The above two pictures are taken from
Burns Road is a famous place located somewhere near Saddar, usually known as KarachiFood Street as it has a wide range of variety of food. One can find from BBQ items, to Karahi, Nihari, Katakat, Paiye, Chargha, Sajji, Fish, Haleem, Biryani and what not! Name it and they have it.
All other delicacies like Lassi, Dahi Baray, Kulfi, Kheer, Jalebi, Burns Road offers everything. Not only desi cuisines, fast food and Chinese items are also available in the busy streets of Burns Road. The charm of this place lies in the freshness, taste and affordability of food.
Here, I narrate my experience of discomfort on a family visit to Burns Road for dinner.
When I entered burns road, I witnessed a great hustle-bustle on the streets that are not really narrow but stalls of limca, salad, jalebi etc. and the improper parking make them congested. Hence, we had to park our car in a nearby area and walk to Waheed Kabab House, the place that I particularly visited at Burns Road.
These two pictures are from http://www.dawn.com
I saw plenty of restaurants situated next to next and most of them cook right in front of their shops covering the walkway so much that very little space is left for the pedestrians. Nonetheless, one can enjoy the food being cooked live in front of them but that’s specifically is for “males”. On the other side, there is also a line of men waiting for their turn to take their parcels or roti etc. who are usually entertained by the owner himself sitting on the counter. I could not find any other female and the males around, no matter what they are doing, took a moment to glimpse at us if not literally stare as I was with my family.
Their attitude made me feel as if they own this public place and since I am entering to their space, they have all the right to stare, touch or make me feel uncomfortable by any means.
When I entered Waheed Kabab House, the ground floor was occupied by men, busy chatting and enjoy their food so I rushed to the narrow stairs at the corner and brisk walked upstairs. I literally took a sigh of relief encountering other females with their families. The feeling was “oh its not only us!” Nothing is wrong with my family, there are other people too.
Having myself fitted into the congested family hall, I over-viewed the entire restaurant from the side of balcony while waiting for food. After having enjoyed the food, the very next thought that bothered me was the way back till my car.
When I have to visit Burns Road, I mostly try to wear clothes that cover me as much as possible not to mention with a long and broad dupatta donned properly and covering me.
I am hesitant going to Burns Road probably because Its different from where I have been brought up. It honestly feels like a fish out of water. But I guess it is equally difficult for the crowd to absorb me into that space. Perhaps that sense of not belonging to that space and a male dominated crowd are the discomforting elements for me.