BY : Maheen Ahmed
Lahore is a great city, full of culture, great food, fashionable and fashionably late people. It has everything, is expensive to move around and there is always something going in every community and sub culture of it.
On any day we as Lahoris would happily fight online with people demanding that they also demean their own cities and crown Lahore at the centre of the universe.
Especially if those people are from Karachi and Islamabad, because other cities aren’t a part of this cultural war.
As a Lahori I also spend the year waiting for winter, and winter always been delightful and a sweat free pass to get around the city. But as of the last few years we’ve been cursed with this ghastly smog like the rest of the good chunk of the world.
We can’t even it’s the nazar anymore.
It’s not something you notice all at once but it gets to you and like a curse it makes you sick and pushes down on your chest and it stings the eyes and the back of your mouth. As if the global pandemic, inflation, dengue and life in general wasn’t a strain already the literal environment won’t give any of us a break.
We used to be care free. It’s a strange thing – wanting to escape the environment. I went to Islamabad over the weekend and I could actually breath there. We joked about that being the reason for going there.
Islamabad is also busy but the air isn’t as strained and toxic as it is in Lahore. As absurd as is is to say a lack of factories, trees and a lesser population really does help.
The difference is there, and it’s sad. We should all be able to boast good air. It’s of course a burden for healthy people but those with asthma, lung issues and low immunity are at most risk. My friends with asthma could barely operate and didn’t want to leave the house.
All I could do was tell them to take a break and leave for some time. But what does saying that to them actually solve? It’s not salt on the wound, it’s not let them eat cake, but it might as well be.
According to some reports if you spend 24 hours in Lahore, it’s like smoking ten cigarettes. Which according to some people means all the girls in the city have bad character.
All the girls who don’t manually smoke cigarettes can’t pretend to be decent anymore. How tragic!
As a species and public we can’t really ignore it anymore and we have to as a collective stand up and evaluate what we can do to be protected and cause less air pollution.
For now we wear our masks when we go outside, and keep up with the air index and minimize stepping outside.
There needs to be better public transport for big cities, and they should of course be safer and accessible. We should also become more compassionate and look out for eachother.
Please stay safe.