Aren’t we all oblivious to what is around us, missing what is in our immediate vicinity while dreaming of some far off land?
I certainly felt that acutely when I visited Lahore this time.
Although I have been visiting the city since I was a little girl, I had not once ventured into the Walled City or Androon Lahore. This time, due to a new found love of photography I determined to visit just that hallowed place- Delhi Darwaza and Wazir Khan Mosque.
Crossing the River Ravi itself was an experience. The legendary expanse took my breath away. Along the way were the people of the city with a zest for life, unfazed by the relentless sun that blazed down on their heads.
But more of them at a later date! Today is all about the mosque, the mosque, the mosque!
The entrance through the historic Delhi Gate is dark, warm and welcoming. The hustle and bustle of the living market transported me to another world. The honking of the rickshaws, the aroma of spices and tobacco, the colours of fluttering scarves engulfed my senses.
On I ploughed, through the rickshaws and motorcycles, bumping and rubbing shoulders with chaadar-clad ladies and squealing children. My head was covered too as I felt the weight of history, of the centuries of lives lived amongst these streets and the words and thoughts and feelings of those millions who had passed there before me.
And then, from out of this reverie arose a dream- a minaret that towered over the heads of all of us minions. How inconsequential we appeared just then, in the shade of this ode to a higher power. For that is exactly what the Wazir Khan Mosque is. A silent testimonial to the Almighty with all the colours and beauty He has bestowed on us.
As I entered the large courtyard of the mosque I was smitten by its quiet grace. Every angle had new secrets to reveal. It was as if the designer was saying, it is the disparate parts that make the whole, so let us revel in our differences and look for the Creator in all things.
The pictures I took do scant justice to the mosques ambience and air of complacent beauty. They will merely give you the impetus to perhaps visit it one day. So that you may experience the sheer wonder that I did, and which I will carry, etched in my heart forever.
The Wazir Khan Mosque took seven years to build during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan by the governor of Lahore, Hakim Sheikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari. It contains some of the best Kashani tile work from the Mughal period and is famous for its extensive faience tile work. (Wikipedia)