Pakistan Diaries – 6th March

Lahore

Faiz Ghar literary evening. I have been looking forward to this for many days. It is the final literary event with local writers in different cities. It is being hosted by a dear friend, Moneeza Hashmi in her father home, Faiz Ghar, the home of the leading poet of Pakistan Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

As I make my way to Model Town I notice changes on the way in the last 10 years. There is a beautiful park, called Jinnah Park and 2 new squares, Istanbul and China Chowk, honouring the good relationships I guess between Turkey and China.

Faiz Ghar is in process of being renovated. We can see for ourselves as we walk over the rubble on the lawns to be turned into a sort of Museum in the future, to honour this poet. I am delighted to meet my friend again and enjoy meeting the guests and catching up on family news.

There is a chair, a local female writer and academic, Dr. Arfa Syeda. She does a good job in questioning. She has met and heard me before, at Karachi festival and at Foreman Christian College last week. I honour my host and evening by reciting the poem by Faiz Sahib that I have used as a prologue in my second novel Typhoon called ‘ The guests’.

I am launching 2 books ‘ A Pair of Jeans’ collection of stories and the Urdu version of Holy Woman. The reading by one of the guests goes down well. There is more mingling, signing of books and for me to have some time for a private tete -a -tete with sister Moneeza. I want to consult her about a new drama serial I want to sell. She had produced my previous drama serial Dil hee to Hay 8 years ago when she was the head of PTV.

My two cousins who accompanied me had a good evening. For me it was a countdown, for tomorrow is my last day of this tour. And I am ending it with Kinnaird College the following morning. Kinnaird is one of the top colleges in Pakistan….