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.


  1. hi ammara. i visited ur blog today. jus believe me that ur thoughts ur elaborative views on different fields made me feel belittle in front of u. now i feel that i missed a conversation with a person who is so commendable, scholarly. let me compliment u for urself having a good command over language and effectively penning down ur thoughts.i will definitely like to follow u on ur blog.i am not praising u now for wooing u in anyway. i had little idea of ur intelligence. believe me u r the only gal who have impressed me with knowledge.boys including me has a fancy for every other gal.its not their fault. i feel god has made them like this. i had reasonable relation with many gals during my post graduation but never crossed any limit even with them. my wife is the supereme lady for me in my life.but still any company of other woman without any illicit relation gives u energy and spirit to feel young.i am not a writer like u and may not express my feelings as effective as u can but i promise that i will start applying myself to this and learn from u this art.thanks for inculcating a new spirit in me. ur really a gem that i will ever want in my company.will like to listen from u in near future.may god bless u.

  2. Men will b men...:))!! Jokes apart well it all depends on which vicious cycle the society is in, so thats the behavior one experiences.The administration has to take the responsibility and make sure that woman feel safe..
    Well coming to the kids ...i think thats not to b taken that seriously...thats i guess pretty guys wanting to b dudes!!!

    Its great that u have raised a voice...ppl like u should come forward and take the initiative and stick to it!!

  3. i dnt mind the boys being they were passing sexual comments ... nd bullies hav a low self-esteem... i feel i feel sorry for them and what they have learnt.... the pseudo concept of masculinity...

  4. Hmm...

    So much for western influence being blindly copied.



  5. Ammara, very sad that you and countless other young women have to go through such demeaning situations day in, day out. I envy my parents' generation as well. I hope by raising these issues through your blog, you will positively impact society on a broader level.

  6. It is a sad picture and it is common in many countries. Some men feel that disturbing girls is an expression of their manhood. Unfortunately, their number is not few. Being reserved and polite is considered to be against manhood by them. Sometimes, some gentle boys are laughed at for not passing remarks towards girls. At the same time, there is no shortage of gentle boys/men too. They are laughed at by many people as girly boys.
    I just wish that at least in literature, we read heroes as gentle boys and not offending girls is a sign of manhood not the other way round. I know that it wont happen in movies.



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