I am a 28-year-old girl, teaching at a small private school in the Old city area of Karachi. I was born and raised in this area, but I don’t like this area at all. Since a lot of commercial activities take place and wholesale businesses flourish here, there is garbage everywhere and all kinds of transportation flood the narrow roads and streets – imagine donkey’s runny snout touching your waist as you try to navigate through the traffic jam. Along with this, residential apartments are poorly maintained and people living mostly in these areas aren’t interested in any renovations or upgrades.
My mom is also not ready to move to a better area. She has various reasons for not wanting to move to a better area: other areas are expensive and that we cannot afford it; my father’s workplace is close to this area; our relatives live here, and my sister also got married to a guy who lives in this area and I will be married, too, to someone living in areas like Kharadar, Joria Bazar or Ranchor Line. People prefer marrying their children in the area they live. I am not being classist here or trying to say that people living in these areas are bad, but the dilapidated infrastructure and poor living conditions are frustrating. Older people find it convenient to live here, but young people want peaceful and clean localities to live.
Guru I am upset and worried about my future. There are proposals for me from families who reside in these localities, and I am sure my parents will decide very soon. What should I do? How should I convince my parents to look for a new house?
Wanting to improving one’s quality of life is a laudable aim, but sometimes our circumstances constrict us. In your case, your parents have too many ties to the area they live in, and they are comfortable there as they have lived their entire lives in that place. They are used to the squalor, so it doesn’t bother them. Besides, financial limitations are also an important factor, because prices of apartments and houses in cleaner areas of the city are astronomical. So, the stance of your mother is understandable, and it’s not fair to ask them to move out of their comfort zone.
Having said that, I would like to give you the example of the Zoroastrian community in Karachi. Some of their compounds lie in areas that are not known for their cleanliness, but, once you enter the compound, you find that the apartment blocks within are spotlessly clean. My point is, if your circumstances are restricting you from moving out, the next best thing is to make your home a heaven.
Also, try to supplement your income by doing some part-time work. Save as much money as you can, and if possible, invest it wisely. Once you are married, try to convince your husband to move to a place that he can afford. At that time your savings might become the deciding factor. Good luck
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