Like every end of the concert, she asked me to drive to the bar. I don't like it, but I can't deny that I am myself addictive to the environment. It is not just the wine, the dance, or all the crashing that we do back in the bar, it is also the fact that I have always gone there since I got to the law-bound age of entering bars. It is like my home when I think of celebrating life, in its entirety.
It was the same like always. We entered there, got drunk, and enjoyed. Lisa, the bartender, looked a bit weaker and older but was as fresh as ever in cursing everyone! She served, and served, and served till we were heap! Mumbling in between, "my Danny would have gone to the Ivy league, unlike you freaking beer-drinking monsters!". Garry told Danny was killed when a fight broke out between the "Hoof-gang" and the "Volts", the stupid youth gangs which kinda rule this downtown bar. Dan was serving when the fight broke out, and he was just trying to keep the bar from getting broken, but he got cut and hit badly in the head and died right there. We drank to his name - that shot was free from Lisa! Garry said, heck! We wished you had more sons to be killed - we would drink more on their names! Lisa continued her outrageous cussing upon him. Guess she was crying, don't really remember, we were too drunk and enjoying the music! It was fun!
Originally conceived as a family restaurant, it ended up being a bar, initially it only used to be a modern downtown bar, but somehow turned too dark. And that's what we all love about it! Heck we love the darkness! All the gangs, all the dirty money, the wine, the morphine, hashish, you name it and you get it there! Heaven! The fact that white and black all go together there adds up to the richness of the bar! They get people down and dead every other day - but the bar never lets anything make it fall apart - it continues its lavish servings! That's the beauty of it!
Noah, Eve, and Stephanie, God knows where they are! Guess in some old home, or maybe dead, they don't show up serving anymore. Anyway, doesn't matter as long the wine is served, and the bar is open! We love crashing here, it is Love! Beauty! As an acquaintance once said about it, "the constant back and forth between good and bad, cheerful and gloomy is what makes it what it is: my love!"
And we left the bar at the end. Not really counting how many die there - and why they die - and who kills, and who sells these drugs there - what happens of the bartenders, and in fact what happens of the sane waiters of this once a family-restaurant-turned-bar because of God knows what reasons - ignoring the smell of blood on the tables - liking the red color on the walls without pondering that it is actually red due to blood - just forcing oblivion upon our consciously unconscious minds - as we don't deal with all this, not for us to think anyway!
Don't know why, and what it meant, but they called it "Karachi".
The story is a fiction, and an anecdote to the present day Karachi. English characters were used because such Western modernity and industrial culture is settling in. The bartenders and the daily visitors/gangs represent the inhabitants of the city, and the occasional visitors are people like us, the expats, who keep sending "love" messages for the city, such as; "Karachi is Love!".
People are good everywhere generally, and yes, Karachi has wonderful, hardworking, loving, and serving people - but that's not what is focused here - what is necessarily focused is the gruesome nature the city has adopted.
Image of the famous fountain at Karachi's Sea View beach, altered by myself to show the red of the blood. No copyright infringement intended.
Update 13th March 2013:
Parveen Rehman, the architect, and director Orangi Pilot Project, was killed today. I dedicate this to her, and many more of her types. RIP, Karachi.