Being someone who was born and raised in Islamabad, the recent plethora of construction, development, drive towards being a metropolitan just make me sad and angry at the same time. What happened to the Islamabad that was there say 5-6 years ago. The map has changed, you barely see the small roads you used to now. I honestly can’t differentiate sectors because to me they all look the same or maybe it’s the roads that run through them. I miss turns, I sometimes can’t tell what road to take to go home even when It’s just one straight road. I’m not saying development is a bad thing but there was something unique about Islamabad that slowly and alarmingly is just depreciating to a level where the smoke, rubble, bridges, under-passes and towers will over-shadow the green Islamabad that was. Seems like eons now. I fondly remember when we used to live in G-9/4 me and my mother would walk around g-9/3, g-9/1 and back home. It took us an hour and we’d see the same faces, the same khokha, the same “secret building” which I thought was cool because of the satellites and stuff. And now, walking there is considered a cardinal sin. Road blocks, security checks. It seems like a fortress rather than the place I used to walk everyday. And it just makes me wonder what the need for all this was. True security is an issue but doesn’t a “democracy in books” mean that the people are to be taken care of. These road blocks just jam traffic, cause nuisance to people who after a long day at work just want to get home without any complications. Getting stopped and asked for documents is even worse considering the same police walas see you everyday. But they’re just doing the job they were assigned to do so to speak.
7th avenue, 9th avenue, whatever avenue. It may streamline traffic but it has made the Islamabad I loved crap. In all honesty I miss the citibank chowk with the four roads and the signals where there were hardly 10 cars in the waiting. I remember at the zero point signal my dad used to stop even if our car was the only car there. And now the zero point interchange has changed the scenery. Whatever happened to the signal we stopped at just to see the white dove?. And now the white dove is usually covered with political slogans and kudos to Mr Rehman Malik or countering terrorism in Pakistan by one of his many chamchas. Islamabad is now in my humble view a city fortress where the rich and famous rule and the not so rich and certainly not famous people suffer. Tower upon tower. When will it all end? Where did the serenity go?! where on earth is the peace? Even haji restaurant eating areas are smaller because of a new tower being built. Hehe. That is in my view a major loss for Haji restaurant is a prime restaurant which too has lost it’s charm because people just won’t let them be.
I guess time changes everything and the crux of my rant was that the Islamabad that “Was” in my view is and will always be better than the Islamabad that “is” and “will be”. Give me a peaceful sector not a Centaurus. Give me a good khokha not a telecom tower. Give me a small but calm road, not an avenue where there is nothing but chaos (literally). To think this small semi-path/street will no longer be in a few years time makes me even more sad.
Time warped or plain simple conforming to social needs and adhering to the principles of the rich.famous.moustached.demented?