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The Redeeming Whore

Nostalgia, even for its Hira Mandi, doesn't recapture the vitality Partition robbed this city of

The Redeeming Whore
Sanjoy Ghosh
The Redeeming Whore
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
"Lahore—the ancient whore, the handmaiden of dimly remembered Hindu kings, the courtesan of Moghul Emperors, bedecked and bejeweled, savaged by marauding hordes. Healed by the caressing hands of successive lovers. A little shoddy... like an attractive but ageing concubine, ready to bestow surprising delights on those who cared to court her—proudly displaying Royal gifts," writes Bapsi Sidhwa in her introduction, quoting from one of her earlier books, A Pakistani Bride. I have not come across a more eloquent and befitting eulogy for a city.

‘La Whore’ is a characteristic that gave this city its vitality, its ability to overcome whatever the circumstances and above all to resurrect itself. It may have also infused in its inhabitants an unusual obsession to seek solace and rejuvenation in its red light district. In fact, no eulogy of Lahore is considered complete without Hira Mandi, its glorified brothel zone. This book is no exception. Incidentally, Hira Mandi is named not after a diamond market as it is popularly assumed but after Raja Hira Singh, a favourite of...

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