Tag Archives: cafes

Delhi and Lahore – globalised fads and trends

This piece of mine appeared in the Hindustan Times yesterday. An accidental piece it was, written on the request of a friend during my recent stopover in Delhi. 

Delhi-Lahore hip factor

Be it Khan Market or MM Alam Road,  life for young guns in both Delhi and Lahore is a blend of cafe culture, cool music and retail nirvana

A Pakistani like me who is visiting Delhi cannot help but identify the commonalities between the Indian capital and Lahore. The climate, the predominant Punjabi influence, the urban chaos and indeed the quest for a good life are as shared as the centuries of mixed history.

In Delhi, these ingredients are packaged into a single space, loved and mourned in equal measure, the Khan Market. Its swanky cafes, retail outlets spell out a comfortable sense of the plentiful. A trip to Bahri Booksellers is essential to check on the new, profound and banal book titles. Step out of the book-zone, walk around and you see young men and women holding hands and out to buy a little dose of happiness from the upmarket retail stores. New frames for glasses, an array of prêt-a-porter garments and of course cafes where one can lounge while sipping an exotic coffee brew with a fancy cake. Barista is a favourite of mine with its neo-modernity ambiance and an ample variety to select from. If Barista is crowded, one turns to Café Turtle. Wi-fi access is available in these places along with soft music and trendy customers, whose snazzy mobile telephones rest silently on clean little tables. Connectivity is another facet of the global search for fulfillment.

In Khan Market cafes, one reminisces about similar haunts in Lahore. The MM Alam Road there is now a bustling venue for stylish cafes and restaurants that are popular hangouts for the youth defying the silly stereotypes of Pakistan. Men and women converse in their designer jeans about the world, quite unaware of the residual violence of the war on terror on the Pak-Afghan border. The Coffee & Tea Company is hugely popular. Another joint, Massom, a pancake lounge, sells mouth-watering desserts with coffee brews and plays cool music as one plunges into leather sofas to chill. Places such as Café Zouk, Hobb-Nobb’s, Jamin Java continue to lure the hip Lahorites.
  Continue reading

Lahori nightlife — returning to life

Daily Times reports:

 LAHORE: The city’s nightlife, which was smothered during the regime of Gen Ziaul Haq, is reviving with a campaign led by the city’s cafés, especially those on Muhammad Ali Kasuri Road (near Hussain Chowk in Gulberg).

Several of the cafés are open 24 hours a day, and provide various edibles and beverages like coffees, cakes, drinks, sheeshas and light meals. The visitors of these cafés include people from all age groups who gather there to hang out, throw parties and conduct business meetings.

Fawad (35), a businessman, was found sitting at a café on Muhammad Ali Kasuri Road at 3am with his associates, discussing business matters. He told Daily Times that he lived in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) but he liked the cafés on Muhammad Ali Kasuri Road and visited them with his family, friends and business partners.

Mariam, another visitor of a café on the same road, said she studied law at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She said she visited the cafés to hang out with friends and study in groups – if there was a bored party at home. Continue reading