(Literally & figuratively, this is not meant to be a “dry” subject for a blog 😊)
October 31, 2019
Consumption of alcohol = fall into a stupor; Consumption of drugs = fall to your death!
I was told that one of the
largest smuggling & illegal consumption of alcohol is in this region
of the world … and it’s very believable!
We see this consumption around us–
it’s a fact of life. Why can’t the
government and rulers over the last four decades see … accept … and monetize
Our laws allow minority, permit-holders
to purchase locally produced alcohol and it is taxed, which is fine. However, far far more smuggled foreign
alcohol is illegally sold and consumed (and not by minorities) – with no
monetary benefit accruing to the government.
If our Governments stop policing so-called “moral values & virtues”
of its citizens,
the economic benefit to the Country is humungous!
“There is a qualitative factor too- one of perception … that we
are a progressive nation, a good place to live and work…” (https://cber.uark.edu/johnsonretailalcohol.pdf);
and that the Country respects
each person’s right to practice his/her religion as they individually choose (their
“sins” are between them and God).
The government taxes local alcohol production; so why is importing
– and taxing – foreign alcohol “haram”? “Interest”
on loans is considered “haram” – then why is it still paid on World Bank, IFC
and other multilateral loans. Let’s be
pragmatic and collect revenues- not hypocritical and suffer socially,
economically and morally.
By allowing sale of higher-cost, imported alcohol with lower-cost,
local production – one covers all social sectors of the population as per their
(p.s.- as is apparent, I’m not covering the negatives of alcohol consumption 😊)
“Mix Breed”, based on a Parsi family who have to face “intermarriage” issues, is a light portrayal of the real-world issues our Community is facing. With double meanings and inflections, the cast (90% of whom learnt Gujrati “on the job”!) entertained the Gujrati speaking communities of Karachi.
The Script was written by Mrs Huzan Wadia, who has successfully
acted & directed it in Mumbai; and selflessly extended the script on a
gratis basis to Natalia Karanjia in Karachi, this play being the latter’s directorial
debut. Yay to Natalia!
This is what Karachi, and Pakistan, lacks- ENTERTAINMENT. We have food & drink and …………
hmmmmm. Play and theatre is picking up
in Pakistan but to a very restricted market.
The mainstream citizens do not get to enjoy theatre on a regular basis-
whether drama, comedy, musical. Our cast
explained to me the ‘power’ of theatre – they get their rush when the crowd
reacts with them- it’s a powerful, intoxicating feeling; there are no second
chances for a mistake; and when you make a mistake, you have to think on your
feet and keep going.
In the 2000 decade our media was opened – creating a new source of
employment – for budding theatre artists, actors, directors, writers, film
makers, etc. It’s a growth market but we
have to create more facilities for this talent to be nurtured, taught, portrayed
– AND WITH IT allowing us citizens to enjoy these productions and enriching our
lives. Kudos to the NAPAs, Arts Councils
and other such facilities – but we need more!
(The naatak was sponsored by the 109 year-old Young Mazdyasnian Zoroastrian Association (YMZA) and the Karachi Parsi Anjuman- however it is not meant to be any endorsement or official or unofficial stance of the Anjuman, the YMZA or any individual thereof)
I was invited to Avari Towers to partake in their newly launched Hi-Tea last week and I’ve been meaning to write about it since then.
Avari Towers is now offering Hi-Tea in their Asia Live restaurant between 04:00 pm and 06:30 pm Monday to Saturday. Avari Towers used to host Hi-Tea way back in the day and I’m glad that they are offering it again.
So, coming to ambiance; Ambiance of Asia Live is pleasing. It’s a fine dining restaurant and meets all expectations. It’s the kind of place where you can go for date night as well take someone for a fancy treat or invite guests.
Food offered at Avari Towers Hi-Tea ranged from their delicious salads that I’m a big fan of to snacks like samosas and pakoras. Various kinds of sandwiches, channa chaat, dahi baray, daleem, fish fingers, pig in the blanket, Alfred penne pasta, vegetable chowmein…
I can unequivocally state that my parents’
generation enjoyed the BEST times of Pakistan – no two ways about it. However, my generation of the 1960s have
evolved through one of the most INTERESTING and EXCITING periods of history –
the TECHNOLOGY explosion. I mean, we have
first-hand witnessed –
change from rotary to touch button telephones;
to Digital services telephone services;
advent of the PERSONAL computer (my first computer was an IBM machine) in the
phones – GSM, 3G, 4G, 5G … and all the future “G’s” that are to come;
sat phones, VOIP tech, skype, whats app, wechat, tablets;
to online news and RSS feeds;
media to Social media;
cameras to Digital cameras- in fact, I found one such camera and asked my studio
for a 36mm reel only to be told they’ve been discontinued 😊! So, I’ve started scanning my old reels into
digital photos for posterity;
records, cassette tapes, VHS & Beta to cloud based music & videos;
cameras, car cameras, CCTV – you name it … it’s out of the old “BOND” movies we
used to see!
used pens & pencils but the latest tablet & phone technology uses a
stylus and speech-to-written technology.
Careem, Uber … the list goes on an on.
The generation of the ‘90s has grown up on
digital … they never experienced non-digital communication! It’s online movies, Netflix, cloud-based streaming
movies, etc. Yes, my kids come to the
theatre but they don’t need a cable TV set up in their dorms anymore- they are
quite content with seeing their content on their laptops.
However, I feel, what technology explosion we
saw in the ‘90s was one of the most interesting a generation can witness – notwithstanding
what is yet to come! – and things are
It’s only a matter of time when our thoughts will be transcribed to the written-word … I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s already here !
Potty training is a process. In the journey of motherhood, a milestone we all feel proud that we’ve accomplished. (Truly, with all the effort, sometimes I feel we moms deserve a 🏆)
Here are a few tips I learnt while training my older son & now implementing with my younger one.
1. Start early- I feel a good age to start is around 1 when the child is more aware of his/her surroundings.
2. Get a good seat- You do not need a fancy seat with music & lights but yes you do need a seat which is padded & comfortable for your little ones tusshie. I prefer one that fits directly on the regular WC to avoid any messy incidents. After all who likes cleaning poop from a bowl?!
3. Half naked- when at home, let them roam around for awhile without any underwear for them to understand that…
Look at where we are now … ☹☹☹. We can have all the latest, mechanized tools
but there’s no “system” or “will”, so we might as well [continue] to live in
the dark ages.
There is no reason Karachi cannot reclaim this
glory. I AM KARACHI (http://iamkarachi.org/), the social NGO, has proven that keeping city walls clean & painted
with street art, ensures no vandalism or defacement of property. In the same vein, once the city is cleaned
& maintained by the Municipality, there is absolutely no reason why we will
not maintain the same. I am not
justifying wrong actions but it’s only when our citizens see a clean city will
we continue the practice … and there’s no rocket science involved.
Throw out all mechanical tools and go back to Jamshed
Mehta’s simplicity – put idle bodies on the roads, give them a broom and bucket
each and get them to deep clean the roads, the garbage bins, the nooks &
crannies every night from midnight to 6am. Put a garbage bin on EVERY alternate light
pole; on every street corner; at every traffic signal – enabling people a means
to throw their daily trash! Through the
day have roving street cleaners who will simply pick up large debris like cans,
plastics, etc. You will create
You will give an honest day’s wage to the
unemployed and a meaning to their lives.
Infant mortality will increase. You
will eradicate mosquitos, disease and other scourge of pollution. These are not simply PR words – this can
In return, we will get a clean city and healthy citizens.
We live in a City but hardly go to visit the sites therein…and Karachi has plenty to see!
So, off we
went some years back to see Manora’s Lighthouse and St. Paul’s Church, both located
in the Karachi Harbour and both which we pass regularly when sailing.
This is not only the
second oldest lighthouse (1889) of the British Raj but, we were told, ONLY one
of two lighthouses in the WORLD which are still cranked by hand (and not
battery operated). The other lighthouse is
apparently in Chennai, India.
There is still a
lighthouse keeper … and every 50-odd minutes, he has to physically crank the
lever that rotates the light, dusk to dawn!
Hats off to the
Karachi Port Trust in maintaining this iconic structure and the traditional art
of operating the lighthouse successfully for the last 130 years.
still-active 1865 Church, St. Paul’s, stands adjacent to the Lighthouse – and
maintains a weekly Mass every Sunday for the Christian residents of Manora
According to https://www.ibiblio.org/lighthouse/pak.htm, the British captured
Manora in 1839 and made it their initial base of operations in what is now
Pakistan. The lighthouse & Church
are located on the southeastern tip of the peninsula facing the Arabian Sea.
Not only was this our first visit ever to both these legendary icons but a first for us on Manora Island itself.