Sunday, November 3, 2013

Learning to Love Lahore

I fell in love with Lahore at first sight. Well, as soon as I  saw the paved roads and clean streets. Compared to chaos of Karachi, I felt like I was in a different country.

I flew in from Karachi at 7:00 pm, and due to a bit of stomach sickness, I didn't leave the house much expect for the evenings. On my second night in Lahore I was given a midnight tour of the LUMS college campus, which culminated in a small house gathering, dancing to Honey Singh music videos in the living room, ordering McDonalds to be delivered to the house, and making a 5:00 am drive to the juice cart for paan and orange juice.

Lahore is a historic city, and one which has been frequented by tourists for decades. But I didn’t see any of the sights. I skipped the mosque and went to the mall. I passed by the museums, and instead spent my days meeting the most interesting and vibrant people.

I heard the stories of their love lives, their career ambitions, their foreign experiences, their dreams, and their memories.

A young woman falls in love with a British man.
A young man dreams of living in America.
An airforce students loses his roommate after his plane crashes into a field. When the engine failed, the plane dived toward a college cafeteria, but the pilot steered it away from the school and sacrificed his life to save the students inside.

They told me their stories over meals, while driving through the streets, while laying awake in bed at night. 

Their stories were my souvenirs. 

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