Political Walks: Karachi



Shershah Scrap Yards. 2017

There is a sludge
beneath the earth
moving with cohesive force;
gaining momentum
with the burial of
discarded fragments.
It moves to find its way,
to finds its place
to find its meaning.
How long will it remain there
discarded and hidden
under the ground
beneath the grating hatchways
beneath the many decks?

There, on the fringes of the city
within its landfills
inside metallic scrapyards
are collections of discarded things
gathered in unlikely lists
There are pieces of Karachi
telling stories of a city;
of many cities within cities-
as they press against its walls.
There is an acid fracture
an air drill
an annular blowout
an artificial lift
an automatic slip
a bailing
a belly buster
a bit
a blind ram
a block
a blooey line
a blowout
a bore hole
a bullet perforator
a casing
a cathead
a catline
a cementing
a chain drive
a choke
a christmas tree
a completion rig

Tentative Collective Funambulist 9

What will happen when
100,000 cubic meters of sludge
slides down a hill,
gathering dust
and rock
unidentified objects
and bodies,
towards you?
Towards all
that you have collected
and built
into a semblance of some sort;
a semblance
of something you call home.
There is a deadline
a derrick
a drill collar
a drill pipe
a drill stem
a driller
a finger
a fish
a foaming agent
a geronimo
a guy line
a hoist
a hook
a jacknife mast
a kelly
a kick
a pipe ram
a rathole
a reeve
a rig
a shale shaker
a shear ram
a sheave
a slurry
a sour gas
a spinning cathead
a stab
a stabbing board
a swab
a swivel
a whipstock
a wildcat
There are houses on the move
houses on the run.
They lift themselves up and glide effortlessly on land and over water
avoiding moments of impending loss
to enter places full of promise.
Sometimes they are seen
hovering over ground
and over the seas
where they gaze, they float, they climb, and they finally descend-
to rest the weight of their loads.
Lest, upon a strike
they scatter into fragments

Tentative Collective Funambulist 5

There are Kings Lavish
King’s Garden
King’s Luxury Homes
King’s Dream Villas
King’s Hill View
King’s Excellency
King’s Galaxy
King’s Skyline
King’s Cottages
King’s Classic
King’s Luxury Apartments
Offering all the amenities and facilities of modern living.
Blue Bell Residency
Chapal Skymark
Diamond Tower
Gulf Towers
La Grande by Al Ghafoor
Marwa Palace
Metro Twin Tower
Omega Heights
Pyramid Residency
Royal Luxuria
Seven Wonders City
Breathtaking lifestyles to the
common people.
Shumail Heights
The Arkadians
The Orchid
Tricon Tower
Bahria Sports City Karachi
Bahria Farmhouses Karachi
Bahria Golf City Karachi
Bahria Homes Karachi
Bahria Apartments
Bahria Heights
Bahria Town Karachi
(Overseas Block)
Bahria Hoshang Pearl Karachi
Bahria Opal 225 Karachi
Bahria Diamond Bar City on Kutta Island
Enchants residents by the grace and amazing acrobats
of Dolphins in an
interactive show.
DHA City Karachi
DHA Oasis
DHA Creek City
DHA Creek Vista
A gated community monitored by DHA professional vigilant staff.
Karachi Waterfront Sugarland City
Navy Housing Scheme
Fazaia Housing
Defence Regency
Emaar Crescent Bay
Emaar Pearl Towers
Emaar Reef Towers
Emaar Coral Towers
Emaar Canyon Views
Emaar Prados Villas
Emaar Alma
Emaar Mirador Villas
Life, the way you
have always wanted

Tentative Collective Funambulist 6

There are Xtreme Bars G-500W
Deformed Bars G-60
Sand Chenab
Sand Ravi
Silica Sand
Bajri Margalla
Bajar Dina
Blast Furnace
Rapid Hardening
OPC 42.5
Quick Setting
Sulphate Resisting
White Portland
High Alumina
Reinforced Brick
Fiber Reinforced
Sulpher Infiltrated
High Early Strength
Water proof
Common burnt
Sand Lime
Pakistan Slag
Zeal Pak

Tentative Collective Funambulist 3

There is CORE (Client Oriented Real Estate)
Dream Ambassador (Pvt) LTD
UR Property
Z.S Associates
Universal Property Network
Rayyan Real Investment
Rajput Enterprises
Athar Associates
Icon Real Estate
Al Rafay Associates
New Rockwell Associates
Zakria Real Estate & Marketing
Estate Bank Property Advisor
Karachi Real Estate
Sona Properties
Buy N Sell Realty
Takaful Estate
Kazmi Associates
Home Land Enterprises
Kainat Associates
Hallmark Estate
Tabani Real Estate
Munawar Estate & Builders
Land Masters Real Estate
Real Investment Consultants
Luxury Properties
The Estate Arts
Infinity Properties
Geo Real Estate
Aslam Brothers & Sons
Abuzar Estate
Splendour Homes
Al Hafiz Estate
Online Enterprises
Wasif Associates
786 Estate
Advance Properties
Sunset Properties
Pardesi Real Estate
Al Tawakkal Enterprises
Khurram Enterprises
DR. Estate
Defence 4 U Estate
Jinnah Estate
Tricon Associate
Shaheen Builders & Marketing
Falak Enterprises
United Country Real Estate
Hi-Land Estate
Sky Line Real Estate
Syed Zada Enterprises
Makaan Realtors
Arafat Estate And Marketing
Best Property Solution
Al Wahid Associates
Sahara Properties
Harem Construction Co
Lakyari Estate
Universal Estate & Builders
Sheikh Estate Dot Com
Shah Global Enterprises
VIP Estate
There is a Platinum Estate Agency
and Shackles Enterprises

Tentative Collective Funambulist 7

There is iron scrap
and niggar scrap
and ms melted
and chaddors
and bundles
and local bundles
and niggar bundles
and light bundles
and beerh
and loha
and silver
and steel
and cast steel
and cast iron
and gunehgaar loha
and gunehgaar steel
and parchoon
and goolli
and bhangaar
and aaru
and chikni mitti
and SS (16-4) solah chaar grade
and SS 118 aikso athara grade
and SS Indian grade
and garrari
and chotta makkah
and rassa
and light scrap
and dharra
and purchoon
and ship plates
and 7up plates
and chira plates
and gates
There is red sludge
unidentified object 8
Chinese Baijui Liquor
offbrand smart phones
bubble blowing wands
plastic molded items
unidentified object 43
window grills
900 Fushan I keyboards
63 unpaired shoes
pvc ceiling tiles
embossed stationery
unidentified object 208
58 bodies
33 buildings
14 factories
2 office buildings
1 cafeteria
3 dormitories
13 sheds
100,000 square meters
special economic zone
151 rescue cranes
There are white flowers on debris
no exact number available as yet

Tentative Collective Funambulist 2

There are scraps of broken, fragmented and used metals
from the freighter ship ‘Elizabeth II’.
They are making their way up north
from the shipbreaking yard at Gadani
to build a city
to build many new cities.
Cities like forts
forts that fortify themselves against all the residue
they have rendered waste around them.
There are paranoid walls of paranoid cities
which extend to great heights
in their wish to not confront excesses of their own.
There are excesses
excesses that flow, heap, gather, collect, stack, assemble, bundle,
pile, jam, clog, rise, tower, and spill beyond each gate
beyond each encircling boundary.
There are

Tentative Collective Funambulist 4

grated hatchways

breast hooks
boom jaws
burden boards
sculling notches
rudder gudgeons
rising ribs
(hanging) knees

two and two.
right leg of one
left leg of other
right hand of one
left hand of other
legs in legs
hands in hands

Tentative Collective Funambulist 10

There is the world in your palm
connecting people
with fingerprint scanner
daily, weekly, monthly, 45 days, & yearly
a bold statement
with smart pause control
infinity touch
world’s slimmest
Billowing from a star
a million years ago,
there is scatter
of decaying shrapnel.
It accumulates,
building a mass,
bundling together
interstellar sand
from nebula in curved space.
The sound of its arrival
registers on the crust of the earth. On the Congo craton there are
rare earth minerals
dug out of igneous rock
embedded in the myriad layers of time.
Columbite–tantalite, Tantalum, Coltan;
more valuable than gold-
mined with bare hands
and bare skin.
Smuggled to
special economic zones.
lustrous grey-
ever increasing in value
reduced in size,
smelted to powders and tubes
capacitors and circuitboards.
Encased in glossy armatures,
and rose gold rectangles.
And there are million dollar
ad campaigns,

I’m Jacqueline Fernandes
I Noir, do you?

Tentative Collective Funambulist 1

There is a dust rising
and it gradually
takes the ground away
a grain at a time.
It rises a grain at a time.
A grain at a time a cluster forms.
Brewing a storm within a cloud.

There is a cloud.
It stretches for rows
upon rows
upon rows,
and columns
upon columns
upon columns.
Like cities within cities
upon cities
and beyond cities.
Drenched with ambition
it does not know how to float.
All that it has accumulated
weighs it down,
chains it down.
Like decks upon decks
upon decks
upon decks
upon decks

There is a dust rising
from the polished surface
of a stainless silver rectangle
from the grated hatchways.
There is a dust rising from the sludge beneath the earth.
It billows, escaping metallic bonds
stretching out onto the decks
into the space between bodies.
And as you breathe it in,
with every breath,
it brings you closer to the ground;
making you more like itself
more indium
more silicon
more yttrium
more lanthanum
more neodymium
more gadolinium
more praseodymium
more terbium
more europium
more dysprosium
more lithium
more magnesium
more tantalum
more antimony
more gallium
more arsenic
more copper
more iron
more lead.

Tentative Collective Funambulist 8