City & Me
The last time i read someone describing their city with true love and affection was in Kamila Shamsie’s Kartography. Today I felt like writing about my cities, and they are more than one, the reason is not important, but my affection for these three cities is.
I was born in Gujranwala, a small industrial city where my family knows everyone and everyone knows us. Life was good, I had school, I had friends, and I had my home. Back then when I was young, I couldn’t imagine how I will change, or how cities will change me.
For my studies, I had to shift to Lahore. Very near Gujranwala, yet very far in taste and culture. New city, new faces, and a new life. It really was a new life in so many ways, its hard to explain. The faces soon became known, but it took a while to adjust and internalise the city. Lahore is different, it has a soul. My bachelors was the best time in my life. The horizons became wider, and life became larger. Lahore taught me to want more from life. In my small city, Gujranwala, I was complacent. I was at peace with myself and my world. In Lahore, thirst to know more made base, and now resides in my heart. I hated change before, now I love it, and am constantly looking for it. Does that mean Lahore made me restless? No, it just means Lahore made me happy. Why? Because I stopped wanting to be at peace. I changed.
For a very short period, I happened to live in Islamabad. And therefore it has a small place in my article too. Islamabad is quiet, it’s just like me.