21 October, 2020

Pakistan Diary

One accurate indicator of the current state of India-Pakistan relations is levels of cellphone connectivity. My BlackBerry went dead the second my PIA flight landed in Lahore and no new SIM would revive it

Pakistan Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Rasleela in Lahore

One accurate indicator of the current state of India-Pakistan relations is levels of cellphone connectivity. My BlackBerry went dead the second my PIA flight landed in Lahore and no new SIM would revive it; I had to borrow a local handset for the duration of my stay. Delhi-Karachi air links being similarly denuded, I had an unexpected bonus of 24 hours in Lahore.

Dinner was at Coucou’s, the rooftop eatery, run by an artist descended from a courtesan of Hiramandi and overlooking Aurangzeb’s magnificent Badshahi Masjid. The food was splendid and my generous host produced the mandatory bottle of bootlegged Black Label. The ten-hour power cuts, though, gave the view a disconcertingly sepulchral air: the floodlit Masjid repeatedly lapsed into darkness, making it an “on-and-off mosque”. Odder still was the restaurant’s decor: fragments of temple...

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