Karachi calling

From The Guardian:

Hanif460x276_2 When novelist Mohammed Hanif told friends he was returning to Pakistan after 12 years in Britain, they were aghast. Why would he and his young family swap London for a city with daily power cuts and rampant gun crime? The answer proved surprisingly simple …

Two months from now, we are planning to return to Karachi with a container full of furniture, more pots and pans than we left behind and a 10-year-old son. Friends and family in Pakistan are aghast. From London to Karachi? Why are you coming to Karachi? Do you know what happened to Sana’s friend the other day? Do you have any idea how you’ll live without electricity for 10 hours every day? And, by the way, have you discussed this with Channan? How does he feel about it?

I will return to Sana’s friend’s plight and my own plans for living without electricity later, but let’s deal with the Channan question first. It’s a heart-wrenching one. He was born in Chelsea and Westminster hospital. He goes to a Church of England school in south London where he is the self-styled star of the school cricket club. His school people are divine, and not because of the church connection. His trumpet teacher has finally managed to get him into a school concert. His closest friends live in the neighbourhood. Obviously, he doesn’t want any of that to change.

More here.