My brothers decided a few weeks back that Sunday morning has to be spent on a kids based activity.
For me who sleeps around the clock every Sunday and has a teenage daughter this idea was a horrifying one.
However since my daughter was enthusiastic and my Dad adamant that all parents be present
(After me missing out last Sunday’s brunch and rides)
I resigned myself to a 10 am wakeup call. Not that the prospect of the Zoo was that uninteresting it was just the
ungodly hour on a Sunday.
So off we went towards Garden and our Destination at 11 am. I knew that the Zoo will probably be in Shambles with
unkempt enclosures and ignored animals but what I found there was nothing short of horrific. With a Stag who had
a gaping wound on his behind to the lion suffering from malnutrition to the tiger who was totally comatose this was a
journey that brought home the reality of my Country’s Administrative plight to me with a bang!
Don’t take me wrong though, we had a nice walk around the Zoo even though 30% of all enclosures were empty.
And the kids enjoyed whatever few animals there were and finished the excursion with ice creams and of course
there was the charm of everyone bonding together. But the sad reality of the actual plight of the Zoo wasn’t lost on
any of the adults there. The Zoo was stocked with Ducks and Peacocks with a few Pheasants and Deer to fill in the
blanks but nothing much other than that.
The white lions were beyond majestic but so malnourished that my heart went out to them.
There was a museum that promised 130 animals and was dusty with the taxidermy of the animals so bad they looked
like cheap stuff toys out of a horror movie.
But you know what? I am glad I went and am even gladder that I took my daughter with me. She is 16 years old and
that is old enough to make comparisons and understand.
Her appalled reaction gave me a chance to bring home the plight of our Country to her and subtly remind her that
our Country would not be so bad off if the younger kids like her did not decide that Pakistan was not a part of their
future and they wanted to settle abroad to live out their dreams.
What Pakistan needs is a voice. The voice of its youth to raise questions against how shoddily things are run around
here and if we as parents encourage them to settle abroad then who will inherit this Country?
The economically challenged who cannot afford even decent schooling for their kids? Or for that matter any of the
necessities of life? Why are we expecting them to do what is the challenge of the economically empowered and
I would suggest that every parent should make the trek to Garden and show their kids the Karachi Zoo. Bond with,
show them what the state of the Country is and also bring home to them the importance of every one of our children
growing up to shoulder their social responsibilities.
Also there are some beautiful old trees and gardens from the very early 1900s. I wish I had known so I would have
packed a picnic hamper for my kids who have grown up not knowing the pleasures of Picnic in the Park the way we
Besides the more visitors who go there and raise a voice against the Administration the more we are likely to see a
So let’s do what we can to shoulder our Social Responsibility and to teach our Kids how to shoulder theirs.