Hello folk(ses), kya haal? Been a while (or so it seems). I am now in Karachi, done with quarantine, dyed half my hair white, and fully immersed in all things Pakistani right now. Bi-weekly flu episodes going strong.

While living in Karachi pre-2013, at least 60% of the items that I used on a daily basis were made in Pakistan. This time around, I want to up my game and use/buy as much Pakistani as I can. There is a reason for it.

We are a resilient nation. We smile in the face of adversary, and rise from ashes over and over again. But this time, it’s different. The economic impact of Corona is very real and heartbreaking, especially in Karachi (that’s all I have seen). We have been hit by one calamity after another, with barely enough time in between for our hypothetical feet to find ground.

Here’s a real life example of the impact – I went to buy fabric for basic kurtas, and the markets were all but empty. Then, I took that fabric to my tailor, only to find out that he had to let go of his shop as there wasn’t enough income to keep his shop functioning. I then went to my Plan B tailor (all of us in Karachi have that, right?), and there wasn’t a single customer there. It was 4:30PM. A suit or two hung on a shelf that used to have at least 15.

I now see why the government decided to lift the lockdown; most of us here live a privileged life, and don’t even realise it. We feel like we have it hard but millions of people, right next to us, have it a 100 times harder. They have had to let go of their livelihoods, incomes, provision for basic necessities like food and school fees, and are struggling in ways that you and I cannot imagine.

I know Corona is still here, there is no vaccine for it yet, treatment (if things go south) is beyond a middle class person’s financial means – I understand all that. The flip side is extreme poverty and starvation. How do you choose? How do you choose which way to die?

Hence, now I support the smart lockdown in place. The idea was that economy would go back into action, and people will keep all the SOPs defined by health ministry in mind. Neither happened. Economy and people are still struggling, and SOPs tou ab bas bhool jaye.

Both need to go hand in hand for things to crawl back to normal, at least financially. Doing business with precautions.

What does that mean?

  • keep your masks on
  • wash your hands and face as soon as you come home
  • Keep a sanitiser with you at all times
  • insist politely that people wear a mask when dealing with you (tailors, Careem drivers, food servers, everyone)
  • avoid crowded places

All that was going on for Karachi was its economic and financial contribution to the economy. Na hamare pas industries hai like Punjab, na hamare pas political powerhouses hai like Islamabad. Le de ke ek beach hai (which was deserted the last time I passed by it) and economic opportunities, which are struggling to stay afloat.

Buy Pakistani whenever you can. We need us right now.

P.S I have made a few purchases recently from local brands and will be receiving them hopefully next week. Stay tuned to my Instagram account for updates and reviews.