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Being Karachiite : Being Rock Solid

Touted as the ‘Metropolitan City’, Karachi has lived up to the standards of being one. It is the dream city to those who come here fulfill them and never go disappointed. Being the trade, cultural, educational, financial and political hub, Karachi is as philanthropic and benevolent as any mega city should be. From the days it was the capital to these days when it Sindh’s capital, it has provided the ‘Roti, Kapra and Makaan’ to people coming from all walks of life.

Though those who been born and brought up in Karachi have seen the city’s decline from being the ‘City of Lights’ to the ‘City of Shadows ’. They have seen it in its blooming days and they are looking at it now when it’s drowning in the blood of its own people.

Today Karachi is flocked by a number of hoodlums. Target killings, rapes, bomb blasts have become regular and so normal, that everyone living here has become immune to it. Recently two young girls under age 8 were raped, leaving their families devastated. The target killings are any other happenings that Karachiites have come to live with. Everyday sees many lives been taken and that takes away life of not just one human, but the joy of living from countless family members. It takes away the only bread winner, the only support, the only protection from sisters, mothers and daughters. No one is bereft of the mourning and grief of losing loved ones in bomb blasts. The people of Karachi are not only robbed of money and valuables but their souls, self esteem and enthusiasm.

I have been born and brought up in Karachi like million others. My young days went carefree and cheery. Visiting parks, fun lands and zoo was routine. Eids were the most cheerful occasions, receiving Eidi, buying new clothes and bangles, getting those ‘pankha toys’ and paying visits to cousins was done religiously and was the most satisfying custom. Going to school all alone was the job that gave pleasure of being a grownup. I started growing up and with me grew the violence and terrorism. In the beginning, it was a snatching or two; it went on to robberies in the houses and killing because of revenge. Gradually, these one or two incidents rose to fully devastating circumstances, as if every hour is a terrorism motion picture, where only blood, mourning, corpses, blasts and firing can be seen and heard.

Yes Karachi has become the most violent city but it has been my school, high school, college, university and it has been my job. It is the place where I have spent my childhood, my teens and am spending my adulthood. It has given me my job and my salary. For me it is the busiest city, a city that never sleeps, a city that caters to your hunger pangs right at 3 am in morning. A city that is as dirty as it is beautiful. It is as serious as it is jovial. As bizarre as it is unique. Karachi is a combination of contrasts and similarities.

One can easily label its people as adamant and insistent, who will go on doing all their activities just after a few minutes of witnessing a bomb blast. Perhaps we are more resilient of the people of the country. The spirit of letting go and moving on has now become a second nature.  Survival has rather become the basis of living. There is this mystical attraction about this city that never lets it drown into or get intimidated by the darkness of the terrorism that is prevailing high.

Every day, I rise up, like others dwelling in the city, and tell myself to give it another go. I pass through busy roads and feel the sense of affection and warmth this city has for me. I meet my colleagues belonging to variant classes and factions and talk about the disharmony in the city with the similar resentment. I lie wide awake at night and think of the spunk and courage the city infuses every day into its people.

Every morning, each and every one of us, starts life anew and sends the message to those trouble makers that whatever they do; they cannot take away our sense of being alive. They cannot take away our endurance and fortitude. They cannot take away our spirit of being a Karachiite.

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