A journey begins….
Adil Najam’s post on Lahore and its only statue made extremely nostalgic. I am however, excited as I will be there soon to spend the winter vacation.
Adil also reflected on Lahore here. There is a picture that depicts Lahore’s glorious past. The picture shows the famous Badshahi Mosque and also captures the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh “both reflected in some rain water”.
My favourite is this one on the left- showing the depth of the mosque’s architecture and its self contained spirituality. See how the “view’ elevates upwards like souls reaching out the Highest, the Loftiest…This image has been taken from here.
I know what I will be doing in Lahore – revisiting the Fort, the Shahi mosque, Wazir Khan’s mosque and the Lawrence gardens that would be glowing under the winter sun or freezing at dusk. Winters are fabulous in Lahore notwithstanding the pollution levels that have crossed all limits of public health and saftey.. Such is life and the times we live in!
A visit to Cocoo’s Cafe would be essential to view the splendour of Badshahi mosque and Ranjit Singh’s Samadhi at night.
See this picture on the right borrowed from Conor’s travel blog. The domes and the mist (or is it the glare?) make the place look so surreal. I think the picture was taken from the Cocoo’s or a nearby rooftop.
Of course there will be heartaches to see another hideous plaza illuminated with lights and neon signs that disturb the mood. More trees (see the one above right, in Lawrence taken by Makbruno) would have been offered at the altar of modernity (see the photo below from Metroblog) but then Lahore Lahore aye – resilient, booming and a place that is unforgettable for those who belong there – like myself. An emigre – in exile – and never content with any other place.
I may have missed the music conference (does it take place now?) that used to be organized every winter and spring but I am sure Data’s shrine is there to stay. It has been alive for almost nine centuries.
Ali Hajwery’s tomb popularly known as Data (literally the giver) Saheb defines the supremacy of Lahore’s station as a leading source of Sufi practice. This is where most Indian Sufi traditions sought inspiration and one of the oldest texts on Sufi thought emanated..
I will be there soon.