At Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore

At Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore

I was recently very humbled when a friend of mine wrote a beautiful piece for me, explaining her thoughts on my passion for the country I now call home. I don’t know how else to show my gratitude for this deeply touching piece other than to respond in kind, through written word, and by expressing my love for Pakistan and my life in Pakistan.

Pakistan, and particularly Lahore, make me so so happy and bring me so much peace. This is not to say that one can’t find these beautiful fragments of life elsewhere; some may well encounter them wherever you look. However I have found them in my new home of Pakistan and it is my hope that this love letter to Pakistan goes some way to explaining why I have chosen to reside here.

Pakistan and Pakistanis are imbued with an effortless commitment to extract the most joyful fun out of life with careless abandon. Simple, unadulterated, uncynical fun – truly living to work, instead of working to live. Life can be pleasurable, and it is deeply.

With Aehsun in Jinnah Park, Lahore

With Aehsun in Jinnah Park, Lahore

For me, life in Pakistan means many things, and my definition of life in Pakistan is coloured by moments and memories that I revel in. Walking to the juice bar for falsa juice with Ali at 2am, then returning to work on some photography or painting in his studio. Cruising down Ferozepur Road with Aehsun on the bike, feeling so so free. Early summer morning swims at the tubewell with Moazam as the sun rises, then going for mangoes or some other delicious fresh fruit; vivid memories to last a lifetime.

At the pool with Moazam

At the pool with Moazam

Talking society and culture with like-minded souls with Nawaz, Sohaib or Azmat over chai, either at home, or at Punjab University. Lolling around, or more frequently rolling around in hysterics, with Waqas, GM, Aaqib and Ateeq. Shopping for beautiful clothes with Awais, then wearing them to a function that defines elegance, opulence and style.

With the crew at Murree

With the crew at Murree

The distinct seasons, the subtle shifts in which are celebrated, and define the tone of the day. The predictable weather, the endless, sun-soaked summer days. Standing on the rooftop with Saadi watching the dramatic electrical storms roll in before the monsoon, and the celebratory atmosphere that ensues after the first giant drops of rain. The epic sunsets which follow the beautiful days, whatever the season.

Sunset in Lahore

Sunset in Lahore

The lonely quiet on the roads during Jummah, getting excited together about Ramadan, and the pure elation that surrounds our festivals.

A natural understanding of the subtle and sublime pleasures in life, like comfortable clothes, a cool breeze catching my kurta as I walk through the summer humidity. Chai on a rainy monsoonal afternoon. Of true friendship and the deep bonds that entwine certain souls. Instead of an endless and extremely unfulfilling pursuit of “designer” fun, a time honoured knowledge of the simple and sensual pleasures of life.

Escaping a storm at Badshahi Mosque one night

Escaping a storm at Badshahi Mosque one night

An understanding softness, sensitivity, intimacy and loyalty in friendship which I understand, long since spoiled in the west by cynicism, social pressures to conform, and the superficial anxieties of life.

Fresh, delicious, wholesome, unpretentious food – chicken dishes fresh out of the pan, hot and smoky naan, lassi in the morning, and satisfying fresh juices or refreshing mocktails in the evening (and no need to worry if they’re alcohol-free).

Chicken Karahi; one of my favourites!

Chicken Karahi; one of my favourites!

The sense that as a community, we are working towards something. The often disciplined struggle, and the joy of accomplishing something which brings a contented meaning to life.

A superlative tradition of creativity, based in the condition of the contemporary Muslim, and drawing on centuries of history and culture, that seems to unfold before my eyes and invites me to be a part of it; the day-to-day value placed on poetry, visual art and musical expression and artistic beauty.

Bilal Zuberi's beautiful art

Bilal Zuberi’s beautiful art

The fact that all of this takes place within a framework of cultural and social norms that I subscribe, if not always adhere to.

Living in Pakistan makes me the happiest I have ever been, and for that I’m truly grateful. When I think about how blissfully content I am here, tears well up inside me – I never knew I could be this at peace.

My beautiful faith as represented in my beautiful city: Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

My beautiful faith as represented in my beautiful city: Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Lying in bed listening to music, drifting off into a beautiful slumber to dream about what tomorrow holds, and knowing that this never has to end. Pakistan gives me the opportunity to be myself, in my own skin, and to be happy. And I have fallen head over heels, in storybook-fabled love with it.

Allah ka shukar hai

Selfies on the bus with Sohaib

Selfies on the bus with Sohaib

 

Comments (14)

  • Ahmed Jamal Reply

    dear sir! you should also visit kasur city. it is also historical city and it’s food is also very famous like ‘kasuri falooda’ , ‘kasuri fish’ and ‘kasuri andrasa’.

    July 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      inshaAllah 🙂 Thanks for reading 😀

      July 2, 2014 at 9:22 pm
  • Wajid Ali Reply

    Dear Tim, thank you for considering Lahore your home and welcome to the Pakistani family 🙂

    I’m pleased by your thoughts and hope you will be back soon to your new home.

    Also you should give a try to the “Unloved” one as well, because I strongly believe that many things have been neglected because of ignorance, I suppose.

    July 3, 2014 at 12:56 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Thank you Wajid for your kind words. I love being in Pakistan 🙂

      July 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm
  • Waqas Khan Reply

    nice…. after a long time read something positive about Pakistan 🙂

    July 4, 2014 at 5:37 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      You can always depend on myself and UrbanDuniya to positive about Pakistan – we ❤️ it!! Thanks for reading 🙂

      July 5, 2014 at 11:45 pm
  • M Rehan Abid Reply

    Hi Sir at last I See you in Kurta Not in real but in Pic. You are looking so Awesome and Yes We also Love you.. our Best Wishes with You.
    You are so Co-Operative and Kindhearted Person. God bless you.
    Your Student.
    M Rehan Abid.

    July 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Thank you so much for reading!!! Ok, in sha Allah next time I’ll come dressed in a full shalwar kameez 🙂 Stay blessed, and keep checking back regularly for more love for Pakistan!

      July 7, 2014 at 12:49 am
  • Sarah Somewhere Reply

    This is so beautiful Tim! Your love for Pakistan and Lahore is infectious and I love the imagery it creates. I want to go now!!!

    July 12, 2014 at 5:55 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m so in love with Lahore and my life there, and it’s both beautiful and frightening to share such personal feelings with the world. I hope I can inspire more people to be as at peace as I am right now 🙂

      July 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm
  • Haroon Reply

    🙂 such a sweet words and thoughts for my beautiful pak waatan 🙂

    July 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Thanks for reading Haroon…. Hamara khoobsurat pak waatan 😉 <3

      July 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm
  • Munadi Ahmed Reply

    Dear Sir , Thanks for loving the country . And Lahore . I really want to travel here too but permission’s bounded me . But soon i will be a free bird like you INSHALLAH . hope so !

    August 27, 2014 at 12:42 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      In sha Allah! Thanks for reading!! 😀 And the pleasure is all mine 🙂

      August 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

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