Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Chinky and Pinky in Lahore

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Though I did not attend the Literacy Fair (as I insist on calling these shows), I did meet the good Vishwajyoti Ghosh and Nishtha (whose last name I never asked) together with their colleague Tasungtetla, nicknamed Atet. Together with our one and only Ahmad Rafay Alam, they came to dinner on Sunday, 23 February.

Now, Nishtha is slightly built while Atet is a big girl, tall and large-boned. Nishtha’s grandparents were from Lahore and Atet is a native of Nagaland in the far northeast of India. And if you don’t know that, that is what makes the Indian subcontinent the most interesting part of the world: Nagaland is just another country whose people are a beautiful mixture of Chinese and Indo-Aryan blood. Naturally enough Atet has a button nose, high cheek bones and somewhat chinky eyes.

We talked of everything under the sky and at some point the Lahori sense of humour was mentioned. The girls had a beautiful story to tell. This particular day, Nishtha was dressed in pink and the two were walking from Liberty Market to the terminus of the Lahore-Delhi bus only a few steps away when they saw this young man walking towards them.

As he came abreast, sizing up the girls with approval, this true Lahori said what only a Lahori could ever have conjured up. ‘Chinky and Pinky!’ And he continued to walk right past. Atet says she did not even register but Nishtha simply cracked up. Later when Nishtha told Atet what she had heard, both had a good laugh. Both believe Lahoris are the most observant devils ever because at that moment Atet had on dark glasses hiding her eyes!

I asked Atet if she was ever going to write of this little gem. At some point, she said. So with her permission, I post this beautiful example of how Lahoris did their thing once upon a time, a time that is now lost upon us.

If it has to be Indian girls who will awaken the slumbering Lahori spirit, I say open the floodgates. Let them in.

Related: What makes Lahore so special?

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:00 AM,


At March 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinky is OK, I can relate. But Pinky needs more explanation. Very lively piece only a Lahori Salman Rashid could write.

At March 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM, Anonymous Jawad Sherazi said...

Wonder if dat man had prefixed "Hi oye" before dat chinky n pinky.... A TRUE Lahori mass ve done it...Great write though!!!

At March 6, 2014 at 2:30 PM, Anonymous Nadeem Akram said...


At March 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM, Anonymous Vishwajyoti Ghosh said...

‏Nishtha is a VADEHRA! ;-)

At March 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Now Vishwajyoti tells us that Nishtha is a Vadehra. Thank you, Vishwa.

At March 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Being a Lahori, this man certainly would have begun Hai Oye! No doubt about that.

At March 6, 2014 at 2:44 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you, Nadeem!

At March 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

If Nishtha is Vedehra, Atet's last name is Longkumer.

At March 6, 2014 at 7:07 PM, Anonymous Saima Ashraf said...

Yeah, let them in but make sure they are only pinkies

At March 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Blogger Sajini Chandrasekera said...

If it was Hai oye....I would have understand for sure

At March 8, 2014 at 4:47 PM, Anonymous Amma Rany said...

Great information, I really like all your post. I will keep visiting this blog very often. It’s good to visit your website.

At March 8, 2014 at 5:03 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you very much, Amna. It is really nice to know you enjoy this blog.

At March 8, 2014 at 9:36 PM, Anonymous Ramla said...

That is so Lahori thing to say :-)

At March 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM, Anonymous Nishtha Vadehra said...

Lahori wit and Lahori storytelling, I just cannot get enough of either! Thank you for this gem, Salman Rashid.

At March 15, 2014 at 10:26 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you, Nishtha. Lahore needs Chinky and Pinky to return to see what else Lahoris say and do. Lahori girls have grown accustomed to them and don't seem to register.

At March 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM, Blogger Nadeem Khawar said...

Lahore lahore aey!

At March 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Wahe Guru! Lahore suchoN ee Lahore a!


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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

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