The Karachi Walla has been out of sync with the city but it takes only few hours in the heart of the city to get it right again. We are in middle of the tour and Richmond Crawford is next on our agenda. A-one Restaurant falls conveniently on our left right before the lane leading to the Vet. Hospital. We decide to break for tea. We find some elders chatting leisurely at the entrance. There is a small family hall but we sit out. We order tea and look around at the immense woodwork inside.
The restaurant mush have had some other name before it was re-branded as A-one Restaurant. It reeks of old city. There are paintings inside depicting serene landscapes with lakes and fountains. The restaurant has been re-branded but the old tiles and furniture has been intact though its in dire need of repairs. There is a signpost near the entrance which says that it was a civil defense control post. I am not sure what it means really but I take few pictures. In distance I notice the waiter getting uneasy.
I follow him and ask him if I can take pictures and he blurts it out that taking pictures is strictly prohibited on the orders of the owners. Baffled I sit back in my chair and wonder at the mistrust and fear that our fellow denizens harbor. But you can’t blame them. They must be exposed to life and challenges, we don’t know.
We finish our tea and step out. In the street I notice a little dome on our left and ask my friend to stop the car. I have heard that there were many temples in the area which were brought down or were closed after partition and I wondered if it was one of them. The building with the dome seems to be in a compound but then we notice that its converted in a shop with an entrance in the street. On the top it says that it’s a mechanic shop now.