Devotees on their way to the Sufi shrine of Ali Hujwiri in Lahore. Every two minutes, the wife would lean over and ask, “Thak ta nai gy ho? Datta sahib any wala hai.” Are you feeling tired? Don’t worry, we are very close to the shrine of Datta sahib.(Faizan Ahmad)
Devotees on their way to the Sufi shrine of Ali Hujwiri in Lahore. Every two minutes, the wife would lean over and ask, “Thak ta nai gy ho? Datta sahib any wala hai.” Are you feeling tired? Don’t worry, we are very close to the shrine of Datta sahib.(Faizan Ahmad)

Essay: On Lahore by Metro, a photobook by Faizan Ahmad

Pakistan’s first photobook, comprising images shot entirely on the cellphone, features pictures taken on Lahore’s metro bus system over four years. The photographer writes about the experience
Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 01:52 PM IST

Lahore by Metro began as a series of uncharted conversations between fellow passengers. It is a project founded on a curiosity that rapidly grew into a collection of more than a hundred photos and conversations. I moved to Lahore from Basirpur, a small town in Punjab, Pakistan, in 2013 to pursue higher education, and began to take a bus ride to and from college every day. I was awestruck by the most modern transit system of the city. For the first few days, I would sit still and just admire the quality of the service and the fact that the buses were always on time.

Soon, I found myself engaging in conversation with simply anyone seated next to me. The origin of my book lies in the lasting impact their stories carried. The Metro Bus system plays host to a diverse group of people within the city. I always found a congregation of students around certain bus stations, such as the MAO station located beside the MAO college. Similarly, near the Datta Sahib station, I never failed to run into elderly passengers who were devotees on their way to pay their respects at the Sufi shrine of Ali Hujwiri. It was there that I photographed an elderly couple. Every two minutes, the wife would lean over and ask, “Thak ta nai gy ho? Datta sahib any wala hai.” Are you feeling tired? Don’t worry, we are very close to the shrine of Datta sahib.

180pp, $35; Self-published, Available at www.lahorebymetro.com
180pp, $35; Self-published, Available at www.lahorebymetro.com

As the bus drove through the Metro-specific double-carriage route that runs throughout the boroughs of Lahore, I realized that the people around me shared my fascination, the thrill of visiting a big city and the modern transit experience, as many of them were first-time commuters. I was often surprised when I received an honest answer from strangers in response to personal questions. One of my favourite pieces tells the story of a rickshaw driver who fell in love with a Christian woman in his mid-forties. Both had to struggle to make their relationship work and now live the life of their dreams.

These stories might not be worthy of prime time television but they are no less meaningful. They are beautiful reminders that we are all essentially the same, facing similar challenges of life in Pakistan. We can all recognize the struggle of a single mother of four, who fights her way to educating her sons every day by working at one of the stations. This book is dedicated to her and many others like her whose stories are worthy of being shared with the world.

Photographer Faizan Ahmad (Kaori Ono)
Photographer Faizan Ahmad (Kaori Ono)

This experience has transformed me into a storyteller. By the end of my four years at university, these daily bus rides took on all the familiarity of a ritual, yet they never grew dull or unexciting. Lahore by Metro is the culmination of all the moments spent waiting on a station platform, listening for the hydraulic hiss of the double doors, wondering who was waiting for me on the other side.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Myth, relations between India and China, and reflections on the identity of an ethnic group feature on this week’s list of good reads.(HT Team)
Myth, relations between India and China, and reflections on the identity of an ethnic group feature on this week’s list of good reads.(HT Team)

HT Picks: The most interesting books of the week

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:46 PM IST
This week’s list of compelling reads includes a collection of myth and folklore, an account of relations between India and China, and an anthology that reflects on the identity of an ethnic group displaced by Partition.
Close
Naipaul is not a contributor but his prickly presence can be sensed in the collection:VS Naipaul in a picture dated 9th November, 1968.(John Minihan/Getty Images)
Naipaul is not a contributor but his prickly presence can be sensed in the collection:VS Naipaul in a picture dated 9th November, 1968.(John Minihan/Getty Images)

Review: The Book of Indian Essays edited by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

By CP Surendran
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:36 PM IST
Many of the well-known essays in this anthology still look and feel new.
Close
Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni(Courtesy the publisher)
Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni(Courtesy the publisher)

Interview: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Author, The Last Queen

By Simar Bhasin
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:27 PM IST
The author says she wanted to present Queen Jindan Kaur, regent of the Sikh empire from 1843-46, and mother of the last Maharaja, Dalip Singh, in all her complexity and humanness
Close
Lalitha Lajmi with Yasser Usman, author of Guru Dutt; An Unfinished Story.(Yasser Usman)
Lalitha Lajmi with Yasser Usman, author of Guru Dutt; An Unfinished Story.(Yasser Usman)

Essay: Frozen in time and memory; Conversations with Guru Dutt’s sister

By Yasser Usman
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:27 PM IST
Yasser Usman writes about Lalitha Lajmi’s contribution to his book, on the film maker.
Close
Over the course of his career, spanning nearly fifty years, Archer has published over 37 titles and sold over 275 million copies around the world.(Wikimedia Commons )
Over the course of his career, spanning nearly fifty years, Archer has published over 37 titles and sold over 275 million copies around the world.(Wikimedia Commons )

Jeffrey Archer returns to HarperCollins in major three-book deal

ANI, New Delhi [india]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:17 PM IST
HarperCollins is delighted to announce a major three-book deal for World English Rights with internationally bestselling author Jeffrey Archer.
Close
William Shakespeare 's play Macbeth - Act I Scene III: The Three Witches. Artist: Richard Westall; engraver: Stow.(Getty Images)
William Shakespeare 's play Macbeth - Act I Scene III: The Three Witches. Artist: Richard Westall; engraver: Stow.(Getty Images)

Review: Weird by Olga Khazan

By Sankar Ray
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:09 PM IST
A semi theoretical look at weirdness that includes multiple types of outsider narratives.
Close
"I am a product of traditional India and its ancient wisdom, and modern India and its urban bustle. My upbringing was always an amalgamation of the two Indias, and, just as much, of East and West," the 38-year-old actor said in a statement.(Amazon)
"I am a product of traditional India and its ancient wisdom, and modern India and its urban bustle. My upbringing was always an amalgamation of the two Indias, and, just as much, of East and West," the 38-year-old actor said in a statement.(Amazon)

Priyanka Chopra Jonas' memoir 'Unfinished' to release in February

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 10:31 AM IST
Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas' long-awaited book debut, "Unfinished", will hit the bookshelves on February 9, publisher Penguin Random House India announced on Thursday.
Close
“The interest in the book is the result of a renewed desire to understand a U.S. that is in the midst of a civil cold war,” said Wang Wen, executive dean of Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies.(Bloomberg)
“The interest in the book is the result of a renewed desire to understand a U.S. that is in the midst of a civil cold war,” said Wang Wen, executive dean of Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies.(Bloomberg)

A $2,500 book on US decline is suddenly a must-read in China

Bloomberg, China
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2021 11:58 AM IST
After chaos engulfed the U.S. Capitol last week, some Chinese intellectuals found themselves searching for copies of an out-of-print book to make sense of events. “America Against America” forecast the U.S.’s decline due to domestic conflicts more than 30 years ago.
Close
A book on the effect of India’s lockdown, and volumes on two personalities - a forgotten freedom fighter, and an auteur of Hindi cinema -- are on this week’s list of recommended reads.(HT Team)
A book on the effect of India’s lockdown, and volumes on two personalities - a forgotten freedom fighter, and an auteur of Hindi cinema -- are on this week’s list of recommended reads.(HT Team)

HT Picks: The most interesting reads of the week

By HT Team | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 09:50 PM IST
This week’s reading list features a book on a forgotten freedom fighter who also did much for immigrant rights in the US, another on a legend of Hindi cinema, and a volume on the devastation the lockdown has wreaked on India’s poor
Close
Author Pallavi Raghavan(Courtesy HarperCollins)
Author Pallavi Raghavan(Courtesy HarperCollins)

Interview: Pallavi Raghavan, Author, Animosity at Bay: An Alternative History of the India-Pakistan Relationship

By Chintan Girish Modi | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 09:44 PM IST
We will have a calmer relationship with our history if we understand that the past cannot be used to justify and perpetuate the grievances of the present
Close
MS Subbulakshmi’s rendition did much to popularise the Venkatesa Suprabhatam.(HT Photo)
MS Subbulakshmi’s rendition did much to popularise the Venkatesa Suprabhatam.(HT Photo)

Review: Venkatesa Suprabhatam by Venkatesh Parthasarathy

By Rahul Jayaram | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 09:53 PM IST
This book on Venkatesa Suprabhatam, a famous morning prayer, gives us a close reading of the text, the discourses that inform it, its influence, and its many meanings
Close
“Mowgli’s story is so intriguing because it allows us to see a human child from the perspective of other species,’ says Alter, author of Feral Dreams: Mowgli & His Mothers.
“Mowgli’s story is so intriguing because it allows us to see a human child from the perspective of other species,’ says Alter, author of Feral Dreams: Mowgli & His Mothers.

A retelling of Jungle Book without the colonial baggage

By Paramita Ghosh | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 08:44 PM IST
Stephen Alter sets the Rudyard Kipling classic in a newly independent India, and has Mowgli, renamed Daniel, working at MIT.
Close
Death is inevitable, and yet passing over needn’t come as a surprise or scary chapter, as we’ve learnt from the 2017 film Coco.(IMAGE COURTESY PIXAR)
Death is inevitable, and yet passing over needn’t come as a surprise or scary chapter, as we’ve learnt from the 2017 film Coco.(IMAGE COURTESY PIXAR)

In a new book, insightful thoughts on readying for life’s final exam

By Dipanjan Sinha | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 07:36 PM IST
Arun Shourie’s Preparing: For Death offers advice on last days, and explores the end as an opportunity to move on rather than an occasion to fear.
Close
Siddhartha Lal at the roll-out of the first bike from the Oragadam plant in Tamil Nadu.(Photo courtesy Eicher Motors)
Siddhartha Lal at the roll-out of the first bike from the Oragadam plant in Tamil Nadu.(Photo courtesy Eicher Motors)

The Enfield journey: A new book explores a bumpy ride into history

By Paramita Ghosh | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 07:19 PM IST
Amrit Raj’s Indian Icon: A Cult Called Royal Enfield takes a look at the challenges and deft moves that have gone into building the motorcycle brand.
Close
Hawley has often been cited as possible future presidential candidate.(Associated Press)
Hawley has often been cited as possible future presidential candidate.(Associated Press)

Simon & Schuster drops book by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley

By Associated Press | Posted by Jahnavi Gupta | New York
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 05:55 PM IST
A planned book by Sen. Josh Hawley, who objected to President-elect Joe Biden’s win and backed baseless claims that the election was stolen, has been canceled by its publisher in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP