09 March, 2021

Night At Jinn's

A nightcrawl through cityscapes in Pakistan yields a surprising yet strangely familiar snapshot album. A Lahore that's Delhi's immediate kin, and Karachi, Mumbai's distant cousin.

Sanjoy Ghosh
Night At Jinn's

On a late Sunday night, from a home in upscale Lahore, comes the faint din of Bryan Adam's insufferable love. Unsurprisingly, there are young women inside ready to be misled, scattered around their men in a good ratio of one is to one, though at the moment it's not clear who has the rights on whom. The childhood friends who passed through the same high-end Lahore school and the lovers they collected outside the alumni are in a tight familiar group talking all at once and drinking.

A few hours ago, a bootlegger had come and delivered liquor here, a popular way of accessing it in a country where only minorities like Christians and diplomats are allowed to consume alcohol. The most common crime in this country is not conspiring to kill the kafirs but drinking. With the coming of General Musharraf's somewhat practical governance, those rare house sniffs by cops and the more common street checks to seek out drinkers for eventual fining, imprisonment or Islamic lashing have virtually been abolished. So, the drinking in this home goes on smoothly with no external...

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