City Portraits – Babar Baban Baloch

Lyari is perhaps the coolest locality in Karachi. It’s the place where people don’t fear to dream. It’s the place where people pursue their dreams despite having little infrastructure or support. In last few visits to Lyari I have met aspiring filmmakers, singers, boxers, footballers and others. There is another kid who aspires to become a Master roller skater. His name is Babar Baban Baloch. They call him Triple B. He is a celebrity already.

I had spotted quite a few kids skating Lyari’s street before I heard about him. My friends take me to cheel chowk where I find him practicing. Lyari has quite a few football grounds and other sports facilities but there is not any facility for roller skating which forces roller skaters to do basic skating and stunts on the road. Babar Baban perhaps is the most daring of the lot using bikes and 18-wheeler in his stunts. Unfortunately he uses no protective gear something which is mandatory or else he could end up ruining his dream. He has few words to say. He works in Papadum shop six days a week and does skating on Sunday. His stunts warrant attention. Media houses has been lining up at his place and most of them have already done few minutes long stories on him.

‘Did it bring any fortune’, I ask him

He shies away from giving a definite answer. He still has hopes from all the attention that he is getting but I can sense that it has not really worked for him financially. As I follow him through the street, I see lots of younger kids who look at him with awe and respect. I hope they all stay safe.

There is a scene in ‘Fields of Gold’ where Ray Kinsella ask his father John if there is a heaven. John Kinsella replies that It’s the place where dreams come true.

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Categories: City Portraits

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