After an iftaari in a dimly lit, dingy and haunted makeshift kitchen this evening, my sisters and cousin decided we should go out to get re-oriented with normal life. We first went to Bank Alfalah’s ATM machine on the Main Boulevard and while we waited for my cousin to get some cash from his mommy’s account, my sister and I looked at the Suzuki Liana on display outside the bank. And then a couple of Lianas whizzed pass us on the road. What is the car:person ratio in Lahore?

We then went to the old book shops opposite Pace and Hafeez Center, and browsed to our hearts’ content, until we (I) started yawning uncontrollably and we had to leave the place before I fell flat on my face among the old fashion magazines. By the way, there are some nice anthologies on sale at the Old Bookshop 3, I got a Tagore one some time back, and tonight I saw D. H. Lawrence and Guy de Mauppasant among others. Two volume sets these.

So then we headed to Siddiq’s icecream khoka in Liberty. Tis sad that the mango season is over, because Siddiqa serves the best mango icecream with big BEAUTIFUL chunks of mangos piled high on the glass bowls. *Slurrrrp* And then we went to dunkin donuts for….ur…donuts. And a purple balloon :D

purple-balloon.jpg

Hey, I didn’t know they have a ‘buy 5, get 1 free’ deal at dunkin donuts. I’m getting annoyed with the place though. The interior is quite sucky :-/ and their music is GODAWFUL.

Ok so then my sister needed a phone card and we stopped opposite Variety (which, by the way, was melting down yesterday because of no airconditioning), near the flower stalls and the paan walas. As we waited, we ordered paans from the killer paan shop there and looked at random passers by.

As I opened my paan and placed it inside my mouth, a guy selling rosaries suddenly landed by my window and starting shoving all manners of colorful tasbeehs in my face. I got scared and offered him two rupees (which was all the loose change I had with me at the time). He took the coins and then shouted, at the top of his voice, “WHAT???????!!!! YOU ARE GIVING ME TWO RUPEES?????!!!!!” I got so scared with the paan half hanging out of my mouth, that I quickly rolled the window back up, and turned away from the window. I half expected him to kick my door or at least spit on my window. I really can’t be expected to buy all the sunglasses, gajras, rosaries, safety pins and naalas presented to me. I know I’m not the victim here, but I really do feel pushed against the wall sometimes. They sell guilt, is what they sell.

So then we left with my purple balloon and the aftertaste of good paan lingering in our mouths, rounding the roundabouts of Lahore (which is one of my greatest pleasures in life), and entering Gaddafi through a perennially unlit street, squinting against high beams from the oncoming traffic.

3 Comments so far

  1. mina (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 12:02 am

    karachi paan walla ki jai! even the guy across the street is good…hehehe what a purdy balloon :D and hehe what a good post…laughed my head off at paan half-chewed and the beggar yelling at you hahahaa


  2. MAHBOOB AHMAD (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 12:13 am

    yup
    very well-written
    you have to concentrate on creative writing
    stop writing about irrelevant things…work on what you’re doing these days…poetry…personal accounts…


  3. maleeha (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 8:30 pm

    yahhhh mina khi paan wala zindabad!

    thanks mahboob *blushes*



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