NEW DELHI ~ He had been sitting on the roof of this restaurant in Lahore’s Hira Mandi on a cold winter night when he heard the voice. Across the street, and the mesh of wires, and a million other tangible and amorphous things, the Badshahi Mosque stood. Unmoved, and in between time. For it had crossed over, and was journeying to the next. Age of belief, or disbelief, of suspension, of freedoms, and clashes.
I traveled back and forth in time. Hours were gained, and then lost. In equal measure, but in different cities. Bit by bit. In transit, you are never sure what time it is. Because you are coming from somewhere, and going someplace else. Time is of no great consequence here. Here, I was. In transit.
It is in the most unlikely hours, and spaces that you stumble upon a story. A story that began with an encounter. It was neither night, nor morning. It was one of those suspended time zones. You could say wee hours of the morning. He sang on the other table. He sang to a girl, who sipped her tea, and kept smiling. They had been childhood friends. Another young man was with them. He looked as if he was deeply in love. He requested Nadeem Arshi to sing love songs, and hummed along.