Fondness is unlimited, unconditional, unquestioned and thus usually blind….like my love for you is Lahore!
Separated from you, your memories come rushing randomly so that not a second goes by when I do not think of you.
Ironically the memory that persistently floats around is of that sunny morning….the security guard telling me not to leave home….there was firing going on….. I replying all is always fine in Lahore …he urging…I persisting…getting near Liberty…. seeing people running screaming panicking….still persisting…getting to the office… the Sri Lankan cricket team had been attacked….!
Wrecked – for minutes numbed!
Denial….my senses had been blown away.
When senses prevailed the first question was WHY?
Lahore- why did you snatch me of my belief in your infinite capacity to protect your inhabitants and guests?
There were many pleasant memories I had of you but all have been overshadowed by the memory of that unforgettable anarchic sunny morning.
Yes – there is another memory that does come raging too!
The night of 27th December 2007 – the day of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination!
Calamitous the killing was but Lahore – you exhibited benevolent motherly characteristics traits to protect its people. The streets were deserted-gloom prevailed but that was your characteristic – a momentous tragedy had stuck and mourning was observed peacefully and respectfully.
Lahore – you know for your inhabitants there is no other city like you.
Away from you they compare you to wherever they are and you always win. London or New York can be like Lahore but not better than Lahore!
Lahore – these days I am in Colombo. Whenever I step out all I can think is that this city has defeated death to be a living city. I grew up listening to tales of hardships of Sri Lanka- I see today an extremely vibrant city.
Shunned by tourists -foreigners queue today to get residents visas. What a change in fortune?
Lahore-my day goes by asking in my life time will I see a similar change in Lahore. Will I see a Lahore free of barricades; free of fear- will I see a cricket match played between Pakistan and SriLanka in Lahore?
Lahore – you know I hate Pakistan losing but for that day let Sri Lanka win – that would be your formal apology to Sri Lanka.
The spirit of Lahore will be at rest that day!
Lahore: Are you aspired to be like Colombo?
How can be I like Colombo – a good question Lahore – maybe it is for us the inhabitants to make you like Colombo- maybe we need to think, plan and act the plan!