Gluttony may be one of the seven most deadly sins that everyone loves to get around of but it is also, perhaps, known to be the mainly tolerated sin in Pakistan. I say this now, not as someone who is constantly at risk from the mouth-watering magnetism of the free-food gateways or buffet lineups, but as someone who is open to trying new food and needs all the benefit they can get at all times.
For enthusiastic Pakistani-foodies like myself, nonetheless, there comes a spell around the inauguration of every new year where they gear themselves up to engulf this sin with a wide smile and open arms.
Following up with the up-and-coming progression of this food festival, ‘EAT’ takes place not only in the gluttony-sated city of Karachi but it has come to stretch its loving arms to the people of Lahore and Islamabad as well. The first ever ‘EAT’ was the long-awaited result of a small dream to bring people from all walks of life together in one place and only by means of the run-of-the-mill cultures of food that the cities have to offer. Its main focus on particulars, that I am sure, would be reflected by no other celebration. The brain behind ‘EAT’, the impassioned arrangers, desired nothing more than to just craft an ether of hope, love, and positivity only for a couple of days if anything. For five continuous years, it has proved the purpose of the organizers and has been efficacious enough to draw in a crowd of more than 400,000 food-loving people that cross the line only in hopes of getting a stealthy taste of every culture, no matter how peculiar or small, in the bounds of their own country.
This time in 2018 around, however, the people of Karachi came to see the face of a higher light. Fifth-year anniversary of Karachi Eat and the organizers prearranged for everything to be much more special and delicious than the last time. Becoming home to more than 125 booths and showcasing a symbol of more than seven diverse hues of cuisines—which turned out to be the new scraps of the seven most deadly sins of the world—the fifth edition of the festival was equipped to make a presence from Friday to Sunday and be a continuous three-day event for the keen people. The people got to flavor the beaming airs of dishes embodying Middle Eastern, Persian, Thai, Mexican, Swiss, Sri Lankan, Chinese, South Indian and so many more. Amongst the entertainment lineup of star-studded musical acts that included Fuzön, Atif Aslam, Aaroh, Asim Azhar and many more, Easel Bay transpired to be the cause of bringing about the art of painting to the touch of common people and assembled blank easels surrounding the entire venue that offered children and adults painting materials (canvases, tints, brushes, etcetera) to bring their imaginative creativity to the brimming surface.
Speaking about how the food festival plays a huge role in the country’s unity and how much it has evolved during the years, Omar Omari said in a press statement, “We are quite excited to see all the new upcoming restaurants and businesses that evolve because of their participation at the festival. Karachi Eat is an iconic event and we are proud and excited that we are putting forward a positive image of our country.” He further said, “Food is a common denominator and we used the love of food that is common to all as a uniting force.”
“Like every year, we hope this year will be even better. People judge most food festivals by the number of stalls they have, but that is not what we do. We select the newest and most passionate eateries to be part of the festival because they share our dream.”
Two of the organizers, Sara Chapra and Aslam Khan, also had a few words to share. “This is the year of the ‘BIG EAT’. We have raised the bar in terms of venue size, the number of participants, surprise performances from Pakistan’s leading pop singers and much more. We remain focused on our objectives behind the festival, which is to provide great family entertainment, reactivation of public spaces around our cities and to inspire a community spirit.”
Many foodies in Karachi Eat 2018 had some exciting reviews and tips regarding the festival. One said, “When you go to #KarachiEat2018, please visit the ‘Special Dreamers’ table. The table has talented and specially-abled children who will sell their hand-made items. Encourage them. These kids are simply amazing and deserve a little pat on the back for their hard work.”
There is no doubt that the annual ‘EAT’ food festival was fostered around the inkling of forming a joint raised area in a Public Space for people who love food but aside from that, it has proven to be a great initiative for people of all ages and walks of life to spread positivity and love through the diversities of food and experience this all together in one place.
The result of this legendary food festival? Fulfillment of the senses of every Pakistani to the crest.