With her photographic genius, Mehreen Hasanhas immortalised her love for Lahore
ahore by Heart, a pictorial tribute to Lahore like none other, is Dr Mehreen Hasan’s first published work. She had contemplated the project for a long time.
The real challenge, I imagine, was not the various tasks in the publishing process, but deciding which photographs to exclude from the first volume. There were tahousands of them, each with its unique historical significance and a tale that hung by it. It took her many months therefore to painstakingly shortlist the photos for the book. The ones set aside for subsequent volumes are by no means less fascinating.
Most of the pictures in Lahore by Heart were taken using a DSLR camera. The book has been designed and printed by Topical Printers who have done a superb job. High-quality paper has been used to ensure that the colourscome put just right that the photographs stand out.
The book starts with the photographs of some majestic buildings from the Mughal Empire. These are followed by pictures related to the monuments bult during the British Raj. The concluding part presents pictures of modern Lahore.
From the majestic Badshahi Masjid to the Gurdwara Dera Sahib, to the Lahore Fort, to Ranjeet Singh‘s baradari at Hazuri Bagh, the architectural richness of the city has been captured beautifully.
The ravishing interior of the Wazir Khan mosque, embellished with its amazing frescos, has been bought out in grand style. The intricate Kashi Kari has been painstakingly documented.
A walk through the shahiguzargah (the royal trail) has captured colourful shops and balconies that serve as a reminder of the Hindu and Sikhs heritage apart from the Muslim architecture. Rudyard Kipling’s Kim’sgun has been photographed in its full glory. The Naulakha Pavillionin the Lahore Fort, another source of inspiration for Kipling, has also been well captured. (Kipling named his house in Vermont, Naulakha.)
Other than showcasing Lahore, the book highlights the importance of having an avocation, a hobby, a concept rapidly declining in today’s career-driven society.
The Mall, the pride of the British era development, and the breathtakingly amazing architectural marvels surrounding have been photographed and presented in chronological order.
Books like Lahore by Heart are important in building and establishing the image of Pakistan. They have the added benefit of promoting tourism. For centuries, Lahore has been home diverse people from many ethnic backgrounds. It’s a cosmopolitan city with many cultures coming together.
Besides showcasing Lahore, the book highlights the importance of having an avocation. The concept appears to have been in rapid declining recently in what seems to be a more career-focus society. Increasingly larger number of people appear to be hopelessly lost in the never-ending demands of their professions.One fears that some of them might actually be missing their true calling. Despite being a busy cardiologist, Hasan has taken the time needed to pursue her passion. For many of usthe subliminal message in her work is that one must learn the art of detaching oneself from the mundane monotony of our work lives and find a way to chase and enjoy the beauty and charisma of things and people around them. That’s what makes a life truly ‘successful.’
I’m extremely proud of Dr MehreenHasan for the wonderful book she has come up with, immortalising her love for Lahore, using her astounding photographic genius.
Here’s to many more fun trips and tours around Lahore, the city we love and are proud to call home, the city
that we can never get enough of. Here’s to many more editions of Lahore by Heart.