Awareness of what life is in the walled city dawns upon you when you walk in its streets
By Sarah Sikandar
“I can’t believe this is the Lahore we live in,” I said to my friend. We were in Sheranwala Darwaza (the gate of lions) of the interior Lahore, trying to locate a Mughal mosque for our assignment. “But this is the real Pakistan,” she replied. I was walking through the dingy dark streets of interior Lahore for the first time. “Can you believe it?” I asked myself. I grew up in this city I claim I can’t live without and I have never seen its real face. I wouldn’t even claim I never imagined interior city to be like this.
You enter the Sheranwala Gate and a surrealistic vision of an ideal small town life hits you, ignore the stench. It’s almost noon and the daily business has started. The day is like any other day. Most of the shops in this area have unstitched cloth for men and women. Nothing, according to the shopkeepers, is local. It is either japani, cheeni (Chinese) or Italian, yes Italian.
The most interesting part of the trip were the noisy shopkeepers. Although I did not stop at any of the shops, I thoroughly enjoyed their tactics to attract the attention of the passer-by. I couldn’t help laughing at their hilarious claims and propositions.
1. “Qayamat aa jaye agar mein jhoot boloon.” (If I am lying let the dooms day come).
2. “Agar is se sasta pore Pakistan mein mile tau mein ap ko apni dukaan muft mein de dun ga.” (If you get it cheaper from anywhere in Pakistan I’ll gift you my shop for free). Continue reading