Nusrah Kanwal has been documenting Karachi floors on instagram. You can follow it here: ‘Karachi Floors‘. The handle does not specify her as the photographer behind it.
The Karachi Walla met Nusrah on a Saturday evening at a cafe in Clifton. As the twilight faded into darkness, she emerged out of shadows. I expected a girl with a background in arts or architecture but she was a business graduate and worked for a sales distribution company.
She noticed sometime back that a lot of photos on her instagram were of floors across the city with her feet as the evidence of her being there. All that time she had been following ‘floors only’ instagram accounts documenting floors across the globe. It made her wish if someone could start the same in Karachi. That someone happened to be her in the end.
In her mid 20s, she did not conform to the typical image of a millennial. She was a dastan goi and theater enthusiast and been a regular at NAPA and at various forums of dastan goi across the city. She also felt that the city of 20 million often felt like a small world, that too with people increasingly becoming similar in their outlook and interest – or rather lack of it.
She spoke fondly of tiles in Saddar’s old quarters. But her curiosity in the patterns on the floor has taken her to a level above that. She has found order and beauty all across the city; in fallen leaves in her courtyard, her own shadow in water on the road, a pastel drawing on floor everyone has forgotten about, the sandy beaches of Sandspit, the rocky surface of french beach, the glossy marble floors of five star hotels, Afghani and Irani carpets, the green patches of grass. Nothing has escaped her imagination. There is an elegant order in her work. A soothing comfort. Something that cheered me up as I wrote these lines on a forgetful day in March.