27 January, 2021

Epic Imaginings

Epic Imaginings
The parliamentarians having performed, it was now the turn of the Indian writers to do their routine in the Great Indo-Pak people-to-people circus! For the frail but feisty Ajeet Cour, who had been working for many years to make such a visit possible, this was a dream come true. Led by her, we crossed Wagah shortly before the 4 pm closure time. Jhappis were pao-ed, rose petals were showered, doves were released and tears of joy were shed. Even a cynic like me felt overwhelmed. The Pak Rangers waved us through sans all formalities. Another grand reception awaited us at Lahore’s luxurious Avari hotel where a dholwallah and folk dancers were in attendance.

I was introduced as the writer of Buniyad, which had been popular in Pakistan too. On being told that Buniyad’s Lahore was based on hearsay, a Lahori quipped, here’s your chance to graduate from being twice-born to thrice-born! She was alluding to the proverb that he who hasn’t seen Lahore is yet to be born. Alas, our hectic partying left little scope for seeing Lahore. Meanwhile a reporter described me as...



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