Friday, March 5, 2010
A Morning in the Race Course
In early March the winters in Lahore start receding and Spring takes over. This is not very pleasant since it marks the steady arrival of a long and unforgiving summer. So this Wednesday morning I went to the Race Course Park with my friends. The park is near my college. The Sun was veiled in the clouds and the morning was dewy. A lush green covered welcomed us, and we were lost in the sensual pleasure for a while.
There was a rude awakening. Two men started running near the bench we were sitting on. One even started ridiculous boxing exercises a few feet from us, despite having a huge park at his disposal. After sometime a huge guy called us from the track
" Mein apsey dosti kurna Chahta hun"- " I want to befriend you!"
Let me not mention the several dozen men who stared blankly at us while walking on the track.
Another guy in school uniform came and said.
" Aap kitni pyaari hain" " You are so pretty" - to one of us. We wanted to tell the boy he is almost ten years our junior but we knew this is all an outcome of uncontrolled raging hormones.
Then we decided to go to KFC. On our way a sweet guy stopped and said
" Meri eik baat sun lein." " Let me say one thing."
In KFC, a group of school boys ( in uniform) came, who were singing songs to every girl coming there- " Tum agaye hu noor agaya hai."
" Lal dupattey walli zara naam tu bata"
And so on. These too were almost ten years our junior and when they started harassing us, my friend said :
" It is ok. My little teenage brother is also like this. This is the coming of the age."
When the " macho men" heard this, they suddenly became quieter and controlled. (lol)
So this is a golden formula. Sweetly go and imply they are growing up.
But this is very sad. Women in Pakistan cannot even have leisure time in a park?
Just because some women are alone, does it mean they are seeking boy friends?
Is this not an invasion of privacy and very ill manners to disturb women sitting in parks and walking on the streets?
Another funny thing. When we were about to enter the Race Course, the gatekeeper said, we don't allow students in. Just then a car full of young men and women entered. He allowed them. Then again stopped us. This was news, since we have been to the Race Course many times. We told him this.
But it is funny that instead of stopping all those men, they stopped us. Was this to prevent us from dating or else from being harassed? Is this the best they can do?
When I listen to my mother's pleasant stories of her student days, it is astonishing what has become of this country.
at 5:29 AM