“Racey, pacey and laugh-out-loud funny. A Murree-beer-soaked love letter to Karachi and journalism”, says Muhammed Hanif about this book, “Karachi you’re killing me”. Written in a daily diary style this treatise which starts on December 31, 2011 and ends on May 11, 2012, encompassing over 260 pages, is treat to read. Written in a casual, hip style, it is funny, somewhat raunchy with lots of information packed in between. Well don’t you think fiction is knowledge free, it certainly added to my rather sparse vocabulary about things unprintable and all. The “Starfish” for example, which I always thought to be a fish that is shaped like a star, but heck no, its much more than that. Made me laugh out load as I recalled the Starfish I have encountered in my life. So what would be the antonym of Starfish? A Jellyfish no, an Octopus I guess. Lol.
There’s some insight one can get about the lives of journalists, specially in a city like Karachi. There’s talk of muggings, of the traffic jams, of meeting time lines, of tough cold blooded bosses, mafias, bombings, coffees and booze of all type. You get to listen about Vodka, and Muree Brewery, the awesome sex-perience with a Gora that leaves the author reminiscing about it for a long time and the reader imaging the whole episode in uber-sexy fantasies. In between, the diary has comic headlines, “Headline of the day: Taliban accuse Pakistani Government of using sorcery and Black Magic”. And even something like “Headline of the day: Seoul protests North Korean bootlegging in Islamabad.”
The main character Ayesha who is narrating her story of despair and hope is a journalist by profession reporting for an unforgiving inhuman boss. She is in her twenties, bright, intelligent and given to drinking all sorts of booze. He best friend Zara and Saad take center stage in the story whom she confides about anything and everything related to her. The dame has got all the right connections from crooks to bootleggers to sources in court rooms and even Gitmo detainees. She works her but off so as not to be dependent on her father who is just as loving and forgiving. In between tweets, Facebook updates, text messages and phone calls the story revolves around the everyday life of Ayesha in the metropolis of Karachi.
A good book (for adults) I say (They should have rated it 18+, one doesn’t expect talk of sex, the “F” word and booze in a local/desi book). Written in a laid-back style but talking of an ever fast and busy life, “Karachi You’re Killing Me” will make you laugh and introduce you to the “Real Karachi”.