In Pakistan, when the summer months roll around, so does the wheat-harvesting season. From the dust-covered memories of my adolescence, I can garner a few of the rituals that usually accompanied the wheat cultivation. We desis are generous hearted people, you may have noticed how friendly cultural glamor has dimmed in the past decade of the worst socio-economic prospects, but we used to never waste an occasion to celebrate, to dance the ‘bhangra, to eat good food, rotis slathered with ghee and greens cooked down to a spicy mush, often called saag. That’s how we roll you guys.

I have enjoyed the goods and the perils of urban lifestyle in my soon to be 18 years. The festival related to the ‘gandum  harvestation was something so scared to the villagers after a hardworking season, that the city dwellers with their snubbed noses never took part. Apparently, work is more important than these little joys of life. Yet several times, I saw the Liberty roundabout done up like a bride by one brand or the other (advertisement or cultural initiation? I do not know). And the flower garlands hanging off the tall structures were a sight to behold. And then the part of the Lahore canal that touches the famous RPGCC Royal Palm Golf & Country Club was always a stage for prestigiously designed models of cultural mimicry by the students of the National College of Arts. I had my share of the ‘little joy’ that Punjabis in the villages did, too.


Food, glorious food, my life is shaped around it. I’m not an avid healthy eater, in fact, I’m well known to splurge on a bad meal at a restaurant, but most of it involves inspecting the food for the hint of some spice hidden within, or tasting a curry and immediately finding out if they used lemon juice in it or vinegar. Food is a hobby to me, not a passion, hence which I remind myself of a lot. My real focal point in this life is writing, getting published, and gathering readers. But when my real passion leaves me unhappy and devoid of acknowledgement, food gathers me and molds me together again.

I don’t remember the last time I bought a cake from a bakery just because I wanted to. Mostly it is a sad substitute for comfort food on a bad day, when I’m too fussed to stand in front of a small oven, or to measure out flour from a bag.


  I remember events with the emotions that swarmed within me at that particular time, or how I happy I once felt in that room. These are my links with history, but several of these links that based upon good food too. The samosas of Lahore’s Liberty market, savory potato based filling wrapped around in a short crust pastry, served with hot chickpea curry to be ‘lapped up’ with the samosa, is a heavenly memory. The Chinese at Tai Wah that has been so molded to Pakistani taste buds that all the food is no longer authentic but nevertheless even more delicious. Especially when you have a strong stomach to battle out all the sauces splashed in.

  And there was a restaurant on Murree’s Mall Road that serves the most delicious drumsticks, tender, spicy, crackly. They are still fresh in my memory from seven years ago- especially the side along information on how to order the drumsticks so they would bring you a few, and not a few ‘plates’. Even the international cuisines here have molded together with the South Asian taste since people aren’t very welcoming towards trying out new things.


We Pakistanis love our tea, a sugary concoction made with more milk than water and so that is where I believe South Asians differ from the rest of the World. Two, or even three times a day, there is tea made, served, and drunk. I have never in my life liked milk tea, I don't understand why everyone is so obsessed with it, in fact, when everyone drinks their tea, I procure my (horrendously expensive) Twining's green tea bags and would rather sip the weight loss tea. So I can be exempt from the 'we' when it comes to tea drinking habits.

Yet during cramps, or sore throats, the same tea I detest is the only thing that brings me relief. At the start of the summer, when I moved to a relative's place for a couple of weeks once I drank tea multiple times in one day because of a bad backache. And I was given weird looks since I'm famous as a tea hater. Still, it worked, instantly- though the pain always returned in a few hours.