Lahore-give me some more.
As I woke up on a cloudy Monday morning, drenched in sweat of a horrible nightmare, a nightmare that my beloved city is engulfed by some volcanic eruption.
My soil, my Lahore, my beautiful. I thought to skip my university and decided to skim through the streets on that Monday morning. Now here I am, with a back pack on my shoulders and a water bottle in my hand. Where did I intend to go? I asked myself. “Never Mind, Just walk!” was the answer. I set on my feet, so I am face to face with the negativity of my dream.
It’s Monday, beginning of the week, and there is great hustle bustle on the streets. School buses are leaving and honking on doors, children rushing towards the buses followed by their worried mothers with lunch boxes in their hands. Now how on earth a Lahori mom wants her kid to be hungry by the break time? That’s not an option, welcome to Lahore-the food Guru. That reminds me of the Lahore’s “food to die for” charisma. From western to eastern, from spicy to sweet, Lahore is one famous place to dine in. This street was the street of love for food!
As I turned around to another street, someone’s husband is leaving for work, his wife standing on door and waving him and requesting him to come home early. Husband is nodding, ensuring that he is committed to her and will be there on time. Lahore’s people are welcoming and love warmly; they don’t want to skip another memorable evening with their life partner. They are humble. Down to earth and have freakishly big hearts! No frozen feelings in morning. They have rich family orientation. From grandparents to grandchildren, everyone in family is concerned despite of rough routines. This street was the street of love!
What a beautiful morning, I murmured and sip in some water from my water bottle, walked by and reached Main Boulevard of my area. Traffic here is terrific! Everyone is speeding up to reach their destinations, its morning and no one wants a bad day by getting bulled from teachers or bosses. Every aim is high; every dream is fresh.People buying newspapers on the way to spice up their knowledge and gossips they would want to do later in the day. With time Lahore has grown and developed tremendously. Secret are ambitious and hardworking people. From huge shopping malls to recreational sites, Lahore is growing towards the apex. This street was the street of hope!
Meanwhile, it thunders and starts to rain. How much of a fool I was to forget my umbrella before trolling on a cloudy morning. So i rushed to find some shade. On the end of the street I saw a bus stop; I rushed there and hid myself under it. The summer rains are mysterious, it’s like blending water and fire to make a rainbow. The streets are muddy now; life-hear ted Lahori’s are enjoying it, poor children dancing in rain, getting all muddy. Enjoying the real essence of their mother soil. Lahore itself is a joyous place; it never loses its touch to entertain you! This was the street of Joy !
I waited for rain to stop and then took a bus and went straight to busiest area of Lahore, the mall road. I walked pass by the High Court, the GPO, and Lahore Museum etc. This place still got some strange fragrance of the Mughal Era, British Raj, and Sikh Reign. What a blend of new and old colors! How deeply rooted this street is. New faces emergy daily but the old ones never get fade. Working hours have started; there is clipping of files and black coats dispersing to decide fate of people.. Lahore carries a legacy that’s unbreakable. Rich in history and culture. Lahore is a splendid blend of past and future.13 gates of Lahore are a proud depiction of cultural strength.
This was the street of Culture!
By now I was hungry, of course I had been skimming a lot along the roads. Suddenly I encountered a beggar, crying out loud for money with a crippled body. I gave him the only 50 rupees I had in my pocket, it was morning and I didn’t have the courage to left a beggar like that, I always had a soft corner for them. Meanwhile my hunger was getting intense. I saw a Dhabba across the street. People were having Desi heavy breakfast. I went there to eat, and relished myself with tons of dripping oil from every bite. In the end I remembered I had no money to pay. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I called on the helper boy and told him the case. An old man sitting next to me was all ears on me. He paid for my bill and I was astonished to have been blessed by an angel in the morning. Likewise,anywhere you go in Lahore, you will find hospital, humble and helpful people. There are many social working NGOs and organizations working actively in Lahore to make it an even better place.This was the street of hospitality.
Morning was already over, and I was getting completely in love all over again with my city. Why I ignored it by getting too busy in my work? Why I never tried to walk by it street to street to relish the true essence of my beloved city? Am I weak enough that a nightmare was needed to push me through it? Unfortunately yes it was, though I am glad that I went though it. Even my city is not as developed as the other cities; it’s not as big as Tokyo or as sacred as Makah. But my city has its own seven segmented charm and specialty. With these thoughts in my mind I was walking back home, I was walking on the last street before the morning ends. What a wonderful day it was. Lahore is a glorious city that I learned. This last street is the street of realization..That no matter what,Lahore is Lahore ! ( As they say: Lahore Lahore aye ! )
(By: Dania Rashid)