Chand Raat in Karachi is LIT
In the hustle and bustle of the oncoming Eid, chand raat is the last -and only- chance to get shit done. Get that dupatta peeko’d, stand in line at the naee looking at 90’s Salman Khan posters on his mirrors, buy those chooriyan, call that loser you call your darzi & scream down the phone (he deserves it).
So to save you from touring around chand raat all over Karachi, trying to find someplace to at least park your car and get the last minute things done, we’ve tried to put together all the places we could think of that could stop that from happening, and all those that won’t.
Places to avoid AT ALL COSTS on chand raat
1. Tariq Road
Why is this at the top of my list? Because there is no place in this city that compares to hell more than this freaking road. You cannot even breathe once you step here. Cars and aunties and kids and shopkeepers all rushing in one solid wave, just trying to get back home in one piece. You can try going here to get that pair of khussas for cheap, but you’ll probably return home on the third day of Eid.
What is with Karachi and roads?! Probably the fact that our markets aren’t thought through, with parking and walking for pedestrians not being taken into consideration. But is that our headache? Nope. We just need to soldier through and get to that damn parlor. A few brave ones do make it, but we suggest you steer away.
3. Atrium Mall / Zainab Market
Imagine a box. On fire. With no ventilation whatsoever. With ants in it. Lots and lots of ants. That’s it. You’re the ants and that market is the box. Aqalmand ke liay ishaara hee kaafi hai.
Yeah, the cheap rates and yeah the cinemas and food court. We give you tops ten minutes before you’ll run either from the heat or the people.
We know, we know. There is no better place to go and get all your stuff done. Mehndi? Check. Chooriyan? Check. Cute jhumkay? Check. But at the cost of losing your wallet, possibly your car keys and your Eid spirit? Not Check.
5. Meena Bazaar
We write this with a heavy heart. Nothing and nowhere and no “professional official” Instagram henna artist that can beat the mehndi applied here. The facial and other services we wouldn’t trust. But what we don’t trust the most are the aunties trying to grab you from whatever piece of flesh they can touch. And not just you, your bag too. All we can say is, if you do brave this, come home in one piece.
6. Dolmen Mall, Clifton
You know this comes on the list, right? You know you cannot go here on chand raat, right? You’ll still lie to yourself and others that it is manageable, right? Cue us laughing. Don’t do it.
7. Gulf Way Shopping Center
How can you mention chand raat, how do you talk Eid and clothes and anything desi and not mention Gulf. This is the hub of all Karachi women. This is where you find everything under one roof. But this is not where you go to on chand raat. No, ma’am. Your tardiness cannot be an excuse here.
We can already see our honahar jawaan on their 200cc, doing wheelies. I can see them peeking into the window, trying to figure out if my brother is there in the car with me or can they throw in that paan wrapper with their number on it. I shall sustain.
Okay so this is a 50-50 one. We say if you can brave the traffic, the ongoing construction at Shaeed-e-Millat and whereabouts, the influx of diverted traffic, the traffic from Tariq Road, you should totes go for it. Yep, make that 80-20.
10. Boat Basin
The variety of food on Boat Basin’s food street is unbeatable. Also is the garmi, the macchar, and the staring. Please hold on just a little longer. We have other places in mind, just for you.
11. Paposh Sarrafa Bazaar
The Holy Place for everyone in Nazimabad. And otherwise. Sure, scout and bargain all you want and get that kameez for half the price. But not tonight sis, not tonight.
Places you should definitely check out on chand raat
1. The Forum / Ashiana
Our poor old Forum, “the place” to go to in our childhood, and now just left open for drama shootings and that one departmental store. We bet you you won’t get your ass groped or your wallet stolen here. And maybe get that last minute Eid shopping done too. Pop into Ashiana next door and get matching dupatta too.
This is the better equivalent of Sindhi Muslim. Lesser restaurants, yes. But lesser people and hence more parking space too. We gotchu.
3. The Place
Located at the very corner of the city, The Place has cinemas and food courts and shops. And maybe mehndi stalls too, so we hear. Air conditioned, a spacious food court, a cinema, and even rides. What else could one ask for?
4. Private clubs
If you’re lucky enough to have a club membership (or know someone who has *wink*), use it. Most clubs have a pretty decent setup for mehndi and chooriyan etc, minus the rush.
5. Emerald Tower / Plaza
We can see the confusion on your faces. This is the mall located right beside Dou Talwar. It’s fairly less crowded, and has all the Eid attractions. What you can’t find here, you can at Plaza shopping mall right opposite to it.
6. Ocean Mall
Yes, it will be crowded. Yes, you will have to rethink it. But there’s mehndi in the basement, from what we recall from last year, so wing it on this one? Also valet parking. Cannot stress enough.
7. Lucky One Mall
This is a close call. But given that we’ve cut off almost all your options, and also the fact that this mall is huge with multiple floors of parking, we think we can walk the line on this one.
8. Bahria Town
If you’re just looking to head out with family and friends, grab some dinner, go for a long drive and just relax, this is your place. There is a cinema at the end of this road too. And who knows, maybe a few mehndi-waliyan too.
9. Port Grand
Not the first place that comes to most minds due to its reclusive location, and hence a very good place to go chill and hangout with the fam bam (or friends) by the cool sea breeze.
10. Dou Darya
We for one miss the tikkay and khameeri naan and bihari boti and reshmi handi’s. So if youre done with your fruit chaats and pakoras too, we suggest you head down to eat in this cool and breezy place. Don’t forget to take a mosquito repellent.
This is the best option for those of us who have just had it with this garmi and cannot even imagine being in a closed confined place. Grab that laptop. microwave that popcorn and Netflix and Chill. Or maybe…pray? We’re just sayin’. It’s your night. Own it.
So, let us know how you’ll be celebrating chand raat in Karachi and the rest of the country, too.
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Cover image via: REUTERS/Caren Firouz