Sunday, February 22, 2015


Street of Gold


At Heaven's Gates
“An ideal gated city” is advertised
with images appealing to the ones
who wouldn't want to mix with common folk –
as they might do in villages and towns
without the walls to keep such people out.

So if they seek the lifestyles that are shown,
with water-parks and air-conditioned gyms,
with shopping malls and tennis courts and more –
and also have the means, they’ll buy the dream
and enter then the gated paradise.
And where is this? Why, just a drive away
from anthills where the other humans live –
the same, who built that heaven here on Earth,
and surely might, by heaven’s dwellers, be
observed at duties heaven still will need.
2015 February 22nd, Sun, 2:10 am
Bath Avenue, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

This was written after completing many hours of job-related work at the Skyway dhaba, an eatery that stays open all 24 hours.  Pakistani TV shows were playing on a big screen, enticing émigrés and the affluent  with advertisements for “Bahria Town, Karachi”  and other such places, along with those for soaps, cosmetics, paints and, of course, cell phones being used by glamorous Indian filmstars speaking English with attempts at snooty or suave British accents.


Bahria Town, Karachi

Clicking on the image will yield an enlarged view.  Press the "escape" key or click on the white X at the top right of the black background to return to this post, if you wish to get back here from your viewing of  heaven.

The top two text-boxes in the image advertise high-rise towers in the old, public Karachi.  But the text in the bottom box is about one of the new, private Karachis being built for the select.  It promises not only "a completely gated community" with many luxuries but also "no load shedding"*.  Now who could secure that?  Surely, divinity is at work here.

"Load-shedding" is the term used in the subcontinent for a widespread practice there, in which electric-power utilities shut down electric power to parts of the local or national grid when the demand for power exceeds the supply capacities of these utilities.

As the demand for electricity has grown, with the supply unable to keep pace, this practice has become a common, daily occurrence.  Areas where more affluent and influential folk live may be spared the worst of this. Some private developments, such as the one whose ad is shown above, boast that they have their own large back-up generators. 


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