Stories about colonialism

Colonial ‘chai’ and capitalist ‘coke’

A few days ago, a guest at my house enquired why I don’t drink tea. I mentioned that at some precarious juncture of my youth I irrevocably replaced ‘chai’ with ‘coke’ as my daily conduit. He expressed his dismay and proceeded to tell me how ‘coca cola’ was a Zionist enterprise and a universal capitalist symbol. I responded that ‘chai’ was just as much a colonial symbol as coke was a capitalist one. If one beverage carried with it the plasticity of commercialism; the other bore the bourgeois refinement of elitism. The conversation got me thinking seriously about our colonial ...

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An iron gate to a city of dreams

Let me be your guide to the walled city. I will walk with you to the narrow lanes of Lohari Gate through Lahore, the city I was born in. When I was a child I used to read the history of this ancient city.  I have read countless stories about invasions and renovations on its historic soil. My imagination ran wild, inspired by tales my grandparents would tell me. When I was a 10-years-old boy I would have visions of the what the walled city must have been like. Walking towards the gate, we are surrounded by the Lahori bazaar. You can see outstanding ancient architecture, wooden balconies, beautiful carving on doors ...

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