I am honoured to have been featured alongside Pakistan’s novelists, barristers, journalists and milkmen for a Cover Story on “Letters to Pakistan” to commemorate our 65th Independence Anniversary. My piece is a nostalgic one, about my childhood in Lahore in my Nani Ami’s; maternal grandmother’s home, near the Canal Bank with the weeping willow trees on the bamboo trees street; bhanson wali sarak.
NB – The magazine accidentally changed my phrase bhanson (bamboos), to bhainson (buffaloes) – which is wrong.
It must be white-hot right now, your sun shining strong above the canals of Lahore, where children come to wade in the brown water to cool themselves off. Summers remind me of siestas in my Nani Ami’s home on the bhanson (bamboos) wali sarak, when all the bedrooms would turn ink-dark by pulling down the bamboo blinds after a long, lazy meal of her spicy ginger-laced chicken stew, scooped up with light-as-air tandoori rotis from nearby Dharampura. I would love to have mangoes from your fertile Punjabi earth, those fragrant chaunsa mangoes, egg- yolk yellow from inside, through which my knife slices like butter, the juices running down my arm with each bite, seated at my grandmother’s dining table. Or maybe one of your anwar ratols or the parrot-green skinned langras, all reminiscent of my childhood in my city of birth, Lahore.Read More