The famous Cheel of Karachi (eagle intersection)
The bird’s metallic body weighs more than 100 kilogrammes and a crane placed it on top of the pillar. It’s difficult to say how much it cost but perhaps it was around Rs500,000. And this isn’t the only one. There are other ones in Lyari that were similarly decorated, like Kashti Chowk, Teen Talwar Chowk and Gabol Chowk.”
The left wing is damaged, not from the fighting last week, but from as far back as the Baloch-Mohajir clashes two decades ago. But despite the drooping feather, Cheel Chowk’s cheel or eagle still guards the entrance to the heart of Lyari.
“After that people just started calling it Cheel Chowk.” He thinks people have been calling it a vulture but stresses that they take it as a falcon. The monument looks more like an eagle, however.
Shahid Baloch is unhappy that the media has kept calling it Cheel Chowk instead of Ibrahim Chowk. “The media should first know the history,” he said.
The chowk or intersection has a 20-foot pillar decorated half-way up by stones. It has fish at the base and used to have coloured lights and a fountain but neglect set in and repairs have not been ever undertaken.
“The broken wing has been like that since the 1990s,” said Ishaq Baloch, a shopkeeper nearby. “The government sadly never paid attention.”
Residents are now quick to grandly stress that they plan an even bigger and better replacement. “Even its colour has faded,” said Akhtar Baloch. “It was also hit by bullets. But now we’ll gather funds to resurrect it.”