In the twilight zone: On Karachi

H. M. Naqvi in India Today:

ScreenHunter_39 Aug. 21 16.27Unlike Lahore or Islamabad, Karachi is not pretty. It's a rough and tumble megalopolis like Sao Paulo, like Mumbai, that features a hardy, dynamic populace. Karachiwallahs make Karachi Karachi. The city is populated by thugs and humanitarians, businessmen and novelists. No other city in Pakistan (or say, Austria for that matter) could sustain something like the Karachi Literature Festival. No other city can boast weekly qawwalis and mushairas as well as art exhibitions and plays. Karachi has changed dramatically in three centuries and will continue changing at the same pace. Whether it will change for the better or worse is a matter best left to punters and political pundits. I need qawwali, a plate of nihari and the energy of a megalopolis.

Like my grandfather, I might not own any real estate in the city (or, for the record, anywhere else), but I have carved a life for myself here. As a storyteller, Karachi fascinates. There's a story under every stone.

More here.