Khaula Jamil Photography
Khaula Jamil Photography

They call us “The City that Never Sleeps”, only I don’t think the name does justice. We aren’t exactly people who move with zombie-like vigor due to the lack of sleep. No, I’m afraid we’re more nocturnal, staying awake till the wee morning hours when the sun itself awakens from its slumber. That, is when the people of this city decide to listen to the calls that their bed makes beckoning them to sleep.

Karachi is for the dreamers and the doers. Eyes scour the streets and roads always searching, always looking for the next muse, the next inspiration to life. The buildings, a combination of exquisite and alluring, of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue beckon the eyes casting a spell on the onlooker, giving the mind a piece of imagination, a look into a life that is always foreign from his own.

She is resilient and stubborn and strong. Her heart is the shore, waves lapping at the sand, tickling those who dare to wet their feet. All roads lead to the heart, every cell and every organism. There are those who visit every day, just wistfully staring at the ocean, only their minds know why the sea calls out to them in a siren song. And others hop on over on the holidays, occasionally visiting a friend that does well to lend a shoulder when life truly gets tough and all you really need is a break.

We are a city almost always encompassed in red. We love with red, and we hate with red. You can expect the passion to forever run its course. And yet, Karachi is as diverse as the colours painted on the buses that roam its streets. We dip into green and white every Independence Day, yellow on days of sincerity, purple when pride swells our chests out and blue in moments of jubilation. It’s not just a truck; it’s the canvas of life.

But the true essence of Karachi lies in the old. Here the streets are narrow and only seem to get thinner as vendors line themselves selling delicacies whose smells are enough to make the mouth water. The buildings might appear dilapidated but that’s where true beauty lies. It’s the trained eye that notices the carving on the stone, the exuberant colours on the doors, the old huddled in a corner playing cards, a family of five making room in an apartment for one and the cricketers that continue to find place even in the smallest of places to play the game that has the power to unite.

There is a lot to cry and complain about but the love is unconditional like a child to its mother.