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Untold stories


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A picture is worth a thousand words’ goes the cliché.

But clichés are clichés for a reason and pictures define the art of story telling and further define how the impact and detail of one moment can give insight to our lives.

I was born and raised in Karachi, yet all things that happen around me on a daily basis never cease to amaze me. Each time I step out, I learn something new. I see a million stories around me. I see people struggling, I see people laughing, I see people working hard, and all of them reflect a story: the constraints against growth in our society, the fight for endurance.

Today photography is growing increasingly popular, especially among the youth.With improving technology and the accessibility to cameras has helped in giving people a chance to express themselves.

Suddenly, almost anyone is a photographer with an ability to capture the fleeting moments of their daily lives. Perhaps it’s just the excitement of capturing moments or it’s the idea of getting a rich image to hold on to.

Other than photography being an art of story telling, for me personally, it’s the joy of storing images in my head of everything that I observe.

Every day countless events take place, and as a photographer I strive to capture them one moment at a time. By freezing moments, I can focus on the greater details, the little things that you miss in the frenzy of everyday life.

—Photo by author.

Karachi is a metropolis, with a population of 13-15 million people living in it. It’s diverse and also happens to be the financial hub of Pakistan. From industrialists and labourers, to artists and musicians, it’s a kaleidoscope of different people, perspective, flavours, smells, colours, stories and identities.

I pause every time I cross a dhaba. I see a million snap shots — I love the colours, the steel cutlery and the bell that rings each time the order is ready.

—Photo by author.

People of all ethnicities and religions feasting under one roof, exchanging stories, venting frustrations or simply expressing opinions. For me, it’s all about the expressions, which speak even louder than words.

Being a photographer in Karachi is like being a kid in a candy story. Every drive is exciting — there is always something to capture: from the delightfully colourful rickshaws with the sometimes hilarious poetry on them to families living on pavements, men crossing roads with baby sheep hurled across their shoulders or children selling toys.

—Photo by author.

Every face on the road has a story to tell. Their eyes speak of their struggles, their hopes and dreams. I’ve always felt that our country fails to appreciate the talent of our common folks. It is these people who truly represent Pakistan; constantly adapting to changes and overcoming the challenges that life perpetually throws at them.

—Photo by author.

As a photographer, I want to shed light on the stories that go untold. There’s a lot that passes by us – as a photographer it’s my job to capture that in snapshots and make one look deeper into the world.

To view more images click here

The writer is an Assistant Multimedia Producer at

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The author is the Sr. Special Projects Manager at

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (9) Closed

Tehreem Jan 06, 2012 02:21pm
Your article is amazing! And it helped me in a way. I'm working on a photography project currently and I needed some ideas on how to do it. Thanks a lot!
Ravi Jan 06, 2012 02:51pm
What was the story in the article?
anees Jan 06, 2012 04:42pm
I don;t find anything specific about Karachi. You will find anywhere else in Pakistan what has been portrayed here. You don't seem to have noticed them.
Santosh Jan 06, 2012 06:48pm
Seems to be very ordinary.
Junaid Jan 06, 2012 06:58pm
These are just trouisty pictures, and not even nice ones at that. Where is the story? Good effort but surely there is more to Karachi than whats shown here.
javed qamer Jan 06, 2012 08:41pm
People in Pakistan are cynical. It seems they are so deadened with their day to day life that nothing excites them. Reading your article was veryrefreshing. thank you for sharing it with us. Javed Virginia
Amar Jan 07, 2012 02:50am
I didn't find this snaps that cool. There are much more to capture..
Asiya Ali Jan 07, 2012 03:18am
she's showing Karachi in the eyes of other people, maybe u culdnt relate to it cuz the ppl who's world this is, probably dont have internet or even a computer... this is Karachi.. instead of distancing urself with the common man and the streetlife, u shuld embrace it and appreciate its hidden "beauties" .. its the sights and sounds of Karachi.. That's the Pakistan people remember and miss when they leave this strange (even frustrating) yet wonderful country!
NS Jan 08, 2012 12:55am
i think the photos shown here didnt make an impact. the article is thoughtprovoking and gives an insight into the activities happening daily all around pak and these are the bread and butter of pak people. the title is inappropriate though, as it directs the reader to look for a story(in detail) associated with the people mentioned here.