Lore Lore Ai

(loosely translates to ‘Lahore’s (after all/wonderfully/ultimately) Lahore’)
One of the first things that struck me about this city was it’s relationship with Karachi. I came here as a nineteen year old Karachiite, in transit for four years of undergrad school in a city not my own. I carried bits of Karachi with me wherever I went. But Lahore never resented that. Every Lahori I met immediately had me pinned down as someone who didn’t belong, who didn’t form an impeccable weave in the proverbial fabric. And yet they always wanted to know what I thought of the city, how I found it there. How it compared.
I always muttered something about the weather.

For Lahore is as homogenous as they come. The girls always wear the same type of shalwars – narrow one season, wide the next. Everyone says ‘fit’. It was scary. Still is.

I’m still here though, and the city never quite lets you forget about it. It doesn’t scream out for you to notice it – rather, it steps back, content in knowing that it is way too breathlesslybeautiful for you to ignore it for long. I’m not talking about the Mughal ruins, the standard tourist fare. I’m talking about the way you can imagine someone’s forehead having crinkled with concentration as they designed the look of a building, the colour of a wall on a random street corner. Lahore isn’t a one-frown town, where apartment buildings loom like towers of shoddily squished pigeon-holes. Whether it’s through makeup or fountains at every traffic signal, beauty is a prerequisite here, not an extra credit.

2 Comments so far

  1. Shirazi (unregistered) on July 1st, 2005 @ 9:53 pm

    Wonderful post. should I say welcome, Nausheen.

  2. Yashi (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2005 @ 9:57 pm

    Ah, a Karachiite in Lahore? Good to know that! I’m part Lahori, part Karachiite. Well, actually I boost from Islamabad. Oh sorry, I’m tumbling too much. My bad! :P

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