By Khalid Irshad Soofi
Winter always knocks the door of my feelings and presents me with a colorful bouquet, full of flowers of memories, the fragrance of this bouquet is so full of Nostalgia.
Going in Nostalgia is always pleasant experiences for me as I feel reborn, I feel like re-living the moments full of happiness, carefree dreams & the circle of hope & optimism. Although twenty years have passed but feelings of that era are still fresh and alive. On way back to college me and Tanveer would often visite Azeem at his house. At that time, he lived in Mozzang Ada Lahore. Mozzang was a hub of traditional food. We had many option for lunch sometimes we enjoyed Naan Pakora from Purana Bazar Kanak mandi Chowk of Mozzang & the most favorite place for foods “Mama Kabab”of Temple Road & “Chach kabab” of Waris road Chowk Quince Road. “Mama & Chahcha Kabab” was very famous in those days. The residents of the area used to purchase lunch from these two shops so the place was always crowed and busy.
There was a competition to provide hygienic, tasty & sufficient quantity of food against nominal price amongst all the food venders. The taste of sauces served with the food were so registered that it is still fresh in my mind.
After the Lunch, the Lawrence Garden was our favorite place to sit for Gupshup it would always delight our hearts, sometimes we stood in front of Jinnah Library for reading Newspaper & I remember chatting with random boys who are preparing for CSS exams.
Often the next destination was Canteen of Alhamra art Council, where we would talk for hours with artist, poet, and drama writer. Twenty years back all three halls were always occupied for various Functions, Seminars, & Dramas, the halls were never free. The Young generation of that era would enjoy variety of programs conducted in Alhamra. Shows were arranged throughout the week so we had enough opportunities to for enlightening our souls. Alas! The beautiful evenings of Lahore were so colorful and delightful.
Lakshmi Chowk was one of the busiest places of Lahore. It was so filled with people that it used to become very difficult to find space on bench & chairs in front of desi food restaurant. Anyone of us having enough money voluntarily offered dinner to the company. Interestingly there was no concept of “American System” or Polling. One person would have to bear the complete expenses of the meal.
The Chicken Karahi, Taka Tak, Tikka, Daal Chawal, all food were Pure & Halal. There was no doubt about food. After dinner our next destination was “The Mall Road Lahore”. We liked sitting opposite Feroz sons. A few weeks ago I wished to purchase some books so I went to Feroz Sons Mall Road Lahore. It was painful to know that historical Book Shop Feroz Sons was not there anymore. I remember by sitting in the Corridor of Taj Companies building we would dream for richest life. i used to say that whenever I have car & driver, I will visit Mall Road with friends as usual like this. We will park our vehicle & walk on Mall Road & complete our tour from Bagh e Jinnah to Alhamra then Lakshmi Chowk to Mall Road via Bedon Road for enjoying “Gajjar Halwa” from Amratsari sweets. What an amazing time of life it was and so quickly it passed. Lahore is no more that Lahore and so am I.