Botal Gali (bottle street) of #karachi#pakistan
I almost didn't want to share this photo.
Even with it's historic significance since the time of partition the condition of this place has gotten worse I am sorry to say.
I usually draw out the positives from a space, what the place signifies, what energy it’s poured with. But I can’t seem to today. I’m all for taking it all in exactly the way things are but sometimes it becomes unbearable.
3 years ago I visited this gali for the first time, and every corner I looked at it was raining glass bottles, beautiful colorful glass bottles and it was WAY cleaner than what you see before you. Last year I visited again and realized how this place was dying with less glass and more plastic and more garbage. And just a few days ago I went again and the number of shops that sold glass bottles had decreased down to 4! Now it’s full of plastic bottles because it’s more in demand, and the litter... well.
Just want to point out that there are initiatives taking place to clean up the streets of Karachi, and are spreading awareness on changing our own habits of littering rather than commenting on how dirty the country is.
Much appreciated @evazubeck you’ve been kind and considerate to our country and reminded us of what we already know, in terms of beauty as well as waste! Your stories about littering were very serious and authentic, coming from a foreigner's perspective who loves being here and spreads the wonder of being here. @thetraveluster thank you and other volunteers like you who’re saving our streets by clearing them, one wrapper at a time!
There are plenty such people who care about our streets, for the sake of cleanliness and hygiene. We gotta start somewhere right. Let's start with our own.
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So what is wrong with these photos?
The intertwined heaps of wires that go as long as the horizon goes? The vehicles encroaching more than half the road so the 4 or 5 lane road (can't even tell how many lanes it is) becomes a 2 lane narrow street?
Well , alot is wrong with this image, and while I know how everyone wants to talk about not having the right facilities like sidewalks or the infrastructure or the maintenance yadda yadda yadda.
But you know what? It's all there. We have been facilitated with the sidewalks, the pedestrian bridges the underground walking tunnels. So then what is up with our streets?
I'm not denying the fact that these areas need so much improvement that it might just take years to build a system to let the road remain a road and not a parking lot or a pedestrian sidewalk. Not denying that the sidewalks are used more by the hawkers (thelas - people carrying goods on them) than the people.
On 8th Muharram, passing by these roads me and my fellow road runners discovered that the FOUR LANE traffic was being diverted to a SINGLE ONE WAY narrow street, i.e if we all wanted to get to work that one narrow not-road was the way to go. Took me an hour just there.
This one of the financial hubs of #karachi is the busiest on peak hours and troublesome for people going through.
So what's my point?
Have we ever taken out moments during the stuck traffic to appreciate what we have left of the olden times? The last of the heritage left with us, construction, planning, design has evolved to a huge degree, We will never make these aesthetics again, we'll never live in these spaces again.
Just for a moment have a positive outlook to these streets, might make you feel better while crossing.
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Years have passed and our celebration has come down to disturbing the residents by our patakhas and creating nuisance on the roads just because there is happiness in our hearts for us being an independent country. Let's hold on for a second and think, is it really so? Are we happy that we're an independent nation and that we're not dominated by a certain race anymore, or is it just that we have an off day?
A legit day to celebrate which won't be counted as a waste of time because we have flags on groups of bikes and cars roaming the roads, because this one day of the year we feel the patriotism and we wanna express it by keeping the streets and the roads busier than usual? I mean don't get me wrong, I'm not against it, I see the smiles on people's faces out there ,giggling and laughing,I can see the shining teeth and the green kurtas from afar, I see everyone's happy, but do we ever for a second hold ourselves back from all of it and reflect? Reflect on the compromises and the sacrifices made for the future generations AKA us?Has it ever occurred to us that it's not just a day to go crazy on shopping deals and eating deals? May be with all of this we can also take a moment to remember those who aren't with us today, may be surf a lil on the internet and see "what" we've come from?
The nation has succeeded but has it really? What do we have to offer our country today? The country that has given us pretty much everything.
Let's find ourselves in a better place of mind and heart today and pray, really pray for our country, if nothing else.
Happy Independence day!
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