Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Urbanism

The rising middle class is a global phenomenon; it is often predicted by 2030, Asia will have two-thirds of world’s middle class. Urbanism is often associated with the middle class due to their numeric superiority. I think Urbanism is essentially the aspirations and values of the middle class, defined by the young generation of a country. Over the past decades, urbanism in Pakistan has gone through many transformations and varies from one city to another.

Since the onset of the last martial law, Karachi (along with other provincial capitals) have experienced a growth in leisure activities, such as an increase in eating out places, bowling explosion, and rise of shopping malls. This has caused a shift in the outing habits of youngsters, who were initially only used to visiting each other places or at most a guy group hangout at dhabas.

Mix gathering outings were always a problem because of lack of places where friends could have gone. Restaurants in the 1990s were mostly either international food franchises or family places like China Town; therefore not a lot of option was available. I still credit Park Towers as the pioneer mall which was somewhat built on international standards and was developed considering the aspiration of individuals belonging to all age groups. I still remember the food court being my favorite place to hang out with friends before other places popped up throughout the city.

The teenagers of 1990s used to rely on PTCL landline for keeping in contact with friends, and had to go through the awkward moments of parents picking up the phone. The whole day used to get spend by sitting in front of computer, chatting with friends on MSN messenger since there was no Whatsapp or Viber. There used to be a restriction and a concept of ‘odd timings’ between even best friends. Thanks to mobile phone revolution, ‘odd timings’ are nearly nonexistent.

We end up  having change of plans due to unpredictability of our daily lives; may be the class ends late (in university life), a plan with friends get extended or there is a late sitting at the office. We have a way of informing our loved ones using mobile phones; imagine what hassle a simple change of plan would have been in 1990s.    

May be the concept of good old days is just a myth that individuals like to tell. The way I see it, we are a lot better off now, with all the facilities and technology, than compared to all the previous eras.

Do you feel nostalgic about 1990s? Write back to me and share your thoughts about my blog.