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Lahore, Lahore aye

Posted on August 8, 2006
Filed Under >Raza Noor, Architecture, Culture & Heritage, History, Travel
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By Raza Noor

Lahore is the second largest city in Pakistan with a population of roughly 8.5 million. The traditional capital of Punjab for a thousand years, it had been the cultural center of Northern India extending from Peshawar to New Delhi.

This preeminent position it holds in Pakistan as well. The people of Lahore, when they want to emphasize the uniqueness of their town say “Lahore, Lahore aye” (“Lahore is Lahore”). Lahore is the city of poets, artists and the center of film industry. It has the largest number of educational institutions in the country and some of the finest gardens in the continent.



Apart from being the cultural and academic centre of the country, Lahore is the showcase for Mughal architecture in Pakistan. For more than 200 years, beginning from about 1524 AD, Lahore was a thriving cultural centre of the great Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperors beautified Lahore, with palaces, gardens and mosques.

The original citadel city is situated one mile to the south of the river Ravi. The walls of the city, when they were still standing, gave it a shape of a parallelogram. The total area inside the walls encompassed roughly 461 acres of land. The city is slightly elevated above the plain, and has a high ridge within it, running east and west on its northern side. The whole of this elevated ground is composed of the accumulated debris of many centuries.

The origins of Lahore are shrouded in the mists of antiquity but Lahore is undoubtedly ancient. Legend has it that it was founded about 4,000 years ago by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Reminiscence of its hoary past are the remains of a subterranean temple attributed to Rama, in the northern part of the Royal Fort. Historically, it has been proved that Lahore is at least 2,000 years old.

Hieun-tasng, the famous Chinese pilgrim has given a vivid description of Lahore which he visited in the early parts of the 7th century AD. Lying on the main trade and invasion routes to South Asia, Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes. Muslim rule began here when Qutub-ud-din Aibak was crowned in Lahore in 1206 and thus became the first Muslim Sultan of the subcontinent. It waxed and waned in importance during the Sultanate.

However, it touched the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. The Mughals, who were famous as builders, gave Lahore some of its finest architectural monuments, many of which are extinct today.

It was Akbar’s capital for 14 years from 1584 to 1598. He built the massive Lahore Fort on the foundations of a previous fort and enclosed the city within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates. Jahangir and Shah Jahan (who was born in Lahore) extended the fort, built palaces and tombs, and laid out gardens.

Jahangir loved the city and he and his wife Noor Jahan are buried at Shahdara. Aurangzeb (1658-1707), gave Lahore its most famous monument, the Badshahi Masjid (Royal Mosque) and the Alamgiri gateway to the fort.

During the eighteenth century, as Mughal power dwindled, there were constant invasions. Lahore was a suba, a province of the Empire, governed by provincial rulers with their own court. These governors managed as best they could though for much of the time it must have been a rather thankless task to even attempt. The 1740s were years of chaos and between 1745 and 1756 there were nine changes of governors. Invasions and chaos in local government allowed bands of warring Sikhs to gain control in some areas.

Lahore ended up being ruled by a triumvirate of Sikhs of dubious character and the population of the city invited Ranjit Singh to invade. He took the city in 1799. Holding the capital gave him enough legitimacy to proclaim himself the Emperor. Descriptions of Lahore during the early 19th century refer to it as a “melancholy picture of fallen splendor.”

The British, following their invasion of Lahore in 1849, added a great many buildings in “Mughal-Gothic” style as well as bungalows and gardens (see ATP post on Lawrence Gardens). Early on, the British tended to build workaday structures in sites like the Fort, though later they did start to make an effort to preserve some ancient buildings. The Lahore Cantonment, the British residential district of wide, tree-lined streets and white bungalows set in large, shaded gardens, is the prettiest cantonment in Pakistan. Since Independence in 1947, Lahore has expanded rapidly as the capital of Pakistani Punjab.

Today, Lahore can be best described as a city that is just so wonderful, so very fabulous, that every nook and corner of the city speaks of a certain vibrance, a certain zeal, a spirit of life, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Perhaps it is the maturity of the city, which manifests itself in the various parts of Lahore. It is present in the monuments, in the bazaars, in the old buildings lining the Mall, or in the vast expanses of the sports grounds in the Cantonment. But most vividly, this great Lahori spirit is visible in the people of Lahore, the Zinda dilan-e-Lahore.

Lahore is a city of culture, of history, of an unrivaled charm that sets it apart from every other city on earth. It seems that great Lahori spirit has invaded and saturated this city over the centuries, to the effect that Lahore today is not just a city, not just a place in one corner of this planet, but a whole universe in itself. There is an old saying, that in every Lahori, there is a Mughal prince.

The description of the pure Lahori spirit conveniently evades the mind, adding to the mysteries of this city. At best, it can be said that this spirit pervades the citadel and the slum alike. The city has known ages of cultural, intellectual, musical, literary and humanistic evolution, which has consequently led to the fermentation and over fermentation of this rich brew we call Lahore. Few cities of the world, if indeed any, can lay claim to such a wonderful past or present.

All this makes Lahore a truly rewarding experience. The buildings, the roads, the trees and the gardens, in fact the very air of Lahore in enough to set the mind spinning in admiration. Many a poet has written about this phenomenon one experiences in the environs of Lahore. When the wind whistles through the tall trees, when the twilight floods the beautiful face of the Fort, when the silent canal lights up to herald the end of another chapter in history, the Ravi is absorbed in harmony, mist fills the ancient streets, and the havelis come alive with strains of classical music, the spirit of Lahore pervades even the hardiest of souls.

Raza Noor has a passion for exploring the history of Lahore, which he does on his dedicated Lahore website and also on Metroblogging Lahore.

71 Comments on “Lahore, Lahore aye”

  1. MSk says:
    August 8th, 2006 10:20 am

    This is a really informative post. I love the picture choices so much. I also love Lahore but must say that maybe you get a little carried away at the end. For so many of us, Lahore is like no other place in the world, but it is not without its faults either, and so many of the great builodings are so not taken care of! But, thanks for brining back so many wow memories.

  2. MSk says:
    August 8th, 2006 11:16 am

    BTW specially love the film poster pic-reminds me of Maulla Jatt

  3. Raza says:
    August 8th, 2006 1:15 pm

    MSk – I am glad that you enjoyed this informative post on Lahore and I am extremely grateful to Adil for allowing me to share some words here.

    I feel that if you love something, you tend to overlook the faults in it and focus solely on the goodness in it. And I must admist that I am guilty of that here as I do agree with you that Lahore “is not without its faults either.” However, I felt that this was not the appropriate place to highlight its faults. I wanted people to see the goodness in Lahore that I see in hopes that maybe by reminding people of all that is good in Lahore (or the whole of Pakistan for that matter), it might motivate someone to rectify some of the faults.

    Adil – I loved your choice of pics to compliment the post.

  4. Roshan Malik says:
    August 8th, 2006 7:34 pm

    Nice Post!
    “Nayeen Reesaan Shehr Lahore Diyaan”.
    Beside these architectural masterpieces, Shalimar Baagh (Garden) is one of my favorites. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b3/Shalamar_Garden_July_14_2005-

  5. Roshan Malik says:
    August 8th, 2006 7:38 pm

    Sorry Folks,
    The above link is incomplete, kindly try this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Shalamar_Garden_July_14_2005-First_pavilion_on_first_level.jpg

  6. Raza says:
    August 8th, 2006 8:30 pm

    If you would like to see it, I can do a piece on Shalimar Baagh too with pics from my last trip to it in August of 2005.

  7. Roshan Malik says:
    August 8th, 2006 8:50 pm

    Raza,
    It would be hilarious!!
    Shahjehan built series of Gardens in the Sub-Continent including Shalimar Baagh.

  8. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 8th, 2006 10:10 pm

    I have noticed that Lahoris are quite chauvinistic about Lahore. And, rightly so.

    Lahore has history. It has some of the best architecture in the country (I am not counting minar-e-Pakistan and Wapda House). it has trees and parks in spite of some zealous administrators’ efforts to cut down trees. It also has great schools and colleges. Lahore also has deep literary traditions and has produced great intellectuals and poets of Pakistan. As a non-Lahori I really envy Lahore and Lahoris.

    I wonder, however, why Lahore has not been able to produce truly great politicians. Or has it?

  9. MSk says:
    August 8th, 2006 10:31 pm

    I do think that Lahori’s have a charming enthusiasm about, lets call it ‘pride’ in their city . and as you say its deserved. I do hope this will not become one of those silly Karachi v. Lahroe things and do not think you intend it. I think people from karachi also have fierce pride in their city. they just express it differently. I say powewrr to all, lets all be proud of where we come from without trying to prove we are better than others.

    your real question is more interesting. has Lahore produced a great politician? But has ANY Pakistani city produced one? has any city been given the chance to produce one?

  10. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 8th, 2006 11:20 pm

    MSK,

    By the way, I am not a Karachiite. But that does not diminish the importance of Karachi. It simply reflects on my rustic (paindoo) background.

    Now to your question, has any Pakistani city other than Lahore produced a great politician? Straight away I can think of one from Karachi. Mohammad Ali Jinah! Now, please, let’s hear the name of the nominee from Lahore.

  11. Raza Haider says:
    August 9th, 2006 10:18 am

    Politicians it may not have (I am sure it does) but Lahore has been at the center of politics for as long as one can remember. From the Mughal emperors, to Jinnahs Pakistan Resolution in 1940 to Benazirs “Lahore Address” after her return post Zia (forgive me for putting this in the same post as the others but just making a point).
    Every city has its pros and cons but Lahore does have culture, history, literature, and passion like few other cities in Pakistan. I am a ardent Karachiite but as a Pakistani can proudly say “Lahore Lahore Hai”.
    There is a great compilation of short stories put together by Bapsi Sidhwa called the “Writings on Lahore” which really highlights the magical history of lahore.

  12. August 9th, 2006 10:57 am

    Aziz Sahib, very interesting that you named Jinnah. I read the comments earlier and smehow it wasn’t Jinnah’s name that popped into my head as one that I would attribute so closely to Karachi, but Liaqat Ali Khan’s. Its not because I think Jinnah was a lesser leader than Liaqat Ali Khan, but because somehow Jinnah seems to stand above the provinical divides in my worldview. His name was never used in ethnic politics (unlike the Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah/General Ayub Khan election ordeal).

    On a second thought, it is interesting that this is even a question that we care to answer. This has graduated the Karachi vs Lahore debate to a new level.

  13. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 9th, 2006 3:23 pm

    Zuberi sahib, when I mentioned Jinnah I was not thinking of his ethnicity. I was only thinking of the city he was associated with. For that matter, even Z.A. Bhutto was a product of Karachi. I am aware, though, that defining a “great politician” can be very subjective.

    But I don’t see any harm in people taking pride in the cities they call their own or the cities taking pride in their distinguished sons or daughters.

  14. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 9th, 2006 4:16 pm

    While recounting the great qualities of Lahore we forgot to mention one thing. And that is the great sense of humor of Lahoris. They seem to have a unique ability to look at the lighter side of life and give expression to it. For example who else could have coined the pejorative but hilarious term Lota for politicians who change loyalties. It has become a household world now in Pakistan.

  15. August 9th, 2006 4:57 pm

    Aziz saab. Interesting question. Though, I think that as you yourself said the real issue is defining ‘great’ politician. Its too subjective a choice. If one wanted to say ‘successful’ politician and make that about anyone – whether we consider them to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – who was successful in mobilizing political (whether electoral or not) support, then one could get to some interesting empirical judgments.

    I am not convinced Jinnah was a ‘Karachi’ politician. In the sense that his political stomping ground and his political influences were much more Bombay. This is not to undermine Karachi’s importance. Its just that at that time Karachi was not a major political center. ZAB would probably have called himself a Larkana politician and much of his political impulses were Larkana based. But I think there is enough Clifton in Bhutto and his politics for his politics to be seen as Karachi politics. Again, greatness is in the eyes of the beholder and will leave that to the ranters. But that he was ‘successful’ of that there is no doubt. Probably the clearest Karachi politician in Altaf Hussain, even when he sits in London. Again, this is not about good and bad, this is about whose politics stems from the city and its realities. Of course, Karachi has had other streams of politics at other times … for example, during the Ayub days, the politics of resistance in West Paksitan was centered in Karachi, the Jamaat had much intellectual influence in this politics even though it later failed to convert it into electoral influence. But again, there was clearly a politics that flowed from Karachi and from its realities that influenced the national discourse greatly.

    As for other cities, I think Peshawar has a track record of very successful political leaders, especially in the NAP and now ANP, whose politics was predominantly defined by Peshawar.

    Coming to Lahore, my first thought was to go way back to Ranjit Singh. Clearly a politician par excellence and very successful. But he was actually from Gujranwalla. Right before partition there were actually a number of very successful Lahore politicians, especially amongst the Unionists, because this was the seat of provincial power. Again, great or not, who knows… but certainly successful. Read Ayesha Jalal’s book ‘The Sole Spokesman’ for much more on them and their impact on not just the Punjab but on what Jinnah did and why. Again, like them or not, and for good and for bad, their politics clearly flowed from Lahore when Lahore was the center of a larger Punjab.

    The modern day ‘Lahore’ politician in terms of success would be Nawaz Sharif I guess… dubiouso n greatness but certainly his success in politics (even if you consider it externally constructed) surprised everyone, even himself. I would like to believe that Aitizaz Ahsan (like him or not, but he is consistent in his politics) embodies a certain ‘Lahore school’ of politics. Mubashir Hassan is another one in that ‘Lahore school’ who comes to mind. If you broaden this to mean politics writ large, I would say Lahore has upheld a significant tradition of political action and activism, especially of so called ‘progressive’ politics…. the whole ‘Viewpoint’ crowd, the WAF movement, Asma Jehangir, much of the Human Rights Commission … all of these are predominantly ‘Lahore’ political voices (there are similar streams elsewhere, especially in Karachi). In fact, one could go on a limb and argue that the Lahore reception that Benazir got when she first came back had less to do with Benazir or even with Bhutto, and was much more a ‘Lahori’ statement of being fed-up with Zia; Benazir just happened to be there to ride the wave.

    So, whether there are great politicians from Lahore or not (probably not), there is clearly a great political tradition is Lahore that does live one… I would even go as far as to say… and without taking away even the slightest credit from Sialkot, that the ‘politics’ of Faiz is very much influenced by and is a great influence on this stream of the politics of Lahore. Obviously, there are many other streams of politics in Lahore too…. but this is just a comment, not a dissertation ;-) My point is that Lahore may be many things, but it is not apolitical. Far from it. In fact, no place in Pakistan is. We may not have democracy in Pakistan, but there is absolutely no dearth of politics!

  16. Roshan Malik says:
    August 9th, 2006 6:07 pm

    Miraj Khalid (late), he was from Lahore and had reputation of honest politician. Lahore has always been a center of mass mobilization. Minar-e-Pakistan and Mochi Gate are the places where any political movement shows its public strength. Just take the recent example of MQM’s expansion in Pakistan and they are giving great importance to their Lahore mobilization on August 14, 06.
    Here I also want to mention Nawabzada Nasarullah Khan (Late) from Muzzaffargarh, who struggled throughout his life for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan.

  17. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 10th, 2006 11:23 am

    Adil, thanks for a comprehensive and very informative response. (I didn’t know Ranjeet Singh was from Gujranwala. The Gujranwalans should be proud of their distinguished son. Are they?)

    You are right, the word “great” has a value judgment, particularly when applied to politicians, It is not easy to measure it objectively. It is far more easier to use this adjective for, say, sportsmen (high scores), scientists (new discoveries), and poets (lasting impact and popularity). But how do you judge a politician? I had a few things in mind (either one or more to varying degrees):

    1. charisma (wide appeal)
    2. Ability to communicate
    3. Vision
    4. Brilliance (intelligence)
    5. intellectual integrity (consistency)
    6. incorruptibility
    7. Courage

    For example, in the case of Jinnah (it is always safer to use Jinnah as an example!) 1,3,4,5 and 6 were more conspicuous and recognized qualities. ZAB was known for 1,2,4 and 7 while the NAP or ANP leaders of the Frontier were known for 5 and 6. On many of the current leaders the jury is still out.

    Perhaps we can assign a weight to each of these qualities, come up with an empirical scale, and then apply it to Pakistani politicians. It will make an interesting academic exercise.

    Another question that comes to mind after reading your response is what makes a person true Lahori? Were Iqbal and Faiz Lahori or Sialkoti? Was Noor Jahan a Lahori or Qasuri? Is Imran Khan a Lahori or Mianwali?

  18. August 10th, 2006 4:26 pm

    Aziz Saab. very intersting variables. One could probably make an interesting research project out of this. 5 is problematic for me because consistency may be over-rated (I don’t want someone who is consistent in his follies), but I think I know the intent of that category. On incorrptibility I would only add that they should have had a chance to be corrupt (it is easy to not be corrupt if you have never had the opportunity!…. ‘khuda jab husn daita hai, nazakat aa he jati hai”

    If we could do a sliding scale on each one of them (say, 1 to 5) and then a cumilative assessment across all and ran it on a database of Pakistani politicians we may actually find interesting results. My guess is that we will find that we have actually had a lot of ‘middlingly good’ politicians… people like Aitizaz or Meraj Khalid or Fakhar Imam, who do fairly (but not exceedingly) well on a number of these variables… and also that the real price of rising in politics is one’s ability to compromise of 5,6, and 7. Sorry for being in a down mood today!

  19. August 10th, 2006 4:32 pm

    The question of ‘Who is a Lahori’ is a very intersting one.
    My glib answer is that ‘Lahori’ is a state of mind, not a domicile. So, yes, Noor Jahan, Faiz and Imran are all Lahoris.
    But I think the real answer is that it is not for us to judge, If you believe you are a Lahori, then you are (same is true for Karachiwallahs or Kasuris or Pindiwaals too).
    My gut sense is that Faiz saab, Imran and Noor Jahan would all acknowledge that there is a bit of Lahore in them. If so, they are Lahoris in my book.
    P.S. being a Lahori does not require exclusivity. Faiz Sahib is no less of Sialkot than he is of Lahore…. or, for that matter, of Beirut where he spent significant time.

  20. Aziz Akhmad says:
    August 10th, 2006 6:08 pm

    You are right, Adil, consistency by itself is no virtue. One can manage to be consistently wrong. Probably “loyalty to one’s beliefs and convictions” would be closer to what I had in mind.

    You have a valid point on the corruptibility factor. However, I have difficulty with the ‘compromise’ factor. By compromising on one’s convictions and basic principles one might be able to temporarily “rise in politics” or become a successful politician but will never qualify to be a great politician.

    Maybe, we could devise a “performance appraisal” questionaire with variables and a scale of values and carry out a survey on Pakistani politicians on your blog!

  21. Roshan Malik says:
    August 10th, 2006 6:37 pm

    @ Aziz jee,
    Wonderful comments!!
    I also agree with these variables and if we substitute “incorruptibility” with honesty. I also want to add another variable with your permission “commitment and dedication” imbued with ideology and betterment of people.

    @ Adil saeen,
    I think we have examples of politicians who had “husn” but avoided “nazakat” like Muhammad Khan Junejo, Ghulam Hyder Wyne.
    Thanks for mentioning Fakhar Imam here and i want to share one of his decisions which i think may be quoted as case study of democratic norms. He was serving as a federal minister and he contested for Chairman District Council Multan in which he was defeated. He resigned as a minister after losing the local government election. He was of the view that he should not be serving a public portfolio at federal level, when the public had rejected him at local level.
    Regarding the domicile and state of mind issue. I think majority of our politicians have Pindiwaals (not the people of Rawalpindi) state of mind. While the other cities are given a little chance to develop the indigenous leadership from bottom to top.

  22. imran says:
    August 11th, 2006 4:35 am

    ths is one of the most interesting discussions on pakistani politicians i have heard. Dr. najam, you shoudl do some survey or analysis as is suggested here. it will be great to see. but what i really find interesting is that we are discussing politicins as a large category and not just nawaz sharif and benazir and musharraf and bhutto. the rand-and-file politicians have some very good people too who never get celebrated

  23. iFaqeer says:
    August 15th, 2006 4:19 am

    Interesting. I have been away from ATP for a bit. (Consider it my Summer Vacation)

    Interesting that no one really got into (except for mentions of Faiz) into what I find the most fascinating legacy of Lahore: it’s tradition of Leftist and Progressive (Tharaqqi Pasandh) thought. Faiz, Sahir (“Aik shehenShah nay dhaulath ka sahara lay kar; hum ghareebon kee muhabbath ka uRaaya hai mazaaq!” was written in Lahore and first read at a Government College Lahore function, if I remember correctly), even Iqbal (“Sulthani-e-Jamhoor ka athaa hai zamaana…”) amongst the poets. A line of leaders from and through Bhagat Singh (after all Lahore was the capital of Punjab) through the Khaksaar’s actions there …

    A Karachiite Who’s Always had a Crush on Lahore, so to speak

  24. August 16th, 2006 12:41 am

    good point. there was the whole ‘Pak Tea House’ crowd that exemplified the very best of Pakistans intelligencia

  25. Lahori says:
    August 16th, 2006 1:45 pm

    As some of earlier message say, the progressive politics culture is still there in Lahore… Asma Jahangir, Aitizaz Ahsan, etc.

  26. September 12th, 2006 3:30 pm

    So nice. Brings back memories. Yes, Lahore, Lahore aye!

  27. Udaas for Lahore says:
    September 12th, 2006 5:22 pm

    Two verses on Lahore from way long time ago.

    Mas’ud Sa’ad-i Salman: (d. late 13th century)

    ay Lahawr! vayhak! bi-man chiguna-ee
    bi-aftab-i rowshan, rowshan chiguna-ee

    Mughal Poet (Urfi or Kalim, I don’t remember exactly proclaiming the “shaan” of Lahore vs. Isfahan (known as nisf-i jahan)

    Isfahan nisf-i jahan ast agar Lahowr na-bashad

  28. September 12th, 2006 6:35 pm

    Dear Udaas, or someone else, could you please give us a translation of the Persian. I think I get the gist, but would be good to get the exact meaning. Thanks

  29. Udaas for Lahore says:
    September 12th, 2006 6:51 pm

    Mas’ud, who was the governor of Lahore, was incarcerated by the Ghanznavid ruler for palace intrigue in a prison called Naay (in present day Afghanistan most likely located in Panjshir) with, as the story goes, only one highly perched window (remember all of Faiz’s prison poems with the solitary window serving as the link to the imaginal worlds he created to bide his time, e.g.

    yad-i ghizal chashman, sham-i saman uzaaran
    jab chaha kar liya hay kunj-i qafas baharan

    Qissa mukhtasar, Mas’ud wrote a qasida praising Lahore and its charms with the matla’ I had quoted:

    Ay Lahawr! Vayhak! bi man chiguna-ee
    bi aftab-i rowshan, rowshan chiguna-ee

    Here is the translation of the entire qasida:

    While Addressing his Hometown from Prison

    How Fare You? Ay Unfortunate Lahore! How Fare You Without Me?

    1. How fare you? Unfortunate Lahore! How fare you without me?
    How fare you without your resplendent sun to illuminate you?
    How fare you without me?

    2. You were adorned by the garden of my genius
    How fare you without your tulip, your violet and your lily?
    How fare you without me?

    3. You were the meadow and I the lion there
    How fared you in my presence?
    How fare you without me?

    4. Suddenly your dear son was torn asunder from you
    How fare you lamenting for his loss?
    How fare you without me?

    5. Now your feet are shackled by two heavy weights
    How fare you without the body now that you have lost your soul?
    How fare you without me?

    6. No news came from you, nor did you keep your promise to ask:
    How fare you in the prison of Óißår like B¥zhan?
    How fare you without me?

    7. Your inverted fate conspired to bring you down
    How fare you whose neck is more exalted than zenith?
    How fare you without me?

    8. Were the sword to seek the scabbard by deceit
    Alas! how fare you naked as a needle?
    How fare you without me?

    9. You never dropped your shield against any attack
    How fare you against the onslaught of restive Time?
    How fare you without me?

    10. Your friend were taken from you one by one
    How fare you with a concealed enemy in your midst?
    How fare you without me?

    11. Deadly poison and sharp iron cause death
    How fare you against the iron-ringed snake?
    How fare you without me?

    12. You were separated from your gentle caring friends
    How fare you with your devilish enemies?
    How fare you without me?

    13. You witnessed the newly blooming garden
    How fare you facing the furnace?
    How fare you without me?

    14. You do not see the bustling place of joy and delight
    How fare you in the midst of this wretched barren land?
    How fare you without me?

    15. The sky was your roof and the sun your windows
    How fare you in this narrow windowless prison?
    How fare you without me?

    16. O fierce falcon! You who perch on the wrist and love hunting
    How fare you shackled in this narrow nest?
    How fare you without me?

    17. You who had never put up with your friend’s pride
    How fare you in the face of your foes’ taunts?
    How fare you without me?

    18. O you who are rotting here in this prisonâ€

  30. September 12th, 2006 7:00 pm

    Thank you for that quick and wonderful response. I had never known of this and it is a wonderful – I woudl say, deserving – Qaseeda.

    I have taken the liberty of re-formatting your comment for easier readability.

  31. Umera says:
    September 12th, 2006 8:16 pm

    I ended up on this discussion by sheer accident and what a wonderful piece of poetry, it made my day.

  32. September 24th, 2006 2:23 pm

    [quote comment="52"] http://www.server555.com (Lahore Education) and http://www.server786.com (Lahore information and largest photo galley.[/quote]

  33. Lahori Baadshah says:
    September 24th, 2006 2:26 pm

    Lahore, Lahore aye; baqi sabb makhool aye!

  34. Yahya says:
    September 28th, 2006 11:43 pm

    [quote comment="49"]MSK,

    Now to your question, has any Pakistani city other than Lahore produced a great politician? Straight away I can think of one from Karachi. Mohammad Ali Jinah! Now, please, let’s hear the name of the nominee from Lahore.[/quote]

    Aah but that was pre-partition. That doesn’t count! :)

  35. Aziz Akhmad says:
    September 29th, 2006 9:01 am

    MSK

    If Jinnah was pre-partition then how about Musharraf?

  36. Aziz Akhmad says:
    September 29th, 2006 9:05 am

    Yahya,

    I am sorry, my earlier comment was meant to be addressed to you, not to MSK.

  37. Yahya says:
    September 29th, 2006 3:57 pm

    A A

    You got me there. Our beloved president is the best!

    At least that’s what he says. ;)

  38. Yahya says:
    September 29th, 2006 6:40 pm

    Seriously though, why do Punjabis get the blame for everything Musharraf does?

  39. October 8th, 2006 12:33 pm

    Actually, I think it’s supposed to be Lahore Lahore hai. (unless its punjabi or a dialect)

  40. Yahya says:
    October 14th, 2006 2:59 pm

    Nobel prize winners “from” Lahore;  (picked up from Lahore Metro Blog).

    Can those who have done research say what is lacking for us to produce more of them?

  41. November 2nd, 2006 6:50 am

    I had heard another one…”Jihne Lahore nahi vekhya, oh jammyaa hi nahi!”.

    I couldn’t agree more, when I saw Lahore for myself! :)

  42. Adnan Ahmad says:
    November 2nd, 2006 9:46 am

    I was at a literary gathering in Baltimore over the weekend. Safeer Rama, Baqar Zaidi etc. were present. Somebody gave this reason for Lahore being Lahore. He said Lahoris can do the most difficult tasks with their left hand, let alone right. Hence Lahore Lahore Aye.

  43. January 4th, 2007 2:34 pm

    [...] We at ATP feel honored that he has chosen Pakistaniat.com on his Top Pakistani Blogs list. And there are three different posts from ATP on the Top Pakistani Posts list. These include Mast Qalandar writing on Turbans of Pakistan; Raza Noor writing about Lahore, Lahore Aye; and, of course, Owais Mughal’s classic piece on Rickshaws. Actually, we would like to claim 5 slots on the list: Bilal Zuberi’s post on Muslim Nobel Award Winners on his blog we would claim by association, and while SAJ Shirazi has too much humility and did not include any of his own posts, I would rank the one on Kelash that was reposted on ATP from his blog, as good as any. [...]

  44. January 13th, 2007 2:28 am

    [...] I have some wonderful childhood memories of having Khalis Lassi (sorry folks, I don’t know what Lassi is called in English but Khalis means Pure) near Pehalwani neighborhoods just behind Lahore Fort. [...]

  45. Farrukh says:
    February 28th, 2007 3:57 pm

    Got back here through the ‘surprise’ link.

    Why not make some sort of a section on the webpage that puts together all the pieces you have had on cities and places in Pakistan. Will be like a travel site. Good for the See Pakistan Year too.

  46. Samdani says:
    February 28th, 2007 11:37 pm

    I agree, having a section that colects all the posts about places in Pakistan would be a good idea

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