Last Tuesday was reserved for meeting my relatives in Korangi. It is a huge area near the sea that is notorious for violence between rival political factions. It is supposed to be a crime-ridden slum, though I found it to be pretty much like any other place in Karachi (i.e. seemingly calm and dirty). There was also some visible development of the place in action.
On the way there, I noticed a group of “luxury” flats next to a dried up and polluted riverbed. It was amusing to see a huge signboard proudly marked “Grey Riverside Apartments”. They could have at least given it a less depressing name.
We spent the rest of the day at my uncles’ houses, enjoying meals and chatting. In the evening, one of them took me out to the fishing area on his motor cycle. Before the coast, there is a large shanty town with small, meandering streets and the foul stench of rotten fish in the air. By the time we reached the enormous chicken feed factory on the other side, next to the sea, I had become accustomed to it and it didn’t bother me any longer. I even got to board one of the fishing trawlers which were marooned due to a storm alert.
A cousin also pointed out an area where huge concrete pipes lay scattered and where mutilated bodies would get dumped at the height of Karachi’s violence. It is now the site of a weekly cloth market made up of tents.
We finally left Korangi around midnight, something considered quite dangerous as everyone kept reminding me.