The other side of Lahore

Nausheen mentioned in one of her posts that we are not writing enough about how it is like living in Lahore and mostly, we are covering the architecture and history. I agree, this is what personally I think we should mainly be focusing upon. Painting a picture that shows what life is all about for an ordinary Lahori. How we spend our days and weeks and months. Yeah, excellent idea but there is one little problem. I am not a writer and am blessed with extreme laziness aur phir uper se meri shandaar angrezi :o). So I usually retreat to my domain software engineering or my passion history/politics when somebody (a friend in this case) really presses me hard to play with words. For a change, I thought I could give it a shot. Afterall its just a matter of writing a few lines about the life of fellow citizens, shouldn’t be that difficult.

Living in Lahore is quite a different experience than any other city in Pakistan. The diversity of Lahori culture, amazing contrasts between different corners of the city and ofcourse the food. What is it about the food here that if I am not mistaken, many many (& many more :)..) Lahori’s most definitely have one motto in life – we live to eat! Every city in the world has its own colors but there is magic in Lahore, something that really makes you fall in love with this city forever once you are here. I guess you can better understand what I am trying to say once you live here for while.

There are millions of topics or issues about living in Lahore that you may choose to write about. But one thing that really strikes me is that somehow, during last 10-20 years, this city has been divided into various blocks, based on social classes. For instance you move straight ahead from Center Point towards Gulberg or turn right towards Cavelary, Cantt, Defence areas. You will find beautiful & luxury homes, excellent roads, parks and almost everything that is associated with a modern Western socity. On the other hand, you just come back to Kalma Chowk and move turn right towards Ichra. You will find yourself in a totally different world, amazing contrast as you move deeper into the old city (Mochi Gate, Bhatti, Gawalmandi or areas around Badshahi Mosque for instance). Now you suddenly see tiny houses, crowds and crowds of people (ever seen areas around Badshahi mosque where a lot of ordinary Lahori’s spend nights on foot-paths and roads?), toti phuti aur tang galian which we like to call roads, tanga’s, chin chee’s and basically signs of poverty and lack of basic necessities of life all around you. My mother tells me it used to be different when she was young. You could find rich, middle class, poor – all living in same colonies at that time. The rich and the poor in Lahore were not that far apart and isolated from each other like today.

Apart from its architecture, history & culture, Lahore is one city where you can also clearly see alarmingly increasing gap between Have’s and Have Not’s.

2 Comments so far

  1. lefty (unregistered) on July 17th, 2005 @ 4:46 pm

    you are probably right but this is happening in every other city. now everybody wants to SHOW they have money.


  2. Muhammad Atif (unregistered) on July 17th, 2005 @ 11:35 pm

    Darwaish,you shoud write more.You write huge posts which give overviews mostly.You can also write about more specific issues.That will make your article portfolio diverse.



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