14 February, 2019
Often times I have found myself tongue, thought and expression-tied, simply because I cannot seem to find the right word to put forth a series of thoughts. Recently came across this word ‘petrichor’ which describes a certain smell– the initial fragrance that a dry, parched soil gives off when it meets the first shower of rain.
Growing up in Lahore this experience had its own resonance and depth, especially the monsoon rains, when the dark thick clouds would gather together and then pour unabatedly, and the earth would rise to meet it with the same vigor, letting off a pleasant whiff – a whiff of relief, a whiff of gratitude, a whiff of complacency, a whiff of a tight hug.
Lahore cannot be described in words either – it is an experience! A city that is iconic, embracing, warm, forgiving and possibly one of the most beautiful historic cities in the world. A gentle gait to the city, a lazy hum of the traffic, the smell of burnt sand which warms and cooks rather milky and juicy corn on the cobs, the sight of the star lit midnight sky during load shedding evenings, the freedom of a fast car driving along the stately roads beside the canal, 1992 cricket world cup, dadi key qadmoon kii chaap, Dr. Ahmer and Dr. Zoya’s beautiful romance in Dhoop Kinarey, gas heaters in the dense winters, moong phalli, sar kiye yeh pahaar by Strings, eid kii churiyaan, gannay ka russ (sugar cane juice), bholi kii chaat (a tangy yogurt snack), raat ka sukoon (peaceful nights) and not to forget barsaat kii Khushboo ( the smell of the monsoons)
And at times i resignedly agree that it is better to stay tongue-tied. Surely, the whiff of rain-kissed soil cannot be contained in such a matter-of-fact word! Just like Lahore can never be contained in any prose, poetry, canvas or blog!