The McCains own 13 cars, eight homes and have access to a corporate jet. If you were as insanely rich as them, where would your eight homes be and why? The only rule is: The homes must be within the borders of the country you live in, so as to utterly emulate the McCains.When you’re done, tag 8 people, so that they may join in the self-indulgence, forgetting about the crappy property market and the equivalent of The End of Pompeii on Wall-Street. You could spend your time hammering your doors and windows shut in preparation for the Apocalypse, but this meme is so much more fun!
Karachi. Born and bred here. It's foul and spreads like Hades. Sometimes you'll find yourself driving for hours on end without Karachi ever ending. Sometimes green, peaceful, cool, livable streets will sprout out of nowhere, embellishing the hope of having a better future for the country, but soon, very soon, as is the rule with every residential area in Karachi, you'll run into a slum where you'll find butt-naked kids running and wailing across the roads, oddly sinister men peering at you from dirty-draped snooker rooms, boiling gutters and merry fruit and chat vendors telling you that you're still thirty years behind (at least) the rest of the world. Govinda and Mithun movies still run like wildfire here and Cyber Cafes are rife with titles such as "Bismillah Internet Cafe" and "Al-Raheem Cyber Services". What the hell is that supposed to imply anyway? God is watching over all the porn they're downloading?
But anyway. Karachi is home and Karachi, with all its bhaiiyaas and treeless roads and traffic jams is Karachi. Its life pulsates like no other. Not because it's got a population of over 1.5 crore people. Not because it's the biggest port in Pakistan. Not because it's one of the top ten metropolitan centres in the world. But because it has never stopped growing. If you ever see those Karachi-oriented exhibits (yes, I know I'm boring, but humor me, go to Mohatta Palace's photography exhibits one of these days), you'll see what I mean. This city doesn't know how to end. Be it life or people. It keeps living even in days of severe economic crises and suicide bomb attacks and stinking oil landing on the shore for weeks. Karachiites will never stop loving the sea.
Lahore. It sounds obscene but it really isn't. Unless you're french. Then everything sounds kinda crooked. Though its name needs more revision than a Frenchman's vocabulary, this city never meant much to me save the past four years. I hated going to visit it when I was a kid. My parents used to drag Ali and me to Islamabad and Lahore every year, without fail, to visit Minaar e Pakistan and Shahi Qila and Shalimar Bagh (that's one way to keep your kids extremely rooted to their cultures, make them stick their noses in historical sites and narrate stories of dead old kings) and apart from the slightly creepy surroundings Data Ganj Bakhsh's Mazaar and the eerie Changa Manga jungles, we didn't mind. What we did feel incredibly grumpy about was the stay we had to tolerate. We hated staying with friends and family in the city because we had to sleep in the drawing rooms and do nothing but watch TV all day. And no cable when I was a kid, so there you go. You couldn't even look comatose when your mom wanted you to get up and take a bath.
I'm guessing my perception visibly shifted when I visited there 2 years ago at a friend's wedding.
Swat. If they ever stop fighting there yeah, I would. Somewhere near the Lake Saif ul Mulook. A wooden hut with a cosy fireplace (you can tell I'm getting married).
Islamabad. The President House is good. But I'd have to be a spouse-killer for that. And I can't give up Barooq for the presidency of this country. He looks too damn good. So any place in the Blue Area would be okay too, I guess.
Peshawar. For times I'll desperately want a change of scenery and an appreciation of places where women can roam free.
Quetta. To gain easy access to buy smuggled video cameras?
Kashmir. It's ours man. Part of it anyway. If India and Pakistan ever stop bickering about it, I'd love a home in that valley.
Gwadar. But it's the port of the millenium!
Okay, I'm sorry I've begun to sound lame, but I'm outta places. Unless you count "Prem Nagar" which comes from the way to Lahore from Karachi through Allama Iqbal Express and had THE most romantic name in the world (maybe they should rename Lahore that!) and wouldn't it be so so cool if someone asked me my address and I said,
" ... House Number 1, Mohabbat Gali, Prem Nagar."
I tag: Mampi, Khizzy, Hufsa, Karachiwali and Hira.