Lahore, how I love thee

Published: August 21, 2012

Maybe I’m biased; maybe it is nostalgia, But when I am in Lahore, my soul is alive, The whole city pulsates with unabashed life. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

I may not have seen the whole world yet,

But I have seen a lot of it.

Sure, I left my heart in Paris,

Yes I lost my self,

Wandering the sloping streets of San Francisco

True, my mind found solace at the top of Mont Blanc

Yet, my soul will always belong to Lahore

The city that still captivates me, like no other

Maybe I’m biased; maybe it is nostalgia,

But when I am in Lahore, my soul is alive,

The whole city pulsates with unabashed life

The sounds of New York,

The lights of Hollywood,

Even the grandiose of Las Vegas,


Nothing compares to this city of my childhood,

The city where my soul sings,

The air in Lahore,

Smells like a thousand rainbows of my childhood.

So what,

If that scent now has traces of gunfire in it?

The sunrise in Lahore,

Has colours like no other,

So what,

If those colours are now tainted with innocent blood?

The sound of a dozen Azans at once still leave me spellbound.

Even though I now hear,

Echoing with Allah-u-Akbar,

The wails of mothers who lost their sons

Yet, my soul refuses to let go,

It pulls me back to this city,

Again and again. And again.

This bloodied and broken;

Impossibly majestic city of mine;


You are home to my soul, may you survive and thrive.

For my soul will forever, belong to you.

Read more by Tayyaba here.

T Hassan

T Hassan

The author is a writer, dreamer, social activist and a Communications Major at California State University. She does Social Media and Marketing for various non-profit organizations and blogs at

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Umar

    Maybe you’re confusing the rest of Pakistan with Lahore? What killings, shootings? Wails of mothers? Which Lahore is this? Wait, gunfire? I’m not acquainted with this Lahore, I may agree that crime and robberies have increased but your beautiful portrayal of Lahore just pollutes its beauty and may give a wrong impression to foreigners or expatriates. Recommend

  • Saad

    Failed effort……. I’ll only give you marks for an initiative…..Recommend

  • Ammara K

    I agree with the comment above. The writer seem to have confused Lahore with the rest of Pakistan. I do not see wailing mothers in Lahore or gun fires as I am resident of Lahore as well. Other than that, I really love the poem!Recommend

  • Shoaib

    Agree with Umar.

    We all love Lahore. But please do not confuse it with Quetta or Karachi where you can clearly witness gunfire.
    I think you just got lost a little too much in trying to change the direction the poem was going in.
    Never the less, well done =)
    Lahore lahore hai – undoubtedly.Recommend

  • Zubair

    Sorry but Lahore too have suffered just like other cities of Pakistan. Lahore too have suffered from suicide bombings and a lot other things. Lahore is a great city and this poem is amazing and im sure most Lahoris would agree with the writer. See This is what Lahore is all about that no matter what happens,Lahoris still wake up every day,absorb it all and move on. The same is true for Karachi as well but the point is that Lahore too has suffered like the rest of Pakistan.

    In the end Lahore is just love, no city can ever beat it. EVER. Lahore is love <3Recommend

  • Humayun

    Let’s not forget that Lahore has faced numerous terrorism attacks many of them involving gunfire and suicidal bombing. Lahore remains home to various banned outfits that have reemerged as a joint alliance just recently leaving Lahore more prone to violence in the future.
    Lahore is not really the safest place in Pakistan, anyway.Recommend

  • Capt Farhan

    Lahore lahore a, I grew up listening this. but Lahore does not have anything worth loving. the city disappointed me…. sorry.Recommend


    jis lahore ni dekhia oh jammia hi nahin.Recommend

  • kashif maqsood

    The writer surely doesn’t belong to Lahore….Recommend

  • Maria

    @Umar: I think you are confusing Lahore with some other city? Yes Lahore is a beautiful and historical city which is peerless in the world but it has largely escaped the violence and terrorism of Karachi or Peshawar. Yes there have been isolated acts of violence there in a city of over 5 million but the numbers of casualties involved are much less than any comparable sized city in the US who get killed from daily crime. So this ” wailing of mothers and blood” reference only shows you haven’t been to Lahore! If you don’t believe me compare the statistics of people dying from violence in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago with Lahore and you will see that Lahore is much less.Recommend

  • Asad

    It is a shock to me that some of you people are either in denial or think that the NUMBER of dead people should justify the wailing of a city which looses less sons than another city in pakistan should not allow its mothers to mourn and therefore the writer should not be allowed to feel the way she feels? I am also an expatriat and as beloved as my city is to me, it does now have under currents of fear and terror which make me sad as I grew up in a city where we could walk the street at midnight and not worry about being robbed or shot.that is not the case is just a small list of blood, gunfire,death and mourning in lahore’s recent history to revive your memory which makes me empathize completely with the writer. GREAT PIECE OF WRITING!!!
    May 2010 ahmadi mosque 93 people dead
    March 2010 cadet military acedmy 6 people
    Sri lanka cricket team attack march 2010 7 peple dead
    March 2008 Naval war college 5 pepple dead
    Model town government offices 2010 5 people dead.
    not to mention the hundreds that got injured. and the chaos and terror that ensued. wake up people!!!Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    @Asad Compare this with Karachi where almost 6000 people have been killed between 2003-2012. So please see Lahore in a different light.

    @Capt. Farhan
    Just visited your facebook profile as expected you were from Sindh. Recommend

  • Parvez

    When I see stuff like this, I first try and find out where the author lives because it completely changes the understanding and context in which the article is written. Recommend

  • raana kanwal

    cool tayyaba :)
    though imma not good in poetry but still yours piece touch my cord.
    after all “lohr lohr hai”Recommend

  • Maria

    @Yasir Mehmood: Thanks for proving my point – from 2008 to 2011 all the deaths in Lahore barely add up to to the number of violent deaths in a major American city such as New York or Chicago for a half year period. No one denies that there is violent crime and terrorism taking place in Pakistan but it serves no purpose to exaggerate numbers or provoke mass hysteria when Food Street and the city is crowded with revellers every evening. Obviously the level of violence in Lahore is not detracting folks from enjoying the city cultural life.Recommend

  • Hardliner

    @Capt Farhan:

    Why is it always with the Sindhis that they fall short of appreciation?? If u can’t appreciate anything, stop giving ur criticism…… we really do not need urs atleast :-)

    as for the writer;

    A worthy effort……….. Lahore Lahore hai, unquestioned!! Recommend

  • ASingh Janjua

    We had haveli in Lahore near somewhere near bhati gate.Recommend

  • Dr. Yasser

    @Capt Farhan:
    Biased is what you are and biased are you comments!Recommend

  • Brett Perri

    Thank you for the excellent postsRecommend

  • Bilawal Tunio

    Well, of course crime would be less in Lahore. It is a local city with a homogenous population unlike world cosmopolitan cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Karachi, Mumbai, Shanghai etc.

    Crime in small towns in always less.Recommend

  • random1

    Loved your piece but kinda agree with umar’s commentRecommend

  • Sheraz Javed

    Loved the theme of the poem. I grew up in Lahore and lived in Australia. Now I am in California and this article is just how I feel. The violence in the poem reflects how expats view the picture of Lahore nowadays with the news and everything. Now being away from my birth city, I also feel that a minor segment of Lahore is experiencing the unrest mentioned here. Excellent job Tayyaba. Pay my regards to Uncle Nasir and Auntie Fauzia(our best neighbors ever).Recommend