Doodh Patti

Travel, Food and and Khaalis Doodh Patti Mind {and Lahore}

Momo Khan ka Lahore

Momo Khan

Dipping into the night life in Lahore, one comes up with a wagging tail of delectable plus points which aghast us about the rapid change in the run-rate of advances. Holding uncontrollable desire for the oriental food, scrumptious spices and heavily cooked meals – come down to Lahore. A sprawling city with food variety galore, a city that never sleeps but eats day and night –rightly said “Lahore Lahore hay”. Lahore gives you handful of moments to be yourself and worries to take a backseat- though momentarily. Rightly said “jisny Lahore ne wakiha wo jamiya ne.”
Tickling the history hornet, Lahore is notoriously famous for its historic nature. Lahore is a cultural hub and ranks second amongst the advanced cities of Pakistan. Slew of Mughal emperors left their prints onto the minds of people - culture, traditions and tastes have been transmitted gracefully towards the next generations. People thrive on the sociability and fondness for the Arts, festivals, cuisines and theatres.

Lahore is part of our existence. Baring few, Lahore is the reason why some souls spread around their wings and link their laughers, tastes, likes, moods and interests to the Lahori lifestyle. Once I overheard a cook in Gawalmandi food street “we mix our lahori traditional style in the food we cook and people come over for it”. There is no different ingredient or technique to cook food here in Lahore, they just boost up the real taste of every cuisine for instance, “Biryani” is cooked using traditional spices, chicken chunks with colored layers of rice and served in a hot headed way. The fresh food, neat and clean environment filled with food lovers galore, sets the Lahore on fire as that’s how hunger pangs are tickled. I usually don’t over hear things but aa group of friends threw their conversation over my ears lately, “Mothers cook no less scrumptious food but it’s the food fondness, comfy & cushy ambience here in Lahore that people sneak out at night in a search of “Desi food”. I would second that thought as, my friend who is chubby and calls herself curvy (probably all fat girls call themselves curvy?) never flips a day without biting the famous “Bandu khan” Tikkas with Rogni naan and of course, diet cook, Ha!

Night life is Lahore is ironically growing over the past decade, gone are the days when Magrib prayer (7 /8 pm) time meant shutter down, life begins at night for the restless foodie souls of Lahore. Attribute of enormous fondness for food is embedded in every soul belonging to Lahore. Late night crawling on the streets and tasting wide variety being cooked in every nook and cranny are the traditions of the city. Having derived from the imperial kitchens of Mughal Empire the food is something to die for - “Nihari” “Pajey ke Paye” “Ghosht karahi”, “Lahori fried fish” and “Biryani” are the famous dishes served in the heart of Pakistan. It says eating late doubles the fat shield on your body but in Lahore it’s a different ball game as late night wakening and eating is every night routine.

Arrival of holy month of Ramadan brings along a reason to stay up till sehri time. Gawalmandi Food Street encompassing centuries-oldest building entertains its visitors till morning. Kashmiri-Persian architecture and the mix of fizz and flavor are endeared by the people of Lahore who drop by with families and group of friends. Along with Gawalmandi, Anarkali and Badshahi food streets are also the busiest. The staunch faith is enlightened into the hearts of people here, they begin to forbid the forbidden during the month of Ramadan – at least publically. Notoriously famous “heera mandi” for its business of selling love in musical style faces a decline and a shift in its gear. Far farm houses are set like a house on a fire during the night to endear the perky precocious elements of pleasure. “Nargis” and “Deedar” the dancers and performers are seen head covered and drooped down in prayers. The clubs and bars are not enough tempting and intoxicating during the holy period.

Every element of entertainment and refreshment pales in comparison in front of sheer delectable food variety in Lahore. Show goes on irrespective of the season, weather; mood and dispute with right ingredients at right time–Lahories live for food and hang out late night to celebrate the richness of being Lahori. Dynamics and equations of youth with living lifestyle have been changing at a faster run-rate. Fairly speaking, they tend to adopt westernized dress coats, girls getting hotter than the scorching heat of the sun and roam around late in merely jeans and tops. Although it’s yet to attain the flexibility from the parent’s section for allowing their children to stay out late, so most of them escape secretly?

Candle lit dinners, dancing in the rain, smoking or taking in Sheesha have all become part of night life in Lahore. Having freedom to adore the elements of life mustn’t be abhorred, right? Society has met a change, whether this change is drilled in through movies or not, people are at ease with accepting new ways of life. Parents, however, are creating hullabaloo on seeing dating spots at every nook and cranny as this does not belong to our culture.
Lahore remains the city of celebrations, hub of arts and culture, wide spreading message of love, staying up late during the Holy month of Ramadan and gulping down the scrumptious “Desi pakwan”, crawling on the streets and dancing in the rain. In the holy month of Ramadan the celebrations attain their peak, abiding faith sustains, group prayers and eating together are the attractions of life in Lahore. Famous slogan belongs to Lahore “Lahore, Lahore hay.”

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:15 PM, , links to this post

A Different Sort of City

Asad Badruddin

Most people will be surprised to know that urban planners can influence people’s socializing habits and their choice of friends and acquaintances within a city. They can plan cities in ways that can increase ethnic tensions and they can organize cities in a way that can help people live harmoniously.

People are social animals and human beings are inclined to meet and befriend people if the right conditions are present. And vice versa: if the correct obstacles are present (whether by design or by accident) we become less inclined to meet people. The latter can lead to dangerous cases of the ‘other’ and can strengthen existing biases of people. One example of this was in the 1970s and 1980s when low income housing and urban projects in American cities reinforced segregation because black communities would not be found in predominantly white neighbourhoods. In this essay I will highlight three things that are essential for cities to connect people: transport systems, parks and squares.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:30 AM, , links to this post

Nagar Valley

This article also appeared at BootsnAll

Sometimes we know a journey will be a grand adventure. The three-week expedition this winter with my botanist friends, who were to carry out some fieldwork, to enchanted northern Pakistan was surprising. My friends were to work in the dispersal areas surrounding the Nagar Valley and I was content with stumbling into a wonderful experience of seeing a new valley I had only read about.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:15 AM, , links to this post

Northern Areas

Those who have taken the chance to brave the unruly mountainous terrain in the Northern Areas must have seen at least a few of the Alpine lakes in the area.

Two-hour away from Gilgit, situated in surprisingly cool and green meadow, Nultar is at 2,880 meters and heavily wooded. A one-hour jeep ride from Nultar village takes to a mysterious Nultar Lake, the colour of which emanates from the bottom. Few visitors realize that Nultar Lake is just the beginning of the wonderful Nultar highlands.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:00 AM, , links to this post

Road to Swat

The actual “Road to Swat” bifurcates from the great Grand Trunk Road near Nowshera. About a kilometre below the highest point on the Road to Swat, the commuters can see the view of Takht-i-Bahi Mountains in the middle distance standing from the road. The ruins of one of the grand monastery of the past are situated on the top of a 152-meter high hill, about 80 kilometres from Peshawar and 16 kilometres northwest of the city of Mardan. While serving in Chitral (at Mirkhanni Post), when the spirit of adventure was so much alive, I used to visit Takht-i-Bahi - a Buddhist monastery developed between 1st and 7th centuries AD.

A lot of tea shops are found every where in Pakistan but they are certainly more in North West Frontier Province and even more on the way to Takht-i-Bahi. One can spend an enjoyable time sitting and no body bothering. In the town, after having famous Chappal Kabab, hire a transport from Main Bazaar for village of Sahr-i-Bahlol, which occupies an extensive mound containing the remains of an ancient city, dating back to the same period. The site is located on the northern flanks of a rocky spur gradually rising above the idyllic plains and well tended fields.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4:49 PM, , links to this post

Gogera, Dipalpur and Pakpattan

The first thought that came into my mind after visiting Okara can be described by four words: milk, butter, mammals and farms. Peers also told me the same. Besides Harappan ruins, I did not know the area. But one thing I did know, though, was that I should be happy to say goodbye to the place. Two years later, I felt drawn to the area and its people and it was very hard for me to part. There is so much to be seen, so much to be done. Above all, it has spirited, sincere and full-of-love people living in Gogera, Dipalpur and Pakpattan historic trilogy. The distances in the hinterland are short but the landscape is so enormous that it had to be studied in parts like a large mural seen by a child.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:03 PM, , links to this post

Kings' crossing

Pervaiz Munir Alvi

Attock District in Punjab, Pakistan, is a place of great historic significance. Alexander the Great of Macedonia passed through it as did the first Mughal, Babar, and the various Afghan Sultans before him.

Emperor Akbar the Great, the grandson of Babar, recognizing the strategic importance of this area in 1581 built his famous Attock Fort complex here. The fall of Mughal Empire in eighteenth century saw the rise of Sikhs in Punjab and Durrani Afghans to the west. Once again Attock became a battle ground between two contending powers. British finally ended the feud by subjugating both Sikhs and Afghans in the nineteenth century. British at the same time also brought rail line to the area, built first permanent bridge in 1880 over the Indus River, and established a new city of Campbellpur. After independence of Pakistan the city was renamed as Attock City while the old city by the river is called Attock Khurd (Little Attock).So what gives Attock its historic significance and strategic importance?
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:17 PM, , links to this post

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