The main character Ayesha is your average rebellious Karachiite forced to conform to rules in society and at her job at a newspaper office. Her survival is heavily dependent on the life-of-the-party friend Zara and the best friend who lives in Dubai but returns ever so freely to karachi for quick weekend get aways, Saad. The nature of the laid-back, fun relationship between the 3 is set from the get go as the book opens on New Years Eve in Karachi. This opening was enough to win me over from the start â€“ the description of the party, the people present and the overall exhaustion in having to socialize in spite of not wanting to but because its New Years it would be rude not to; and of course the mention of the road blocks really takes any reader back to their recent most New Years experience, and you know immediately in that instance that the author has really hit home with this opening.
The diary style format of the book is reminiscent of The Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend, which follows the life of pre pubescent Adrian ages 13 Â¾ till the ripe age of 39 Â¼. Adrian Mole was definitely one of my favorite characters growing up and definitely the type of book you re read several times, so this is a big compliment for Saba Imtiaz. Aside from this winning comparison, letâ€™s throw in another 10 points to the author for addressing and speaking ever so nonchalantly about all that is taboo in Pakistan. I donâ€™t need to point out exactly what that includes because I know you know what I meanâ€¦but JUST IN CASE you donâ€™t get what I mean, I am appreciating the casual manner alcohol, sex and drugs that are mentioned and hold a fairly significant part of the plot. Itâ€™s not done in an over the top manner that makes you think itâ€™s only there for the sake of show, but rather with a level of authenticity that forces you into accepting an average Karachiiteâ€™s life as it is â€“ in case you were still living in the 60â€™s and in massive denial.
Overall the book is highly entertaining. The protagonist in the story has a sarcastic sense of humor, and has an â€œoh snapâ€ personality that you secretly know you would enjoy having some funny banter with. The story line itself gets a little predictable â€“ sure. And the ending is sadly neatly tied up and a little Bollywood bow, but the journey to the end is definitely worth reading for the laughs and the undeniable feeling of being able to associate with the character and her everyday life. I read the book cover to cover over the span of an incredibly slow weekend, so itâ€™s something you should grab for a Sunday in bed or a long flight. â€œKarachi Youâ€™re Killing Meâ€ is relatable, hilarious, and just the right dose of karachi for all.
Written By Fatima Afzal
Fatima Afzal is an architect by day and a photographer by night