Divided Cities Final Project
18th May 2013
Katrak Parsi Colony Karachi; a consensual home for most of the Parsi community in the city or a consequence of national forces at work?
Tucked away between possibly the two busiest areas of the city, exuding an air of calm and old worldly charm and acting as an almost magical buffer against the blaring horns and thick smog of the city is the Katrak Parsi colony, Karachi. With its immaculate streets, greenery and stone buildings telling hushed stories of the grand British Raj, the colony seems to exist in its own quaint little world where the pollution, clutter and crime present right outside seems a mere figment of the imagination.
The colony, which was inaugurated in March 1923, has become the prime residence of the remaining Parsis, followers of the Zoroastrian faith, in Karachi. It extends over a wide area touching M.A. Jinnah road, a major artery in the city’s road network, on one side and the famous Holy Family Hospital in Saddar, the old centre of the city, on the other. The colony primarily consists of three main streets, with fifty eight residential plots on each side of each street. Most of these plots have bungalows, but some also have multi storey apartment buildings, built for those Parsis who cannot afford the high rents bungalows might be demanding. The colony finds its epicenter in the park that is situated between two of the lanes and contains a wuthering structure known as the Bhedawar Reading Room and Library, which is the location for all meetings that concern what goes on within the colony. (Salman)
The Parsis, although always a very small minority were previously an active part of life in Karachi with the total size of the community numbering about 4500. Furthermore, the members of this community were more or less evenly dispersed with Parsi residences found throughout Old Clifton and in the localities of Saddar, namely Preedy Quarters, as well as Garden East, specifically
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