Flair, fury and fun in Pakistan

Posted on October 14, 2008
Filed Under >Adeel Khan, Humor, Society, Travel
27 Comments
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Adeel Khan

When I was boarding Emirates’ EK623 to Karachi, Pakistan, I was so not looking forward to endless electricity shortages, carbon-polluted air and the crass conversations that are punctuated with materialistic garble, so typical of Pakistan’s upper-middle class. I knew little that this trip would be the most fascinating, mentally relaxing trip that will be etched in my memory for a long time to come.

Pakistan is a country full of ironies, anomalies and abnormalities. A fellow passenger seemed to be very impresses by the Canadian passport and North American accent. On my way out of the plane I bumped, as in literally bumped, into an aunty. Thereafter, she could not stop ranting about how improper the new generation could be and how disrespectful desi-gorays are.

It still didn’t hit me that I am in Karachi until I had a coolie harass me for luggage and a security officer bargaining with a passenger’s relative to allow him entry into the departure lounge. I knew I have well and truly arrived in Pakistan, and everything goes here… or so it seemed.

Pakistanis are nothing else if not vibrant, emotional, opinionated and fearless. No two are the same – and the third is usually the opposite. By and large, attitudes were very similar to when I was in Karachi last, and that was a good, long eight years ago. However, a sense of frustration coupled with impatience and desperation has crept in as a result of falling living standards and deteriorating law and order situation..

As we exited into the arrival platform, I saw a sea of Shalwar-qameez clad men and women, and I would have never seen as many in my eight years in Canada! There is something earthly and a touch of grace in our national dress. It is easy on the eyes especially on women; they ooze with decency in them. Of course, when a cab driver wears it, with pan stains and cigarette smells, it doesn’t look as attractive anymore.

Despite all of life’s hardships, the common man does not seem to lose his patent sense of humor and spontaneous wit. Driving the very first time in Pakistan, I was just cruising within my Nazimabad neighborhood, when I almost knocked over a teenager who was moving where cars should. I was taking a left from a chooki and didn’t see him suddenly entering into the junction. He didn’t look terribly mad, all he said was ‘abay kya jaan loo ge’. And then he walked away, not having the patience to wait for my immediate apology.

In a nutshell, that symbolized the inhabitants from this Land of the Pure. Inspirational but frustrated, witty but unfocused, brilliant but undisciplined – we are anything if not original.

I couldn’t stop to wonder, what if this nation realizes it’s true potential? But in a country where poverty prevails and injustice thrives, the citizenry is too tired and unmotivated to initiate a new struggle just yet.

Adeel Khan, CPSA is a free-lancer, and a member of the Canadian Political Science Association. Consequently, All work is copy-righted.

Photo Credits: Title Photo of this post is by KamiSyed at Flickr.com. Clicking on the photo will take you to its source page.

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27 responses to “Flair, fury and fun in Pakistan”

  1. The Teenager says:

    I wassss the teenager you hit! didn’t know you wrote here. ah well

  2. R.Shoaib says:

    It was a good thought which writer expressed. It seems most of us can understand ourselves better when we spend time away from our little pond.
    Now we wish to have people back here to guide this nation, we have leaders( some who can point and tell where problem is) which are in to making, and we do need managers to carry out things for our nation.Good luck !

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