The last time I went to the Forum Mall was around 4 years ago. Forum Mall was never in my vicinity, neither physically, nor financially. I don’t even remember buying anything from there, apart from maybe EBCO supermarket. How the tables have turned now. I went to the Forum Mall yesterday, and it had nothing to offer me.
The Forum Mall
I don’t exactly know how long has it been around. I am guessing it is one of the first proper malls that opened up in Clifton, or in Karachi for that matter. Naturally, since it is located in Clifton, it targeted the wealthy and the affluent. You could find international brands at the Forum Mall easily. In fact, it mostly had international brands. It has an Espresso for your coffee needs. Upstairs, there is a little restaurant by the name of Time Out. I attended an Iftar buffet there once, and it was one of the best Iftar buffets I have ever been too. I cannot say if it has maintained its standards, or if it has gone down hill like the rest of the Forum Mall.
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The Forum Mall has lost all its glory. I smelled something fishy as we entered the parking area as it was nothing like the parking area at the Dolmen Mall Clifton or Park Towers. It seemed pretty deserted too. The lifts were not working, and no one bothered to inform us. We finally took the stairs to go to the mall. As soon as we entered, something was amiss. The mall was nothing like it seemed in its glory days. And do not take me for a brat please, I am perfectly middle class. But even the middle class me couldn’t stomach the weird/funny/offputting smell/supposed fragrance. It was a bit like incense, maybe a rotten incense. The Forum Mall had always been frequented by the upper class. The class A, as the economists would like to call them. The class A which happily spent money on international brands I knew nothing about. This time around, I could neither find the international brands nor the class A that bought it. Please note that I am not trying to imply that having class A customer is something of an achievement (though it is, financially). First of all, there were a handful of disinterested customers. Second of all, there were all kinds of people. All classes of Karachi seemed equally disinterested in the Forum Mall. The Forum Mall itself seemed very aloof and disinterested like it was done. A lot of shops were closed. The mall did not smell of new clothes and shoes. It reminded me of decay. The escalators were shaky. The area near the washroom smelled like the hospital. The area where some shopkeepers ate smelled like biryani. A mall that was all about class and prestige is now a melting pot of off-putting smells.
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Suffice to say, I was shocked and disappointed at the same time. Even Park Towers has lost its charm, but the Forum Mall has given up completely. It has no hopes of revival. It has surrendered to new malls like the Dolmen Mall Clifton, the Place, and the Ocean Mall. These new malls have been built according to the international standards. You feel rejuvenated when you visit them. Unlike the Forum Mall, which just reminded me of the passing time.
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Have you been to the Forum Mall recently? How was the experience? Share with us in the comments below!