Delhi & Lahore – A Tale of Two Cities
Introducing the blog Lahore Nama.
[Text and imaging by Mayank Austen Soofi]
I visited Lahore for the first time in 2006 and found it filthy, smoggy, and very third-world. Like Delhi. Obviously I loved it. I sensed more similarities: Punjabi gaalis, Mughal-era forts, colonial-era monuments, old-city bazaars, leafy districts, and broad avenues. And yes, Delhi has Lahori Gate and Lahore has Dilli Gate. But this sort of sameness is an illusion. Let’s not forget that Lahore is a Pakistani city and Delhi is Indian. We two are separated by past, present, and passports.
More than 60 years have passed since the creation of our two nations. 60 years should be but a blip in the life of great cities like Delhi and Lahore but meantime much has changed in their characters. And character is destiny. Both cities have continued to grow in ways that makes them very different from each other. Delhi lost its Muslim refinement. Lahore lost its Hindu heritage. Today there are three cities of Delhi and three cities of Lahore: what they used to be; what they are now; what they could have been.
The Delhi Walla has been in the quest of those Delhis for more than a year. It now feels privileged to share with readers its discovery of Lahore Nama, a blogsite that it is attempting to capture a Lahore “that was and that ought to be…” Started by Mr. Raza Rumi, an eminent Pakistani blogger, Lahore Nama is the brother-blog of The Delhi Walla.