My Karachi feat. Cybil Chowdhry

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Salima Feerasta aka Karachista plays a round of rapid fire with the top model to see what makes her a quintessential Karachiite!

Native or visitor?

I was born in Karachi, but now I am a native Lahori.

The quintessential Karachi experience?

Eating some delicious street side food; Jawaid ki Nihari is my favourite! Or going crabbing! Being out on the water and eating freshly made crabs on the boat is something we have all experienced.

Who do you call when you want to let your hair down?

Usually my family. My cousins are my go-to to find out what new restaurant or food we’re going to try.

Ultimate desi food joint:

There are so many, but nothing can beat home food – and my Phupho’s are the best cooks. I love to eat things like paye and kadhi chawal, and my favourite is Kachay Kheema, which is this really soft kheema served in a bun with onions and chutney.

Favourite restaurant?

Okra. I always order loads of their yummy starters and their whole roasted garlic is a must.

What would you do if you were Governor for a day?

Clean up shop! Ok, maybe that’s easier said than done, but Karachi is such a beautiful city, which has been overrun by pollution and rubbish. I would love to restore some of its beauty, and help bring it back to its glory days. I would power wash buildings and streets, and restore some of the lost architecture.

Go-to salon or spa?

Peng’s for my facials, Nabila’s for my mani/pedi and Sab’s for chatting!

Favourite shops:

There’s this guy off Khayaban-E-Tanzeem called Mr. Niazi. He has the most amazing Indian chikkankari so I always try and make a visit there.

Best dessert in town:

I’m not really a dessert person, but when I do get a sweet craving is has to be Balochi falooda.

What would you change about Karachi?

The heat! It can be unbearable sometimes – and I’ve grown used to the pleasant breezes of Lahore.

Worst Karachi memory:

The day of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. The city shut down in a matter of minutes, and I had never seen it so quiet and barren. Everyone was in a state of shock, and the fear, panic and sadness in peoples hearts made it a horrible day for all.

Best memory:

My childhood. Hanging out with my cousins, playing carrom board, eating chilli chips, piling together to watch videos on the VCR… And those little chicks! We had loads of those little multi-coloured chicks running around.

Favourite hidden gem:

The paan-wala at PIDC – totally the best paans in Karachi.

Essential luxury:

Sleep! It’s one of the reasons I love to escape to my aunt’s house in Karachi. I am ridiculously pampered, don’t have to lift a finger and can finally catch up on my sleep.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given:

As a model, I am constantly on the go, and I have gotten too accustomed to the fast pace of life. The best advice I’ve ever been given is to be patient and wait for things to work out and unravel in their own time.

What are you up to these days?

From one fashion week to the next, it’s all about the werk werk werk werk werk! Allah ka shukar, I can’t complain because I love my job.

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