Karachi: Love and Nostalgia
Karachi is known as the city of lights, full of love, colour and nostalgia. It is my birthplace, a place where my parents grew up and a place where I go for some dose of inspiration. Even though I moved to London when I was 3 years old, as the 70s and 80s child, my parents took us religiously to Pakistan for our annual vacations.
Now looking back in hindsight, I am glad they did, as I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for those experiences. My parents always said that never forget where you came from and always keep your feet firmly on the ground. They lived amongst the rich and the poor. My dad comes from a comfortable background, while my mum from a less privileged one. However, their teachings of humility, no arrogance, and treating people with respect are what keep me attached to my Rajasthani community in Karachi.
What I find most captivating about the city is the vast contrast of people; their lives and how we can meet diverse communities living right next door to each other. Rich and poor, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. My early childhood memories were having play dates with the children from the Hindu Dalit community, who are our neighbors. What I love about the Marwari community is how they immerse themselves in life, always being positive and looking out for each other. I have never met a community where they all gather around in the hospital if someone in their community is ill ( I mean in 100s!)
Ranchore Line ( Old Karachi)
Ranchore line (where my parents come from) is located in South Karachi. This part of the city is inhabited by the early settlers and there are walking tours for tourists to visit old Karachi which includes Saddar, the streets and alleys of Old Town Karachi in particular; The Pakistan Chowk area. I visited a photobooth which brought me back to my childhood vacations in the 80s. It was a tradition to have a professional photograph taken during my holidays and this studio felt like time had stopped!.
There is a walking tour guide who takes you to these places near our neighborhood. You can find them on Instagram @heritagewalkkhi.