KARACHI: Journalists often use a sentence to describe the nature of their job: bad news sells better than good news. This might not be entirely untrue, because the primary task of the media is to act as a watchdog. But then who will report on the pleasant stuff that takes place all around us almost on a regular basis and largely goes unnoticed because “no news is good news” — which basically implies, good news is no news?
Whoever goes for an early morning brisk walk or jog along the Seaview beach in Karachi’s Clifton area (and one should commend the authorities for making a jogging track there) must have noticed, at least, a couple of scenes that have become an inalienable part of the daily goings-on.
One is a chai wallah (a middle-aged man who carries a kettle full of piping hot tea on his old fashioned bicycle). He is always surrounded by the janitorial staff that works diligently at the beach, cleaning the dust and litter caused by the revellers from the previous night who come to the seaside to have fun. These poor sweepers and cleaners gather around the chai wallah every morning to have a hot cuppa. One might think that the man with the bicycle and kettle sells tea. Well, that’s not right.
You ask him how much a cup costs and he will tell you, “Sir, iss ke paisey nahin hain” (sir, this is for free). How is that possible, is the next natural query, and the answer is: some (affluent) person has hired him to make and give tea to this working-class lot … without charging them a single penny. Isn’t that beautiful!
Random acts of kindness at Karachi’s most popular beach reinstate faith in humanity
Then if you move across to the spacious two-way streets (the beginning of khayabans) that connect Seaview Road to Saba Avenue, you will see another heart-warming sight. On the kerb, there are clay pots (not matkas) filled to the brim with water. Who is this water for? Birds.
Yes, at the crack of dawn, a huge number of birds — mainly crows and a decent variety of thrushes — soar through the skyline or swoop down in search of food.
They may be thirsty, too. So, the water in the pots enables them to quench their thirst. Who places those pots there? It’s not important.
Don’t these stories reinstate your faith in humanity and humaneness? They do, indeed. And yet, on the other hand, the dog culling goes on. ...
Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2021