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By Shameen Khan | January 19, 2015
We usually head out from Karachi in the middle of the night, making it halfway to Mubarak at the perfect time to witness the picturesque sunrise. The golden beams permeating from the sky behind the hills, the cool breeze brushing against my face as we drive making our way through hilly roads and hazy views; it’s the perfect escape for anyone who is fond of nature.
Mubarak remains the second largest fishermen village in Karachi. Bordering with Gadani (Balochistan), the landscape encircles a stark contrast of golden hills and turquoise clear waters.
Away from the city frenzy, this place welcomes you with a lot of love.
“These locals don’t have anything, yet they are so content and have so much to give,” my friend puts it, sipping tea at a local fisherman’s house at Mubarak.
Tea made on a bonfire has a unique taste and I look forward to enjoying the beginning and end of most trips with the locals here.
Luckily I get to visit the people a lot and I have my other half to thank for that.
While for me it’s the perfect escape to unleash my mind, amongst surreal beauty of the ocean and the warmth of the villagers; for my husband the place holds more value: it enables his passion for fishing.
As soon as you park near the shore, numerous boats are anchored floating on crystal clear waters, beneath the expansive blue sky.
Dogs playing by the shore, excited kids running around, this place overwhelms me as soon as I step out of the car.
A boy and his father bobbing their heads to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the radio, a chicken, a goat and a cat just hanging out together; everything about this place is astonishing.
Despite being inhabited well before the colonial era, Mubarak Village lacks basic necessities including access to clean water, electricity, a jetty, gas, healthcare and education.
Any mention of a jetty offends the people here, since they say they have no hope left - they have been betrayed by false promises and do not coax anyone for the need for one.
These people are happy, in their close knit society all they have to give or take is honesty and affection.
Every time we visit, we are warmly greeted by our main person of contact, Jawed. A young man in his twenties who owns most boats but is on duty as a lifeguard throughout the day. The people who accompany us on the boat are 'Mama' and a young boy named Haider.
Mama, a tall, weathered man with salt and pepper hair seems like a character from a Hollywood movie. He wears a ponytail, sometimes a bandana. What a guy! I think to myself every time.
Each time before I leave this place, Mama hands me something or the other, whether it’s a fossilised coral or a unique stone. Once he even gave us a whale bone to take home with us. He never lets me leave empty handed.
I usually go to their house to rest after a long fishing trip. “Consider it your home, you’re family,” he tells me. Indeed, I believe that with the amount of love they shower us all with.
Mama, Jawed and the rest of these fishermen are very simple people, despite having a life as tough as theirs they have no complaints and are always wearing a smile.
Majority of the locals earn their living through fishing but unlike most fishermen, the locals of Mubarak snub the usage of fishing nets and earn their living through sports fishing; they use various techniques via fishing rods and hand lines.
Most of these fishermen are dependent on small boats, built in a traditional way and are unable to sail in stormy weather and cannot bear strong currents.
As a result, the fishermen halt their activities during monsoon and indulge in football matches in a ground close to their area.
To be continued......