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My first love

Tariq Khalique

For most of the people Karachi is the city of lights, but for me, it is my first love. I was born and raised in the city, where I enjoyed each and every aspect from diverse cultures to the people belonging to different ethnic and religious groups. There is always a feeling of friendly atmosphere in the city.

With a population of almost 20 million, Karachi is home to almost all communities of the world. It is the most diverse city as compared to other parts of the country. The city is considered to have one of the most hectic lifestyles, but at the same time, it is known for its lively weekends and glamorous nights. “Karachi never sleeps”.

Likewise, food lovers can enjoy all types of stuff, including, Continental, Chinese, English, Italian, American and so on. The citizens enjoy dining out, especially on weekends, as there are some of the most amazing restaurants, cafés and food streets in almost all areas of the city, and with the passage of time, the love for dining out is getting more popular among all segments of the society. Some of the most popular eateries and food streets included Burns Road, Port Grand, Boat Basin, Do Darya, etc.

Other than food streets, Karachi has some of the most beautiful architecture. If you roam around the city areas, especially old city areas, you can find some of the most unique buildings, such as Frere Hall, Mohatta Palace in Clifton, Clock Tower on M A Jinnah Road, and Empress Market in Saddar, which was constructed between 1884 and 1889 and was named to commemorate Queen Victoria, the Empress of India.

The site of the Empress Market had historical significance, as it was situated on the grounds, where a number of native sepoys were executed in a ruthless fashion after the sepoy mutiny of 1857. The then British rulers feared that the local population will build a monument to honor the executed sepoys instead built the Empress Market to commemorate Queen Victoria. Karachi also has the biggest sea port of the country.

Besides, the city markets are a paradise for all. Karachi has the most distinctive markets in the country such as Bolton Market (Whole sale), Empress Market (Vegetables, fruits, spices and dry fruits), Zainab Market (low-cost clothes, traditional jewellery and handicrafts), Saddar (All kinds of clothing, jewellery, shoes, watches and whatever you want), Zamzama (brands, local and foreign), etc.

Karachi is also known for his cultural and literary activities, as it houses the largest council, Arts Council of Pakistan, made for the promotion of arts and culture in Pakistan. Arts Council of Pakistan is perhaps the busiest place as far as organizing cultural and literary events are concerned.

On the other side, Karachi has witnessed some of the worst times during 80s and 90s, when political activities have made the people of the city hostage, but they continue to live with unflinching determination. Realisation of the conditions is also one of the most prominent features of Karachiites. They get used to the situations very fast.

The city represents all kinds of shades and people, making it a unique place to live. Despite pros and cons, people of any origin living in the city feel at home and no one can take away this feeling from them. And that is why I always say, “Karachi is my first love”.

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