The Karachi Walla was out in the street with a journalist from Tehran. We had already covered a lot of spaces before we decided to drive to Parsi Colony on Bunder road. A good old friend has been living near the colony since forever so we decided to take a break at his places. The entrances to the Parsi colony were cordoned off with containers so we took a detour from Nishtar park to reach there.
I stepped out of the car to find out that Omair was out in the street himself and it would take him ten minutes to reach his place. While we waited we took the opportunity to have a closer look at the buildings in the area. A lot of old structures has been replaced in the area with soulless concrete apartments or houses but there were still fragments of yesteryear’s brilliance. Over years the friendly neighborhood has been transformed into a gated community and there were gates installed at the entrances of many streets.
Omair Ahmed lives in a pre-partition house which was originally as a Gaushala. The plaque on the wall commemorates the deed of establishing the Gaushala by Shikarpuri Panchayat in 1932. The house is rather a basic one but has the aesthetics sense of yore which gave buildings a character rarely found in new constructions. There were colorful tiles inside the house and rooms have airy windows and high ceilings which helped maintain temperatures during summers.
Omair’s parents were allocated this house when they migrated to Karachi from Delhi. They have been living in the house since. The deteriorating law and order and infrastructure situation has forced many people in the vicinity to shift to posh localities of Defence and Clifton. Even at the time of us visiting his place, a next door stone house was being demolished. It belonged to a Bohri family, Omair informed me. They have given up on the area and have decided to shift to Defence, he added further. The building would be torn down and converted into an apartment building complex, he said wistfully.
The house is decorated tastefully. The lighting is subtle and the furniture and paintings on the wall added to the character of the house. The good old chiqs were put up on the windows amd the natural light filtered through the glass windows. Its a privilege to be living in such a place in these time.