The City of Karachi and Our ex-Nazim

I was just hearing an interview being given by our ex-Nazim (Mayor) Mustafa Kamal, where he was busy dissing the Planning of Defence Housing Authority (D.H.A.) He shared his views about the lack of sensitivity that went into the designing of this Housing Scheme, about how they hadn’t considered the importance of Service Lanes, and thus the lack of them that can be seen in the area.

I agree with him one hundred percent. Defence is one hosh-posh, spoils for the riches, made up of new money, and is considered the ultimate Status symbol to be living there. But there is a whole different side to it too! Despite being the most richest area in the city, some of the basic necessities are  missing from the very urban fabric of this society. Lets consider a few.

  1. No Service Roads: There are for real no Service roads in Defence, except for Defence phase 1 and 2, which were designed much better, and much before we saw the likes of Defence phase 5 and 8. The lack of Service roads is true for all main roads of this new Defence.
  2. The Lack of Proper Roads: Major roads in Defence have been designed as two lanes, while the main roads are 3 lanes. This usually means that the residents of very expensive houses, in their very expensive cars reverse towards the main road, where they block the traffic for several minutes, depending on the skills of the driver. Continue reading

I have been accepted….

A few days back.. actually to be more precise last month or so, my aunt emailed me this Call for Papers email by a group called THAAP – Trust for Art and Architecture, Pakistan.


Calls for Paper


So I was – correction – am very excited about the Conference. More than that what they are doing is something that I am very interested in and want to work in these domains later on. Even my thesis research revolved around more or less the same subjects. Although half the time I am very worried about even if I am making any sense or not.

So anyways, 10 min before the deadline, I am still checking my abstract. And I send it in, promising myself that I won’t even think about it anymore. I mean there is no way my blabber can get me through… but guess what?  On the 28th of September – the day my best friend got married – I come home, after the wedding, get into my night clothes and absent-mindedly am surfing. I open up my email, and there are two emails from the THAAP Conference, the first one I open, and I read and its all about the overwhelming response they got and how the committee is reading the abstracts, and I am like “well I am sure they threw mine away or laughed like crazy in their chairs reading mine”

So I go back to my inbox ( you already know the climax.. I know I have been blabbering forever) and I am like “Oh they sent the same mail twice”. Thank God I didn’t delete it and actually opened it. And there it was the most wonderful beautiful lines ever read

Dear Miss Varda Nisar,

Two meetings of Paper Evaluation Committee were held on September 15, 2010 and September 23, 2010, at 43-G, Gulberg-III, Lahore, Pakistan. The committee was happy to accept your paper for presentation in THAAP Conference November 2010.

I swear I read it 6 times just to make sure that I am reading the right thing and then I screamed out so loud and I actually did the Banana dance *Oh yah oh yah oh yah oh yah*

So since this was the first paper that I had ever sent and that it was actually accepted, I had no idea that you can actually change the title. I thought you were suppose to write on the topics that they had given. They had also attached a list of the received abstracts. Reading that list was no doubt a very humble experience. I cannot believe my luck. I am so so thankful to the committee. Thank you so much people at THAAP. I love you guys!

And work on the Presentation is going at full speed! So keep checking for updates!