An indescribable paradox, where the shadows of neolithic minarets fall on the streets leading to bazaars, where all that glitters is not gold, but sold. Welcome to a land divided by more than it’s districts, religious sects, castes, genders, social classes, and school of thoughts. A city where bridges, footpaths, and holy sites provide an asylum to the unfortunate. An eccentric city, known to be the hub of rich culture, finger-licking good food, soulful music, gardens, and much more. Where the variety of ambrosial aroma of food sways through the air from every kitchen corner, tantalizing your taste buds and making you yearn for it; is more significant than it’s setting. A city where diversity exists in every form, shape, shade, and range. A place where black and white are less extreme than shades of gray. Where mothers cloaked in white prostrate before the Lord and beg for forgiveness and heaven most of their time. Touching the outer walls of homes lies garbage, concealing residues left by their sons in bottles and buds that speak of the nights spent well, particularly between the hours of soul-searching and dusk. A city famous for its red zone and where women still suffer for the sake of finding true love. Ironically, it’s also a place where one lifts a finger towards the Lord and the same to bash, slander, marginalize the ones who are different. A place where poor are extruded by those in power. A city where honking of horns is louder than the cries of the weak and oppressed. Where the temperatures vary in all sorts of atmospheres—Environmentally and Mentally!
Lahore is a melting pot surely, where the society once had a range of cultures, is now plundered between hypocrisy, extremity, and the trend of solely following foreign cultures as if it’s a status symbol. Coexisting between Hijabs and Nudity, Fundamentalist giving Fatwas based on their own religion of convenience to atheists.
Doubting me already? Take a look at the surroundings for your self where a stone wall practically separates two social classes; a slum on one side and a hotel used for parties and one-night stands on the other. Where the rich feed their kids with the most exceptional quality imported product and have little sympathy for the under-aged kids working as their slaves. A place where extremity is at the plethora of heights. Where values and identities have vaporized.
Where the quotation “From Lahore with Food and Love” is just a cliché!
On the contrary, here are a few glimpses of Lahore.