Karachi Sojourn 1979-1982

By 
Dr. Feroze Ursani
UrsaniFerozeLMC1976Small
KARACHI SOJOURN:
Feb 1979-Sept 1982
PART ONE: Cutting my teeth!
I presented myself at the Principal DMC’s Office on a crisp Wednesday, 21st of February, 1979; for an in-house posting as Demonstrator, my preference was Anatomy as that was what I was doing in LMC at the time of my transfer.
As fate would have it, I was released from LMC by its acting Principal, and reported to DMC’s Principal, the same individual: respected Otolaryngologist  Professor I H Jafri, who I instead of my requested Anatomy posting where I was in LMC, sent me packing to Pharmacology.
The academic block at Dow, looked well after,  and Professor Abdul Hamid was perfunctory when I presented my credentials.
The College was symbolically separated from the Hospital by a small gate, and the Cafeteria quickly became a fixture for me for its homily snacks and fresh brewed tea.
The second place which almost quickly became a favorite of mine was the centuries (exaggeration?) old KMC Workshop. I had to go out the front gate of Dow, and make a right (Baba-I-Urdu Road?) walk a quarter mile and make a right on Lawrence (later Nishtar) Road and there it was! Unassuming from the dilapidated gate, but pretty large and mechanically well populated inside. Why here? A cousin worked there, and the camaraderie was great at lunchtime.
And then there was a lot of anthropology benefits here as I mingled with folks from Lyari, one the oldest settled area of Karachi, the Kutchi Memon and the Baloch; both so easy to befriend!
And then as Zia’s orthodoxy and bigotry started taking hold , I was a sad witness to the gory spectacle of KMC trucks hauling in uprooted statues of Karachi’s City Builders’ to the workshop’s dumping grounds. I spent quite a bit of time there, brooding over the dishonored edifices of leaders and philanthropists who made Karachi what it was, even shedding a tear or two looking for any of my Mom’s Zoroastrian genealogical brethren amongst them.
I also was to enjoy the delectable Vegetable Thalli in the lunch room of a mandir a brief walk from DMC towards the Light House Cinema, frequented by quite a few same-feathered folks like me, in that hot July of 1979; to beat out the vigilante brigades imposing their versions of maintaining the “sacrosanctity” of Ramadan! I can’t say for sure it was the same Swaminarayan Temple which both Muslims and Hindus frequented before partition, and whose dharamshalla (guest house) was “taken over” by the city government!
I do plan to write a few more “parts” on Karachi from my own personal perspective and experience, focused on the period 1979 to 1982: warn you, almost all, anecdotal, amusing maybe, but not to the serious reader of history!

About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
This entry was posted in Karachi Recalled. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s