Activities For Karachistas Besides Shopping Sana Won’t Apologize Suggesting

21

Pakistan’s Wedding Season 2018

Hi Guys! Hope you are all doing well. I am feeling so blessed in life. The holiday season is upon us in the United States and judging from my Instagram feed so is the wedding season in Pakistan. Congrats to all the Pakistani brides of 2018! I was reflecting again yesterday how social media has changed the wedding culture in Pakistan. You guys are truly exemplary of how a grand wedding should be. And thanks to social media these weddings can be inspirational to all Muslims. The “social media-frenzied” wedding culture that kicked-off this newest trend in Pakistan was Anush and Muneeb’s wedding in 2016. This eight (!) months long wedding included ten grand events and thousands of posts dedicated to them. I was glued to my iPhone for some time because of it. For that, I apologize, my right hand. Then in 2017 came Gulrukh and Momin’s enviable multi-day wedding events followed by the royal wedding of sweet Zarpash Mustapha. In 2018, I thought the grand weddings of Noor & Azain, Mahenuer & Zarrar, and Asad and Nayab Aslam, which BTW was affectionately titled “Veer Di Wedding” (big brother’s wedding) by the groom’s five sisters, set the standards for the year.

I love the idea that these “non-celebrity” families have chosen to hold their trendsetting weddings in the months of December/January giving the bridal designers, wedding planners, and Pakistanis, in general, a run for their money. I also like the new idea that only 1 – 2 (maybe 3) weddings in Pakistan of this stature are held during the wedding season because hey, everyone likes to hold their weddings this time of the year. As a young child, I have seen women run out of the house with their purses because the news of a new trend started from a wedding broke out. Since these high society brides carefully curate every detail of their wedding events with their wedding planner(s) to entice and inspire the most discerning fashionistas and to-be brides in Pakistan, I would suggest only choosing a handful of ideas to incorporate in your wedding. It’s cute that like the rest of the world, which gets inspired by Hollywood’s trends, Pakistan has high-society weddings filled with “Lollywood-Level-Social Media- Frenzied” events to serve as inspiration!

Pakistan “Post”-Wedding Season

After January rolls out and everyone has had enough food and cold drinks, it is time to indulge in other things Pakistan has to offer. As a visitor to Karachi (check out my travel posts), I am privileged to view it as an outsider and notice all the “odd” things that make no sense and elicits no type of reaction from my family who resides there. The idea that no matter what hour of the day you go out to shop, eat, or sight-see in Karachi, everybody is shopping or window shopping. Karachites, let this be news to the “I have free-time” violators among you, nowhere in this world do people “window shop” to kill time. Usually, people decide they need something & go out & buy it or shop online. No one outside Pakistan has the time OR the interest to spend hours looking through racks of cute cultural clothes & rows of heritage shoes without buying something and going home empty-handed. For the doubters, during Eid-ul-Adha 2018 when all shopping stores are supposed to be closed, I realized Karachi just has a few restaurants. So that means there are more shopping malls, stores, & bazaars in Karachi than restaurants. Just imagine…that.

On particularly hot or tiring shopping days, I will admit, I have gotten angry with my aunt for not understanding that this “behavior is selfish & inconsiderate to people like me”. Her response was, “you expect them to stay home?” and then my rejoinder was “yeah” and then we just stared into each other’s eyes, which turned into a deep gaze. Her driver navigated through Karachi’s crazy traffic, meanwhile.

So to make Karachistas 😉 and former-Karachiites like me more productive, I have assembled a list of activities that involve zero shopping. So here goes:

  1. Hang Out With Your Friends: When I lived in Islamabad, I was a social butterfly. I would go to school, finish my homework after school and walk or bike to friends’ homes in the evenings to spend time or watch television. Through no fault of my own, I knew more than my share of gossip from each household, which I fondly used to my advantage every chance I got – whether to make new friends or introduce my old friends to my new friends. However, almost all my friends were several years older so they were very tender-hearted with me, especially because I had a knack of telling the gossip with such humor. If you are living in Karachi, please spend time with your friends. You never know when they will move to another city or get married or get busy with a new baby or a job. You will make lovely memories this way.  
  2. Visit Art Galleries: Karachi has such lovely art galleries and after visiting a few this year, I am already making plans to see more. To get information on art galleries in Karachi, do a Google search or visit HERE.
  3. Go To The Movies: Go to some of the best movie theaters in the world right in your city. Avoid the shops (who came up with that?!) in movie theater buildings (no people, these are not malls with movie theaters!), head to the concession stand serving popcorn and chai (Are there pakoras here?) and sit back and relax to watch the latest Lollywood or Hollywood movie. Yes!
  4. Travel: The world is so big and beautiful and half the news that breaks out is false or grossly magnified to a point it is a lie. Head to the nearest embassy consulate, get your passport stamped, and visit a new country. Or head north & visit remote areas of Pakistan. You will realize that you have become more enlightened by these experiences than from your shopping trips. Money well-spent, indeed!
  5. Charity Work: For those long boring summers when you have no school, look into doing some charity work. I love and totally endorse ACF Animal Rescue (See HERE) and even symbolically adopted a cat from here. Who wouldn’t love to spend their days with animals before heading back to school? I know I wouldn’t.
  6. Organize A Fundraiser Party: No matter if you are a student in college or a mom, organizing a party is very fun. Make it a fundraiser and you will participate in a blessed cause. Some of the most fun yet ignored causes are wildlife/animal life and environmental causes. Commit yourself to help out this way. Wondering what to wear? Don’t. Wear what you have already.
  7. Attend A Concert Or Play: Not everyone is artsy like me, but I like everything that is Pakistani. There are numerous venues where you can watch a play or catch a concert. The Arts Council (See HERE) is a great place to start. For concerts, the Koel Cafe, located near E-Street, Clifton (See HERE) and DHA Golf Club (See HERE) are great locations.
  8. Visit Historic Karachi Sites: From visitors and locals alike, I have heard great things about Super Savari Express (See HERE & HERE), available in Karachi as well. It is like going on an organized African Safari, except you are visiting Karachi’s city jungle.
  9. Learn Something New: Take a class or visit The British Council Of Pakistan (See HERE) for a free class or to learn what is going on. Or if you want more of a commitment, check out the continuing education program at The Indus Valley School Of Art & Architecture (See HERE or HERE).
  10. Go To The Beach Only To Eat A Spicy Corn-on-the-Cob: Among the best things about Karachi is going to the beach. Whether it is the beaches near the city that tickles your fancy (that’s where all the great restaurants are right now) or beaches further away, eating a roasted (in the heated sand above a fire pit) corn-on-the-cob (Bhuta) spiced with a special spice mix is the thing to do. Your lips won’t thank you, but your mouth will.

Till next time!