Tag Archives: walled

A down-to-earth explanation of the current financial downturn

Sent by friend Q. Isa Daupota

(Phajja is a famous seller of siri paya and nihari in old, walled city of Lahore.)

fazl-e-haq-mutton_karahi

Phajja is the proprietor of a Siri-Paya and Nehari Shop in Lahore . Sales are low and, in order to increase them, he comes up with a plan to allow his customers to eat now and pay later. He keeps track of the meals consumed on a ledger. Continue reading

East-West exchanges: Lahoris interact with a visiting author

Lahore Nama hosted a small discussion group Lorraine Adams yesterday. Miranda Husain, freelance journalist and a writer  – also an active participant at the event – reports below:

We are happy to humbly term our discussion group with Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Loraine Adams a resounding success, with most of those gathered proudly showcasing their verbal animation skills!

Ms Adams may now be known to many as a critically acclaimed novelist. However, her extensive career in political and investigative journalism means that behind the creativity lies a woman with a solid understanding of US foreign policy, especially within the global war on terror context. Significantly, she believes that despite the recent regime change in Washington, Pakistan remains immensely vulnerable in the face of the world’s largest military machine.

And this really sums up the reason behind Ms Adams’ visit.

Viewing fiction as the best means of engaging the reader’s imagination – while continuously reiterating a shared humanity – Ms Adams has deliberately chosen to set her next novel in modern day Lahore. Thus she aims to use the reader-character relationship as a vehicle to debunk the many false or distorted stereotypes about this country and its people. Such efforts must not only be welcomed, but be seen for what they are: Ms Adams’ personal contribution to the discourse on Pakistan and its position on the world stage at this critical political juncture.

Refreshingly, Ms Adams is not bashful when it comes to recognising that she, as an American and also as a Pulitzer Prize winner, is taken seriously when engaging in such dialogue. Equally refreshingly, this does not stop her from trying to seek out the entire octave range of the Pakistani voice. For she does not believe in speaking for people, but in listening to them.

This is why she asked those gathered to fill in any gaps in her research approach. Thus the discussion leapt from the real or imagined Western media bias against Pakistan to insistent requests that she visit Old Lahore. Also touched upon were issues of class divisions at the national and provincial levels based, among other things, on language. However, the recurring theme appeared to be the heterogeneous nature of Pakistan and its multiple identities, even though these were, admittedly, restricted to the Muslim realm, with no real mention of minority group identities.

Nevertheless, the discussion’s fundamental success was this: what began as a Western-Eastern exchange of perspectives transformed into an exchange of ideas on a human level. And such exchanges must never be underestimated.

*****

Lahore Nama would like to thank Ayesha Nasir for the geneorus hospitality and a great venue for this event.

Images above are from here and here

The native returns

Unaffected by the prophets of doom, a Lahori decides the city is the place to be

By Raza Rumi

Twenty years ago, I left Lahore. Excited by prospects of quality higher education and the adolescent yearning for freedom, this was a moment that only with age I have understood. A flash that alters the life-path even when one is not aware of it. As I grew up and visited Lahore from a multitude of cities and continents, Lahore’s provincialism and inward-looking ethos irked me. However, the splendour of its lived history and multi-layered present fascinated me endlessly. A false sense of fatalism whispered that my exile was going to cover a life-span.

The last few years were spent abroad: so dejected I was that not living in Lahore would mean living just anywhere. When I decided this summer to return to Pakistan, I was astounded by the reactions from all and sundry. I was told that I am ‘mad’ to have chosen to return to a burning, imploding and crashing Pakistan. Such is the power of global corporate media that even the discerning and schooled Pakistanis have started to believe in the failed state mantra scripted outside Pakistan. Continue reading

The 14th Gate (of old Lahore)

by Majid Sheikh 

MOST people living outside of the old, walled city do not know the names of all the 13 gates. Cynics even claim there are 12 gates and a hole — Mori. Little is it realised that today the walled city has 14 ‘guzars’ or gates.

It might come as a surprise to many that a 14th gate or ‘guzar’ exists, and functions like the rest. Traffic flows in and out of it and the classic bazaar to go with it is also in place. For the purist it comes as a surprise, but if you happen to visit the walled city, and are concerned about its future, then it is time that this 14th gate be recognised. But if you feel that it should not be allowed, then it must be closed, just as a former chief minister tried, but failed. (image in the right was taken by Naeem Rashid)

Continue reading