Karachi Postcards

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Episodes

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01Arrival, And The Family Waits For Her...2010031520101206

The London based novelist Kamila Shamsie

returns to her city of birth every winter,

and this time decides to explore it properly:

1.

Arrival, and the family waits for her...

Producer Duncan Minshull

"Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

invisible to x-ray machines...

undetected by sniffer dogs.

It is the strangeness of returning."

London based novelist Kamila Shamsie returns to Karachi every January to see her family and old friends.

But it's not where she lives anymore, so it has a fresh and often surprising quality to it.

Over five 'postcards' for The Essay, she explores the city of her birth in this uncertain and often intriguing light

And the experience of arrival is a big deal.

Outside the sleek, spare, deserted airport terminal all of Karachi's life comes towards you...

Novelist Kamila Shamsie describes arriving at Karachi airport.

Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

It is the strangeness of returning."

02Traffic Stops As 'street Cricket' Takes Pride Of Place...2010031620101207

Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

invisible to x-ray machines...

undetected by sniffer dogs.

It is the strangeness of returning."

London based novelist Kamila Shamsie returns to Karachi every January to see her family and old friends.

But it's not where she lives anymore, so it has a fresh and often surprising quality to it.

Over five 'postcards' for The Essay, she explores the city of her birth in this uncertain and often intriguing light.

This time, she takes to the streets to enjoy the mania that is 'street cricket', and explains how this form of the game reflects on the professional version, with its groomed heroes and rivalry with India.

Sporting politics are never far away though..

London-based novelist Kamila Shamsie learns about 'street cricket' in Karachi."

"Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

It is the strangeness of returning."

03What Women Do In The City!2010031720101208

The London based novelist Kamila Shamsie

returns to her city of birth every winter,

and this time decides to explore it properly:

3.

What women do in the city!

Producer Duncan Minshull

"Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

invisible to x-ray machines...

undetected by sniffer dogs.

It is the strangeness of returning."

London based novelist Kamila Shamsie returns to Karachi every January to see her family and old friends.

But it's not where she lives anymore, so it has a fresh and often surprising quality to it.

Over five 'postcards' for The Essay, she explores the city of her birth in this uncertain and often intriguing light

Now she meets the women of the city.

How do they live their daily lives? How do men see them? And what is the difference between what one women in a queue calls 'rights and priviledges' ?

Writer Kamila Shamsie explores the paradoxical lives that women lead in modern Karachi.

Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

It is the strangeness of returning."

How do they live their daily lives? How do men see them? And what is the difference between what one women in a queue calls 'rights and privileges' ?

04Leaving A Hot City For Life On The Beach...2010031820101209

The London based novelist Kamila Shamsie

returns to her city of birth every winter,

and this time decides to explore it properly:

4.

Leaving a hot city for life on the beach...

"Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

invisible to x-ray machines...

undetected by sniffer dogs.

It is the strangeness of returning."

London based novelist Kamila Shamsie returns to Karachi every January to see her family and old friends.

But it's not where she lives anymore, so it has a fresh and often surprising quality to it.

Over five 'postcards' for The Essay, she explores the city of her birth in this uncertain and often intriguing light

In her fourth postcard, Kamila escapes the hot, steamy bustle of the city centre and heads like hundreds do to the nearby beaches, where a poetic and calm state of mind and body takes over..

Novelist Kamila Shamsie explores Karachi and heads for the beach.

Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

It is the strangeness of returning."

05 LASTDeparture, But First A Feast...2010031920101210

The London based novelist Kamila Shamsie

returns to her city of birth every winter,

and this time decides to explore it properly:

5.

Departure, but first a feast...

Producer Duncan Minshull

"Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

invisible to x-ray machines...

undetected by sniffer dogs.

It is the strangeness of returning."

London based novelist Kamila Shamsie returns to Karachi every January to see her family and old friends.

But it's not where she lives anymore, so it has a fresh and often surprising quality to it.

Over five 'postcards' for The Essay, she explores the city of her birth in this uncertain and often intriguing light.

It's nearly time to return to London.

It's late February.

And to mark the event a ritual takes place.

Off Kamila goes with friends to the Bunns Road, which is renowned for its amazing eateries.

A last supper awaits, in all its delicious glory...

Kamila Shamsie and friends go to eat on the Bunns Road in Karachi.

Each time I visit Karachi there is a particular strangeness that accompanies me...

It is the strangeness of returning."