Gaghar Phatak – Darkness under the lamp.


I wanted to write about the town I live in and I spent considerable time on thinking about the title which can be the true demonstration of its miserable condition. ‘Darkness under the lamp’ is the phrase which just came and remained stuck in my mind. But sooner I found myself telling that ‘No don’t pick this phrase- its used so often’  so I kept on thinking the alternative titles but this phrase seemed adamant to be picked and finally I am giving up the thought process and selecting it to be the title of my blog post.

I don’t know who first spelt out this phrase but I salute to the author for creating such a phrase which can contain whole sea into these four words- see – ‘Darkness under the lamp’. While I am writing these lines another thought has just entered into my mind that this phrase must be created by someone who won’t be living anymore. So RIP the legend.

Gaghar Phatak is a small town of probably five thousand residents. If you ask me where it is located I will be proud to say that it is where the Karachi city begins but if you ask me how it is? I will be sadly saying it’s like ‘Darkness under the lamp’.

Now the question arises why it’s like Darkness under the lamp? So the answer is it’s a town from where all the facilities pass through but it hasn’t ownership right on any one of it.

You can see Schools buildings but no quality education in them. Big lines of water pass through the belly of this town but there is no water supply for the local residents. Here people are still burning woods to prepare food. However, big lines of gas are buried in its periphery. And I really feel sorry for my wife when I see her rinsing her hands after washing the utensils because wood fire blackens the utensils so badly and in washing them you can’t keep your hands clean. Its like putting your hand in a coal mine. I just can give her my sympathy and promise that ‘someday, my love, we will move on from here’.

At the hearing distance, there is an industrial zone but no local resident can get a respectable, while -collar job for living a normal life. Industries either fear from the local power or they have their own interests (relatives) at their hearts to accommodate.

There is no such municipal committee or anyone who can listen to problems and redress them. Last week a boy fell in to the gutter manhole and died. If that manhole had a cover over it that precious life could be saved. The boy lost his life but parents will die everyday till they are alive.

Minister just come at the time of election campaign and after he gets elected; he really doesn’t care. Due to illiteracy people aren’t aware of their rights and they just vote on the basis of casts. If someone moderate or progressive- mind -individual decides to compete in election, people won’t vote him because he is not of their tribe. The corrupt but the head of  the tribe must get to the parliament against any candidate who doesn’t belong to their tribe.  About progress, living a good life, facilities the views of the common people are that its just their luck that they don’t have it.

And as far as electricity is concerned we see it as a matter of privilege not as a matter of right. It depends upon the mood of electricity supplier that they wish to give electricity to the town or not. If there is more demand of electricity; they use to cut the electricity of this town first because people don’t pay their bills like gentlemen do.

We had realized soon after reaching here that this town is not worth living but we had no other option but to live here because we couldn’t afford to live in area which has all the facilities. We still can’t relocate but we haven’t  abandoned the hope and the day will come when we will be happily leaving this miserable town. But right now another thought has hit my mind and that is worth writing here. I have a feeling that when we will be leaving this town we will feel sad. Because this is a town- with all its demerits- who gave us a shelter. We were like refugees in Karachi and it gave us reason to stay here for so long time.So I love you Gaghar Phatak for this only!

 

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Published by: Waqar Ahmed Shar

Waqar Ahmed Shar is a freelancer, Sociologist, webmaster and Computer Operator at Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited, Karachi Pakistan. He received his M.A Sociology from Shah Abdul Latif University. After his part-time five year career as a freelancer, he launched whrill.com where he writes on social and psychological issues. In addition to this website, he is a regular contributor to a number of online and print newspapers and an enthusiastic Lakers fan. He currently resides in Karachi, Pakistan with his wife Sidra Waqar and a son Shahzaib.

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