If I say there is no place like Karachi, many of you out there would condemn me for being biased-but the fact is, there actually is no place like Karachi. For me, Karachi is home. No amount of globe trotting could entice me to put down my anchor elsewhere for my city would beckon me back with all the peculiarly particular things that make up this city of lights. And to thee my land, I return.
So in the section, allow me to take you on an expedition of Karachi in summer of 2009. We won’t be journeying the places but events that marked this season-irrespective of time. So let’s begin our journey through the two months that held a lot of excitement and anticipation…in segments.
Glitz and glamour
Although I would never endorse the divide between the Lahore and Karachi fashion fraternity, I do think Karachi has a population that can marginally appreciate fashion more. This season, the biggest wave created in the world of fashion was by the Veet fashion show, where maestros like Maheen Khan, Nomi Ansari, HSY and Khadi Khaas showcased their latest collection. The event earned the deserving hype and acclamation, and was a roaring success. Following Veet, another gem came to Karachi from the land of rivers-Nida Azwer. This Indus valley graduate had it all, from contemporary yet classic ensembles to understated grace and glitzy chic-an absolutely fashionably-entertaining show! Besides that, another event that is worth mentioning is the launch of a wedding bible by a photographer, Munna Mushtaq. Although Dulhan-his wedding compilation- is worth a glance, the event and mishaps were not so entertaining. It reminds me of an old adage ‘one should stick to what one does best’, but we definitely wish him bestest.
Although the perfect season for designers to bring in their lawn collection is March and April, we saw some designers doing the honors in the sticky summer season. While Paressa stocked wisely at Chen One, Yasir Waheed chose to hold an exhibition in a five star hotel. Following ‘better late than sorry’, eh? Talking about exhibitions, we saw one by Nasrin Valika as well. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s okay really. She is an artisan, dealing with jewellery and has a makeup studio as well. We would say nothing impressive but a sweet woman.
For this one, the whole country was embraced by enthusiasm and pride. We had theatre screens all around the city, hotels and rooftops were booked way in advance and streets were almost deserted while the match was going on. And after the victory, one really understood what it meant to live in real Karachi. Traffic jams, young boys dancing on the road, sea view was flooded with people, fire works, and this wave was persistent for one whole week. Radio, TV shows, lounges, cafes, everywhere cricket was the talk of the town. The positivism was direly needed and perfectly celebrated.
After a whole set of extra-cool, techno-savvy, super-smart looking and outstanding phones, Nokia brought to Karachi launch of Nokia N97. Packed with widgets, 3.5 inch sliding tilt display, 3.5mm jack for headphones, Nokia Maps, A-GPS receiver, 32GB built in memory, 5megapixel camera, WLAN, Bluetooth along with other amazing features-it was a sure treat for all the high-techs of the city.
After 6 years, Hadiqa made a smashing come back with her latest album ‘Aasmaan’. The album was very well-received and her record label-Fire Records, went a long way to glamorize the event and make her come back the headline news. What is very interesting about her latest venture is her experiment with different languages and genres without losing her own specialized ethnic touch. She most definitely brought the much needed zinc back in our music industry.
Talking about music, how can we forget about the distressing demise of Michael Jackson. Never did we see such hero-worship for a man by masses who was previously accused of the most heinous crimes possible. Nonetheless, our media paid a deserving tribute to the legend, along with special performance around the city by famous groups like Sonu Dangerous to pay accolades to the legend that will live forever in the hearts of many music lovers.
Despite the arguments of Shaan and Samina Pirzada on television shows about whether Indian films should be allowed in Pakistani cinemas or no, our channels continue to promote Bollywood ventures on massive scale. We saw ARY Digital joining hands in promoting ‘Kambakht Ishq’ starring Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar. There was a premiere night held for the elites and distribution of passes through morning shows for the masses. If only all these efforts were directed for…
The sad story
Another story to make headlines was of heroine being smuggled to Saudi Arabia from our country. Residents of Karachi were arrested in the foreign land when drugs were found in their sandals. The detention was dealt by our government that pleaded that innocents not be punished. Fingers were pointed at the travel agency and family members of the travellers for being possible culprits. These Korangi residents not only suffered public humiliation but the scared purpose of the visit was also tarnished.
Many other events marked the season, which although were not expansive, held special importance. They cake and flower delivery services on Father’s Day by many NGOs and special people organization was a heart-warming event. Other than that, driving classes, summer camps, language classes, and many of the same sort provided entertainment to the bored youth. And the best of all were the bar-b-ques held at beaches…summer would never be complete without them.