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.

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

  1. Katelyn says:

    wow this is such an amazing description of pakistan…it sounds just like how my friend says Pakistan is, yet i am sad, because my country does not highlight the beauty of Pakistan or the Pakistani people, instead it focuses on the poverty and instability…the news makes it seem like Pakistan is such an awful place, but in reality it is not

  2. ALMIGHTY ALLAH ZAROOR DUAE SOONTA HAY,.ALLH KE YAHAN DAIR HO SHAKTI HAY ANDHER BILKUL NAHI HO SHAKTA YE MERA AUR HAM SAB KA IMAN HAY.YE HAMARI AZMAISH BHI HO SHAKTI HAY.ALMIGHTY ALLAH PE BHROSA RAKHEY AUR HAMARI MUSHKILO KO ALLAH KE SAMNE SUBMIT KAREY AUR ALLAH AUR HAMARE NABI S.A.W. KE AHKAM PER DITTO AMAL KARET AUR AEK SACHEY MUSALMAN KI TARAH ZINDGI JIAE.ALMIGHTY ALLAY ZAROOR MADAD KAREGA,POORA YAKIN RAKHEY PAKSTAN KIYAMAT TAK QAIM RAHEGA AUR JIS MAQSAD KE LIA HASHIL KIA THA WAISAHI PAKISTAN HOGHA INSHAALLAH…

  3. WHAT A LOVABLE MY COUNTRY PAKISTAN IS.HERE WE FEEL PEACE OF MIND,COMFORT,LOVE,APNAIYAT.WHAT EVER DISCUSSED BY WRITER IS FROM THE COLOUR OF GLAMOUR OF WESTERN COUNTRY.I VISITED LONDON AND STAYED THERE FOR TWO MONTHS.ALTHOUGH FACILITIES ARE THERE,LIVING IS EASY,BUT FOR THAT PEOPLE WORK FOR UNLIMITED TIME.RULES ARE VERY STRICT AND IMPLEMENTED IN DITTO.THEY HAVE A SYSTEM WELL THOUGHT .WHILE THERE IS LITERACY ON THE CONTRARY IN OUR BELOVED COUNTRY POLICIES ARE IMPLIMENTED ON ADHOC BASIS AND THAT TOO FAVOURABLE FOR MEGRE POPULATION WHO CALLED ELITE CLASS.THOSE FEW PEOPLE ARE CONTROLLING THE PAKISTAN WHICH HAS COME ON MAP OF THE WORLD AFTER UNPRECEDENTAL SACRIFICES.THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WHEN WHO WERE AROUND MR JINNAH AND NOT PROTESTED WHEN FIRST LAW MINISTER WAS APPOINTED WHO WAS HINDU AND FROM SCHEDULE CAST FROM WEST BENGAL AND ZAFERULLAH KHAN AS FOREIGN MINISTER WHO WAS QADIANI.ALSO THEY HAVE NOT GIVEN ANY REPLY WHEN MR JINNAH SAID THAT WE ARE ALL PAKISTANI,HERE THERE IS NO HINDU NO MUSALMAN NO CHRISTIAN WE ARE ALL PAKISTANI AND RELIGION IS NOT THE CONCERN OF STATE,LAW MINISTER,HINDU CHAIRED THE FIRST MEETING OF CONSTITUTION ASSEMBLY OF PAKISTAN WHICH WAS DEMANDED ON THE BASIS OF ISLAM.PEOPLE/AWAM /MUSALMAN ARE VERY SIMPLE THEY HAVE GIVEN SACRIFICES AND STILL GIVING.THEY ARE ALWAYS CHEATED BY SO CALLED LEADERS WHO IMPOSE THEMSELVED WITH THE POWER OF MONEY AND STATUS ALMIGHTY ALLAAH PAKISTAN KO KAYAMAT QAYEM RAKHAY AAMEEN….

  4. fatima says:

    awesome article
    simply loved it

  5. Majnoo says:

    Owais,

    I laughed so hard at your comments….it made my eyes water…

    For all the people offended by this article, let me just say, “Opinions & Observations are just that, Opinions”. I agree that the article was too short & could have been imprved.
    But the author chose to express what he felt. Regardless of grammatical and other errors, please appreciate his observations.
    Pakistanis are frustrated, desperate & losing patience with the games that each & every person in subsequent governments plays. From local SHO to all the way to the top, we are tired of their games. I would curse them all for turning the dreams of our nation into nightmares, but then we are also blame worthy however implicitly. Please do not start arguments over my comments.
    Adeel, great observations, keep it up.
    Hopefully you will comeback with something about our fellow cuntrymen in Canada.

    M

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