cover!

    All the love to KarachiTips, best of luck for future projects!


  • Jul 17, 2011 - 4:24PM

    I loved some of the messages they had, especially: “There are no hawks on Hawks Bay and there is nothing French about the French beach.” and ” A WTF expression is zaroori when your jigar fakes an accent. Saala. Wannabe.”


  • @ugh
    Jul 17, 2011 - 4:30PM

    sounds like someones extremely jealous.


  • Baakh
    Jul 17, 2011 - 6:15PM

    The number of people who showed was way past 40. The shirts were pretty much sold out :)


  • Tanoli.
    Jul 17, 2011 - 7:26PM

    New shirt should be city of mud and rain is prohibited in karachi or city of crow.


  • uXuf
    Jul 17, 2011 - 7:51PM

    Good luck guys, let the jealous simmer.


  • Farheen
    Jul 17, 2011 - 9:27PM

    40 or 400, does not matter. Do not forget that the situation in Karachi was still tensed when many showed up for the event. Close to 16,000 members in a very short span of time. That speaks for itself. Most Karachiites (and many Pakistanis) identify and feel connection with these and so they joined. Keep up the good work and best wishes for the future! As for selling like “hot cakes”, most identify with “GOOL GAPPY”. :) Next time do the launch at some university or college campus. May be close to NIPA, for easy access for Karachi University, NED and Sir Syed University students and T-Shirts will sell like PapRi Chat/ Gool Gappy!


  • Jul 18, 2011 - 5:34AM

    Good going guys. Seems like you’re successful in capturing Karachi’s imagination. And by Karachi, I mean ‘us’. We are Karachi!


  • Karim Javed
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:18AM

    We Don’t Need Rain we create it ;) we are karachities we can do any thing. we have water parks and sea view we can manage there but your only source of enjoyment is rain and dirty canals :P


  • KK
    Jul 18, 2011 - 12:30PM

    i hate those kinds of acts who represents our city and country image in bad
    aspects and hate those peoples who says that its the reality and face the reality ask them
    write about their own bad traits im sure they will fail to write.


  • Bilal AbdulRahman
    Jul 24, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Keep up the good work people ! :)

    For Karim Javed Sahib:

    Boss…..Every city in the country has their BEST and AVERAGE and NOT-SO-AVERAGE points. The only thing what matters is showing love for what you OWN! Karachi……..Lahore……Islamabad……..Hyderabad…….Gujranwala……..Rawalpindi….they’re all OURS and PART of the COUNTRY you belong too. Don’t undermine them………If you’re inside the country…..try loving them AND not throw HATE FLAMES :)……By the way…….hum he hein jo is mulk to banatay hein aur bigaartay hien :)………:)


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