Bombs in Lahore. But bombs don’t explode in Lahore, they do that in Karachi. Karachi’s the unsafe place, not Lahore. Karachi’s got that smooth path or scar tissue on the road outside the Sheraton; Lahore hasn’t any scratches and scabs like that. Bombs don’t go off beneath jewellry stalls in Ichhra and the only people who die violent deaths around Minar-e-Pakistan are the people who’re committing suicide by jumping off it. I mean, everyone goes to Ichhra, and Ramzan’s close so lots of people do a significant bit of shopping before it to get ready. You can’t just go and kill six people like that and send countless more to the hospital between 11 and 12:30 a.m. People are working, running errands, getting ready for lunch, praying Zohr around that time. Lahore is not the place where you look beneath your seat for a suspicious briefcase, Lahore’s the leafy, laid-back city where rain or a car accident is the biggest instigator of a pronounced response to anything…not bombs. Lahore is not confusing like this.

And a delegation of beaming, excited Amritsaris carefully stepping over the border into the city that houses all of their history; breathless with wonder, asking where Aitchison is and whether the canal was in fact the Sutlej and if they’d have to say salaam and walekumsalam and shabakhair to everyone. I feel proprietal, suddenly, watching them walk towards us from their lion-pillared gate, step through ‘Toba Tek Singh land’ and into ‘our turf’. Our land, your land, it’s just a white line on a stretch of concrete, it’s only another country that’s closer to LUMS than my house is. Lahore is their crystal ball, their real-life Scherezade, the place where their history books are born from. I feel proud, proprietal, nervous, wanting my city to please, to awe, to inspire, to leave an indelible kiss on the mouths of their minds.

I wonder what she’s thinking, my city of gardens.

7 Comments so far

  1. mohummed (unregistered) on September 26th, 2005 @ 10:34 am

    I guess u r getting possessive of ur so called city of Lahore. U r deviating from the fact that bomb blasts dont occur in Lahore but it happened.
    All the bomb blasts that occured including murders r done by punjabis of lahore & other cities of punjab. so hold ur tongue & dont say this in future coz we the Karachiites r the ones whose left over u eat. Our Karachi is the business , industrial , financial & economic capital of Pakistan.

  2. mohummed (unregistered) on September 26th, 2005 @ 10:36 am

    Secondly all foreigners want to invest in Karachi , NOT in Lahore.

  3. Mina (unregistered) on September 26th, 2005 @ 9:34 pm

    I’m not sure if I understand what you’re trying to say here: Punjabis plant bombs to kill people in Karachi? Or that hmm…Punjabis are part of an evil conspiracy to divert foreign aid to Lahore? I’m afraid you haven’t comprehended this piece very well- it isn’t about which city takes precedence over which. It’s about a person’s sense of belonging to their city.

    This metblog has no space for the kind of intolerant near-bigotry you spew- and I can safely say that as far as all of us are concerned, we’re all Pakistanis and anyone dying anywhere is inhuman and unforgiveable. We’re not interested in who invests where and who eats off whose leftovers. We’re interested in people, in our cities, in the histories we live in them every day and ultimately, the country we all shape differently, every moment.
    We don’t hold our tongues; we shout our love from rooftops, from camera shutters, in the quiet patter of a keyboard. What are *you* trying to say? All the best.

  4. mohummed (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

    MINA: As u said that bomb blasts occur in Karachi & not in Lahore , than what happened at Ichhra a few days back? If bomb blasts occur in Karachi , as they did last year , we the Karachiites were definitely not responsible for it , coz as Karachi is the financial capital of the country , all foreign investment is done here. So the anti-Pakistan people no matter from which city they belong , they want to disable the whole country by planting bombs in the financial capital.
    Any way the after effects r the same whether the bomb is planted in Karachi or Lahore & we repent the precious lives of all the victims.
    May Allah protect us all.
    Mina , as u said that bomb blasts occur in Karachi not in Lahore , this offended me as just as u r a Lahori girl , I am a Karachiite boy!!!! :):):):)

  5. zeeshan (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 5:18 pm

    Boy!! dumb head, she is referring to something else. if only you had a brain! you must be 6 or 8?

  6. grandpa stole bets (unregistered) on December 17th, 2005 @ 9:11 am

    Program on the emergence of civilization.

    “14 species of large animals capable of domesitcation in the history of mankind.
    13 from Europe, Asia and northern Africa.
    None from the sub-Saharan African continent. ”
    And disfavor.

    They point out Africans

  7. sarfraz ahmed (unregistered) on December 26th, 2005 @ 5:02 pm

    my dear pakistani brother plz love each other and dont blame to any one for any thing plz plz allways love each other punjabi or sindhi or blouchi or pathan we should love our pakistan thanks from sarfraz ahmed

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