Seaview and the good in us

Published February 12, 2021
VENDORS wait for customers at Seaview.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
VENDORS wait for customers at Seaview.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

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

Opinion

Karachi development
Updated 13 Apr 2021

Karachi development

Our planners must learn that infrastructure and services are essential to economic progress.
The government’s emerging traits
Updated 12 Apr 2021

The government’s emerging traits

Frequent bureaucratic changes signify a whimsical way of governing and reflect knee-jerk reactions to the criticism of the day.

Editorial

Reform after Daska
Updated 13 Apr 2021

Reform after Daska

Electoral malpractice generates instability and delegitimises the mandate of the winner, triggering one crisis after another.
13 Apr 2021

Reinstating LGs

THE PTI government in Punjab is sending confused and conflicting signals to people when it comes to the critical...
13 Apr 2021

Remembering I.A. Rehman

THE quest for a progressive society in Pakistan, at peace with itself and its neighbours, suffered a big setback in...
Pakistan-India peace
Updated 12 Apr 2021

Pakistan-India peace

Experts note that everything — including Kashmir — can be resolved if there is a will in both capitals.
12 Apr 2021

Child abuse

IN its annual report, the NGO Sahil found that there has been a 4pc increase in documented cases of major crimes...
12 Apr 2021

New tax chief’s task

THE FBR got a new chairman on Friday. Asim Ahmed, a senior IRS officer who was serving as the Board’s IT member...