Caution: Vegan mother do not proceed! I bolted my door shut, turned the volume up. There was no way I was going to let summer in. It was going to give up and go away if I just let it keep rapping the door. But boy was I wrong? The determined little thing barged in with a blow and a dust storm, enveloping me in a whirlwind of the tamasha it brings! I got carried away… Floral lawn prints sprawled the billboards. I heard of one day exhibitions where women trampled one another to get their hands on pieces of cloth that remind you of diagrams in botany textbooks. N asked me to accompany her to one of these exclusive lawn exhibitions just for fun but the prospect of being squished between aunties showered in Channel No.5 and Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door nauseated me. I hopped on the rickshaw to liberty instead in pursuit of halwa puri and choolay. And this my lovelies is where I tell you that this city only knows extremes. Just inhale in the stink in Liberty’s alleys. It reminds me of a theory a fellow Confused Desi formulated as we witnessed passengers from a PIA flight set foot in Canada at the Toronto Pearson Airport:
There are no deodorant isles in Pakistani supermarkets!
Negate me all you want but darlings! Seriously? Don’t look at me like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Use that stick/roll on! There is a reason why it was invented. Show some mercy because this heat isn’t going to! Heat! Ah! The Tamash-been! Load-shedding! Dust Storms! Body Odors! Lawn Exhibitions! Its one big tamasha, I tell you. I should expect the next three months to be like a crazy roller coaster ride. However, I’m the optimistic one! I am anticipating mangoes and monsoons, although I hear that summer really is melodramatic here just like the triple patty hamburger I had the other day. I am talking fresh ground beef balled and flattened into patties, grilled to juicy perfection and stacked one on top of another; A promiscuous slice of melting cheese binding them together. Drama! Drama! Melodrama! Jalepanos, Salsa, sautéed onions! You are the king here, my friend! You choose what you want in your hamburger! You Build Your Own Burger. Literally! They hand you little cards with pencils so that when you are done feeling all gleeful and childish, you can check all those boxes next to ingredients that tickle your tastebuds.
The check boxes allow you to practice control over the number of patties you want, call the shots on the goodies that should be stacked between the buns and pick the kind of bun that entices you!
The irony of it though is that Outpost BYOB (where they nurture your inner control freak) is located on the same road that houses the university (LSE) that dictates your wardrobe. No shorts on campus! YES! This means you bear summer in this near equator city in thick denim. Yes, yes! I know summer isn’t kosher without shorts but this is Pakistan, my lovelies! And hear me out before you dial your dealer’s number. BYOB stands for Build Your Own Burger! What were you thinking? Lahore swapped laws with Istanbul?!