Karachi Landmarks – The Kothari Parade

A landmark the planet revolves around. The ultimate experience. Kothari Parade is an instant getaway from the merry-go-round fueled by unquenchable thirst for material desires. A perfect hideout for couples furiously hunt by moral brigade. A hit with peeking tom often found around the wall expecting to catch a glimpse of some immoral activity. They cannot go inside. The park and the monument is only for families to visit. Kothari Parade has been well protected from unwanted visitors and illegal encroachments: respect which very few landmarks have earned in the city.

The site was gifted by Mr. Jehangir Kothari, a Parsi businessman along with a Rs. 300,000 donation. The foundation stone was laid by the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Lloyd while it was opened by Lady Lloyd on 5th January, 1920. The Lady Lloyd Pier was also opened by her on 21st March, 1921.

The Karachi Walla walked from the promenade pier to the pavilion. Sun was setting in the west with soggy heat turning into a mildly pleasant cold. Few cleaners were sweeping the pavilion. Another staff member was watching them. The Karachi Walla was the only visitor inside the pavilion, taking all the time in the world to assimilate the magnificence of the windy Karachi-esque evening. Two brats walking towards the promenade were teasing kids. A newlywed couple, oblivious to the crowd around was walking slowly towards the pavilion. The lady was not taking her eyes off her husband. She had a wide smile, an everlasting one on her face. The husband had a reassuring smile, promising that he was aware of his responsibilities. A student was preparing for his exam sitting at the base of the monument. His mother was watching him, with pride, typical of mothers. There was a hint of fear as well, typical of mothers. Sea breeze hit the pavilion straight dropping temperatures and making the evening pleasant.

From the pavilion Park towers and Khayaban-e-Saadi could be seen. There you see people honking, people screaming and people getting irritated, in their pursuit to reach somewhere a little earlier, possibly to make more money. There you stand and ponder at the futility of our ambitions and desires. Struggle for a better tomorrow takes us away from living the moment. That tomorrow never comes. Safar hi asl-e-Hayat hai*.

Take some time out, sit at the pavilion boundary facing Arabian Sea and reflect at the dreams you cherished but let go for survival.

* Sahir Ludhyanvi

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Categories: City Landmarks

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