As we are getting older, we are letting pass this inner Lahori drive to live in the moment
Last week I was with a bunch of friends attending our weekly congregation which had originally been convened for the esteemed purpose of playing Pro-evolution soccer but had now become a habitual abode for the spirited yet perpetually bored.
Since the PlayStation had died years ago (a moment of silence for the beloved!), we had no console with which to partake in the glory that is Pro-evolution soccer. We had congregated nonetheless, out of habit, just to chill and pass the time away.
There was a time when we would attend concerts, discover the latest hidden culinary treat the city had to offer, and socialise with people from different strata of society. Our weekend forays were driven by the primal need all Lahoris are born with -- to occupy ourselves with newer adventures and partake in all manner of activities, and discover more about the city and, in the process, ourselves.
However, as we got older we let this inner Lahori drive to live in the moment slowly diminish. We started telling ourselves that apart from eating out at Café XYZ and enjoying the latest repackaging of the same old meals there was literally nothing to do to unwind. We stopped making an effort to step out of our comfort zones and prejudices, citing the need to focus on our professional and personal endeavours. We started to view those who managed to pursue their interests and passions not as empowered individuals but as wayward irresponsible individuals with the wrong priorities viewing their lives as taboo.
Having disengaged ourselves from fun activities, we have now become a monotonous lot living our lives devoid of colour. We have allowed ourselves to be caught in the cycle of the routine and because we aren’t enjoying our lives better, we have stopped working hard.
We live in a state that is a product of living in fear of the future and failing to make ends meet -- a thought indoctrinated in us in school. It’s a state not too dissimilar to that of Sharman Joshi’s character in the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots. He lets his fear of adhering to societal pressures stifle his potential.
I too am guilty of acquiescing to this fear but no longer. Stepping outside one’s preset boundaries you see there are all manners of pursuits to keep the mind, body and soul going.
Lahore is still alive and has a host of opportunities for everyone’s taste. This past week, at FAST, we saw Lahore’s very own Comic Con where comic books, anime and media aficionados flocked together to cosplay, share their thoughts and bond over their mutual interests. We have had the Lahore Eat festival which for three days showcased the diverse flavours of Lahore on one stage. There is now professionally organised clubs for all kinds of hobbies.
I will cease to make excuses for not going out due to an ‘imagined’ judgment. I would urge other Lahoris to follow suit and relish the fact that they live in this city and not let the comfort of routine stop them from enjoying themselves. It is sad that many of us haven’t fully explored the vibrancy of the city. Go out and make an effort to make the most of your time and enjoy the city for you see, "Jinay Lahore nai vekhaya o tay jammya hi nahin!"