Railways play hardly any role in a Karachi Walla’s life therefore I was amused to see life coming to stand still when an engine lazily announced its presence at a crossing behind Jackson Market.
I had been driving through the area aimlessly. A local told me that I would have to wait at least half an hour if I decide to cross the railway crossing. The train was moving so slowly that I had enough time to turn back since I did not find anything of interest to the other side. I stood by the side of the car and saw the train move slowly towards the crossing. The driver knew the locals well and exchanged greetings with them. I walked along the train. The area seem like a dumping ground; full of plastic waste. There was a group of youngsters sitting inside a makeshift hut and chatting leisurely. There were few goats munching mango skins. They turned their necks around for the photo. The boys told me that they had bought them for a discount and were raising them until they got a premium on them. There I saw a daredevil walk across by climbing on the train and walking through the engine. I walked back to the crossing. The train was only half way through by then. We stopped for a cup of tea at a roadside chai khana called Cafe Kashmir. A painter had tried writing a message to a certain Pappu Yaar aur khilaaf-mahawara invited him to come along to Kashmir. The proprietor was known by the distinct title of ‘Shah Naswar’. The waiter was very quiet and ran errands without talking much. The area was devoid of Karachi-esque madness.
I sipped sugary chai and saw people waiting at the crossing for the train to cross.