Monday, February 20, 2012

LAHORE!The City Of Food ,Taste,Thoughts And Self-Discovery..

In my childhood I had heard a lot of stories from history,tales of Anarkali to splendor of shah jehan when he would come to this magnificent city of lahore and stay for a vacation in the shalimar gardens.I saw a lot of COLOURS in pictures when all knelt in front of the mighty lord ,all in one go on a sunny eid day in badshahi masjid.But never could I feel what the real Zinda Dilaan-e-lahore was, that made this city so superior.Was it just the music or the food or the water that people consumed that made them famous all over the country as the zinda dilaans..As far as I remember,whenever we planned a vacation trip,it was always the coolness of murree and beyond that caught our minds.Lahore was never considered an option.Even if a discussion of visiting the history of lahore was brought up,it would soon go vague into the phobia we had of its smoke,traffic jams and heat of the day. 
All changed when i got posted in this city that still wasnt my priority.The moment i landed in lahore ,a pity 'sensi' dull old me who had been bred and buttered like a stupid flower in the quietness and tranquility of jhelum and isloo,started searching for peace (well.. peace with a little more greenery or hilly spot maybe) .but the hustle and bustle never stopped.So i resided in my room finding it the safest and soundest of all places.Little was i aware that this was soon to change.A change in me that I would have found most troubling to cope with began to throw its colours ,the brightness of which i found 'not that irritating as i thought!'

Starting from the aesthetic fulfillment in Badshahi mosque and the vastness of Shahi Qilla that made me look so small,i entered the history of this city of the Kings.I visited places where the Kings went,every step i took unveiled a new image in my mind of how once this same very footstep must have been taken by the greatest emperors of those times.The elegance of sheesh mahal to a strangely cold breeze in a hot summer day that would refresh the shalimar gardens,the artificial rainbow with the aid of candles that Shah Jehan would have flattered about.The dark underground prisons in Shahi Qilla to the tomb of greatest scholar of the land Allama iqbal.And I thought how even after centuries ,these legends belittled one so much .
Next came the spiritual, journey to DATE DARBAR(ooops!pardon me for the cynical 'e'instead of 'a').i meant the DATA DARBAR the air of which was more than enough to replenish mysticism in me that had long died with time.
Finally today this city gave me the most delicious food i ever ate ..In new food street.sitting there at the table,with the white shiny domes of badshahi mosque on one side and its golden pillars on the other,miles long centuries old walls engulfed me back in time again.i saw the same picture from 16th century.Nothing had changed but the people.To top it all it started drizzling but the moment of the day was when I ate the first bout of desi food.and i realised I had so many taste buds yet to be discovered!As if they were there all this time longing to be explored.I thought and thought and the only conclusion I could reach was..
. 'Maybe indeed some civilizations are more God-gifted!others are not'
The food of old lahore is nothing but the centuries old hard work of its cooks.Its the result of ever new experiments starting maybe even before the mughal era that resulted in delivering the best taste one could experience .All the hard work paying off now.Maybe the people that lived here centuries ago and even now really are more God-gifted.Their knowledge of UTO(unidentified taste objects) and aesthetic sense is the proof of this.
After visiting the new food street ,a dazzling blend of history and taste,especially now that in a few months i am going to leave this city,I realised I have completed my stay here and got everything my limited heart could take from this place of timeless joy.this place has coloured my aura adding to my old grey , a bright YELLOW that i'll be taking away with me to some new place yet to be discovered.but i will return and long to live here if life gives me even one more day to celebrate ...I feel too small to say say anything else to this land of the kings but this.....


1 comment:

  1. i miss u lahore although i tried my best but fate brght me here to pindi where i saw nd will see the drastic ups nd downs of my life ...shehzad