There are three stories of different lengths inOf Necessity and Wanting, each one a vignette of life in urban Pakistan, particularly in the cosmopolitan city of Karachi. Each story has its characters and themes but the connecting thread between them all is the city itself. One might also consider Karachi tobea character – a paradoxical, ‘not-so-beautiful’, dominating character – it would be hard to find another setting where these tales of ‘need’ and ‘want’ could unfold as they do in this ‘hell-hole’ of a city with its frenzy of traffic, canals clogged with raw sewage, its sicknesses and smells of rotting fish and smog, its beggar-lined streets of colour and glitter and flowers.
Then there is the heat, the exhausting, all-pervading heat which, as Zainab in the third story describes:
(The sun) beat down with more ferocity as it got nearer to mid-afternoon … the dust…
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