Thursday, January 11, 2007

Letter From Lucknow...About Karachi

As some readers will know--my apologies for not formally informing readers on the blog--I have been travelling on a long-delayed "visit home". My connectivity--and time on the computer--have been sparse in the last two or so weeks. I hadn't been able to travel for almost six years now--and hadn't been to our ancestral stomping grounds in Lucknow for eight. So I thought I should provide some updates from "the road", so to speak.

There are a million thoughts that have gone through my head (smoking is now banned in Pakistan Government offices--by order of the Supreme Court; Karachi, at least, now has a LOT of book stores; newer elevators in India have elevator music--desi elevator music; ...) but the first couple of things that merit--I'd say mandate--mention:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=37479

which my brother and I found very, very apropos. The only thing missing is a direct caution (though #6 seems to cover it somewhat) that cellphone-snatching is a very present and common danger. There are now two types of people in Karachi: those that carry cool cellphones; and those that have been mugged. Oh, and yes, especially in English-speaking circles, the word "mugged" is now not something you hear about happening in far-away New York City. There is, sadly, very regular occasion to use the word.

Secondly, I had the honour, yes, honour, not honor, to attend a gathering of some of Pakistan's bloggerati--including the photoblogger recently profiled by Time Magazine. See:

http://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/2007/01/karachi_blogger.phtml

Regards, Salaam, and Adaab from a new suburb in the "The Old Country",

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