An ode called Amritsar by Ammara Ahmad
If you live in Lahore and choose to go North-West, you will be in Gujranwala in about an hour’s time. And if you move from Lahore to the East, on the same Grand Trunk (GT) Road which Sher Shah Suri, the Afghan Warrior-King, carved out, in about the same time you could be standing in Amritsar — except for the ordeal of crossing the Indo-Pakistan border.
How can one cultivate memories for a city without visiting it? Although just a few miles away from my Lahore home, throughout my life this city has seemed years, if not decades, away. Like a musty page out of history, somehow unreal, the sharpest acuity inscribed on my mind concerning it was that of the massacre that my grandfather — who was born there — had survived. A massacre brought to notoriety by the immensity of its scale, the chaos engendered by the Partition in 1947.
But we were here at last! As the girls with me ran off to do their shopping, I set out on a much weightier mission. The city had been stamped in my consciousness, now was the time to adjust, to fit in the pieces, fill in the colours and bond with it directly. This town of a few millions has a place in history that few towns can boast of, yet this is the last thing you feel while walking around. Continue reading