This is a short interview which I once did for a blog that has since disappeared into the ether. It never got published, but I thought it was a great ode to the city I love <3
What’s the best way to enjoy Lahore?
The cheapest way to enjoy Lahore at night is to grab a motorbike and go roaming! The night can be however you want it to be; if it’s tourism you’re after, then take a jaunt around the Walled City where there’s always something happening; markets, religious functions, parties, people watching. If you want romance, then nothing beats a long ride with that special someone along Canal Bank Road to a cute cafe in an out-of-the-way district, just you and them. And if you’re here to hang out, then drive through biryani, late night ice cream stops, even later cinema sessions will keep you entertained. Lahore doesn’t sleep, so there’s no need for you to!
What’s your favourite place to eat out in Lahore?
My favourite restaurant in Lahore is Butt Karahi, a large building that specialises in lamb and chicken varieties of the braised meat and vegetable ‘karahi’ dish. It’s salty, savoury, spicy and oh-so-delectable – my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, thinking that the serving size is way too small at the beginning, but then I always leave unable to finish the lot! Butt Karahi is a beloved Lahore institution, and any Lahori would know it, and has probably been there at least a few times!
What’s the best thing to do in Lahore on a Sunday morning?
Mornings are often warm in Lahore, and one of my favourite things to do on a Sunday is join one of the Walled City of Lahore Authority’s photo walk experiences. They guide Lahore’s large cohort of budding photographers through the labyrinthine streets of the Walled City to seek out the type of spellbinding shots that simply capture the essence of this passionate city.
What’s your favourite thing about Lahore?
Lahore is full of hidden gems – just getting lost in the Walled City once or twice is sure to turn up something interesting! But one of the greatest treasures of Lahore is its people. Lahoris are such an interesting bunch, and particularly in the older parts of the city, many of them have such rich family backgrounds and such a deep appreciation for the role which the city has played in their lives. Make conversation with the locals – it’s always a great way to get under a city’s skin, but in Lahore, it’s like opening a storybook.
Any last thoughts?
Lahore suffers from being in a country with a bad reputation, but it’s really not that inaccessible or dangerous. Those who dare are rewarded in bucketloads, and often return, cast under the city’s spell…