Karachi, You’re Killing Me! by Saba Imtiaz


In a city where gun shots and bomb blasts are a norm, individuals find themselves navigating life as if its ‘all in a day’s work’. Such is Imtiaz’s character Ayesha who lives the life of a journalist covering shootouts, rallies and surviving bandits all the while traveling all over in a rickshaw.

The book gives a fresh look into the life of those living in Pakistan’s Metropolis and the city deemed ‘most dangerous’. Here the sex is casual and the booze flow easy, even if Ayesha never has enough money to buy her cigarettes, pay her bootlegger or her taxi driver because her editor keeps putting off her salary.

Imtiaz, who herself lives the life of a journalist speaks in a tone so true to the characters that one knows instantly what it’s like to be part of a profession that clearly isn’t safe. Yet, as we watch Ayesha navigate her way throughout the book, her strength and determination is quite evident. She possesses the patience and endurance of being a journalist. That is exactly what made her character so enjoyable to read. Her tribulations at finding love in a city that takes up all her time and the man she finds herself trusting, only for him to use her for sex that came with a ‘i-will-steal-your-story-from-under-your-nose-while-you-sleep-in-my-bed’ made her out to be a character you were rooting for till the end.

The book had a very Meg Cabot and Bridget Jones feel to it, filled with humour and a heroine who you often found ranting about a city she loved and wanted to escape at the same time. It was filled with words that Pakistanis, or rather Karachiites will understand instantly and conversations that simply leapt of the page because they honestly felt so real.

Gone are the misconceptions about the women and the life that one lives in Pakistan, especially Karachi. A true eye opener for those unaware. The characterization of Karachi, with a voice of its own gave the book an interesting outlook at the way things are done here. A fun read even if the ending was slightly ‘Bollywood’ but then again living in a city like Karachi you come to enjoy the flair of the drama.