Any public event without Lahore’s “poonds”, unbridled and unabashed littering, last minute mismanagement and glitches, ever present jostling and pinching, along with April’s inevitable heat and irrevocable dust is not only unimaginable but also borders on the realm of the inconceivable.
Whether you are ready to believe it or not, such an impossibility did take place after a long hiatus and wait by the fag end of the Spring season on the 31st of March and 1st & 2nd of April, by the name of ‘Lahore Eat’, at the very same venue where some time back the erstwhile “Horse And Cattle” show used to fill in the regular Lahori Spring calendar of festivities.
Let me describe an eyewitness account of the visit to the occasion. Following a multilayered physical (three-tiered) search parameter, the pleasant site of the ticket counter (only for families) appeared to be a sight for sore eyes. There were children and ladies everywhere. After buying access to easy tickets (inexpensive and easy to load mobile app) entertaining customers with various discounts on entry and food stalls inside, entering Lahore Eat’s grassy grounds and breathing in the fresh evening air was a delight for constricted lungs.
Under bright lights and gathering clouds on the horizon, the “Lahore Eat” kiosks were lined in a neat and spacious eternity.
What better setting to see and be seen; eat such scrumptious goodies and meet or try artificially to greet old and new acquaintances, “Hayee, ohh, havent seen you in ages!”, “Smooch on the cheek, catch you later,” “He/She is my distant cousin, relative, friend!” “Come to the ‘Magnum Stall’, “Why are you so late!”, “What have you tasted till now?”, “Can I share the bench with you?”, with karaoke songs blaring in the background and the night’s concert about to start and children jumping on the rubber slides, a teenager on a horse’s back, red dustbins being filled at a quickened pace, the crowd increasing by the minute, queues getting longer, families enjoying the open rickshaw rides, the whole city coming together all at once. It was the best of times for the Lahoris.
And who cares what will happen tomorrow? Enjoy the moment till it lasts. And, sigh, it lasted only three days.
We would like to thank all the faces behind the phenomenal Lahore Eat 2017, CKO Events and Latitude PR, the people behind the food, each and every single soul who made it happen and put it all together for us in one piece, for us to celebrate the freedom of food and life and reappraise our beliefs about trust, pleasure, deprivation, and nourishment.