On the night of February 1st, Jibran Nasir Pakistan’s leading activist and a handful of peaceful protesters sat on a road in Karachi near the Sindh Chief Minister’s house for more than 24 hours, demanding the arrest of terrorists responsible for the January 30th Shikarpur attack which killed 65 Shias during Friday prayers, and demanding action against banned sectarian organizations. There were only 20 protesters, their average age 25, outnumbered it seemed by riot police with water cannon and batons at the ready.
Three miles west of nowhere, I wait atop a grassy knoll landscaped with deliberate carelessness by the authorities of this semi-dilapidated amusement park. She said she will meet me here at the appointed time but as luck would have it, neither one of us owns a watch. Ravenous crows with their wings a-stretched and eyes a-bulged circle overhead: a dark, black ring set against a grey sky. I scan my surroundings and find myself alone… as alone as the day I was born. As I shoo my mother, the doctor and his two nurses away, I wonder where she might be at this very moment: caught in a jam full of traffic or confined to her room by the elders of her household, barred from meeting the man she loves and his lustrous, well-coiffed do.
Creepily crawling ants dodge my sneakered soles as they make their way home for the day. Leaves rustle and droop as they emit whiffs of carbondioxide that make my blood pressure plunge. City lights flicker in the distance as a rickshaw throttles by on the road below, polluting my environs and coating the withering leftovers of a despondent spring with soot and non-biodegradable petrol fumes. Continue reading Waiting for Guddo: Farid Alvie→
Karachi-basd artist Asim Butt committed suicide yesterday by hanging himself to death. He was only 31, and his work made waves. Part of the Stuckist art movement, he made figurative paintings, most notably a series of seven portraying a dog’s carcass. He was also a graffiti artist, painting red the walls of Karachi. His best known graffiti work was the eject symbol painted all over towards the end of General Musharraf’s rule.