April 2012

Slow Burn Lahore V: Archeology of Space

The modern traveler, wrote Lévi-Strauss in Tristes Tropiques, is forever chasing after "vestiges of a lost reality". Such that writing about a city becomes a mode of constant nostalgia, a constant looking back, either textually or experientially. Sarnath Banerjee's Harappa Files (which I read recently; thankfully, after I had already planned and written some of [...]

CM Anniversary: Acht So!!

Once again, I missed it. Eight years ago this little experiment - which, in 2011 produced two books (!) and countless millions of dollars (!!) - began. There is no denying the fact that dhandha has been manda here lately. I have not found too much time to write.Yet, I have had so many amazing [...]

Slow Burn Lahore IV: See Through Cement

You can't see through cement - and neither can I. When I look at Lahore and the ways in which cement has cordoned off sight-lines, I see a city full of people blind-folded. The gated communities were the first variant - ghettos of the elite - where cement walls rose up to seclude and to [...]

More sophisticated readers of the New York Times’ editorial pages have, for years, fumed at Thomas Friedman's inane musings. Even less sophisticated readers, some of which write book reviews and essays for online magazines named after mysterious flatbreads, have bristled at Friedman’s claims, prose and weak reasoning. There are times, in fact, that one might [...]

In Cairo, I thought I met Khizr. More likely, I found a new way of walking. Following hints, barely visible pathways, I try only to keep my sense of direction overpowered by my desire to get lost. Cairo, around Tahrir Square, looks a lot like the late colonial city abutting Old Lahore - the architecture [...]

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