Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Lahore that I grew up in was a great place

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I grew up in Lahore. All my life I lived here except for the seven years in the army and ten in Karachi. I returned again in December 1988 and have lived here since. I knew a Lahore that was a very beautiful city. It was a city of people who were cultured, courteous and with a sense of humour that was sharp without being vulgar. This was a city of the most magnificent Mughal buildings and gardens. It was also a city where you could actually get into the countryside without going anywhere. The urban sprawl of what is now Johar town was a place of mango orchards and fields where one could hear the song of more than a hundred different species of birds.
 
Lahore was a city where the gates of your house were always open, except when you turned in for the night. It was a city where armed robbery or rape was unknown. Lahore was where a traffic accident did not mean you were lynched. It meant people got out of their cars and quietly resolved who was to pay for the damages. Here a young man and woman could walk hand in hand without being accused of 'obscenity and vulgarity'.

The Lahore that I grew up in was a great place to live in.

But we have cut down all the indigenous trees and replaced them with useless asoka and ficus trees where birds do not roost because these trees do not belong to this land. And now we are blighting this once beautiful city with palm trees. The Chief Minister says he will turn Lahore into Paris. For crying out loud, please just turn this urban lifeless jungle once more into Lahore.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 8:09 PM,

4 Comments:

At October 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM, Blogger Memoona Saqlain Rizvi said...

U r rite...this is what I have heard abt Lahore...Lahore should only b Lahore not Paris or Istanbul or wwhatever damn city fascinates the authorities. The unchecked influx of migrants have certainly robbed it of its humane culture.

 
At October 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM, Blogger Memoona Saqlain Rizvi said...

U r rite...this is what I have heard abt Lahore...Lahore should only b Lahore not Paris or Istanbul or wwhatever damn city fascinates the authorities. The unchecked influx of migrants have certainly robbed it of its humane culture.

 
At October 7, 2013 at 6:31 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

In some places cities evolve. In Pakistan they mutate. Lahore mutated into a rather ugly place.And now they want to turn it into Paris - or some slum of it!

 
At April 24, 2016 at 1:47 PM, Blogger fertileeast said...

Mutilate you mean!! dont worry its happening all over the world.
A poor consolation indeed but we are all brothers of nostalgia.
You should have seen the paris of my youth circa fifties,we are spectators of a ridiculous modernity,and baba more to come,no place will be saved from sharks,rupee rules

 

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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand


Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days