We all know where to find food in Lahore. But what if we are looking for happiness? Does a metropolis with endless modes of transport host a train to unconditional happiness or are we too busy in our nine to fives to look for it? Even if we took out the time, where will we find it?
Growing up in the streets of Old Lahore, I may have found it where you weren’t even looking. Happiness is in the eyes of the child on a wooden cart trying to trap a fly in a plastic bag, it is in the smile of the little girl eating a jalebi on a bicycle, or in the gaze of a little girl admiring her brand new shoes. My heroes are these people hidden in plain sight.The ones that paint optimism on the gloomiest of days. The ones with unconditional happiness.
This Ramzan I wanted to go back to this unconditional source of happiness and see if we could replicate it for ourselves. The task was tricky as we had to blend in the children’s world to make them comfortable. We started brainstorming and decided to play dress up. Fortunately, we weren’t the only ones excited about the cause. Nadia from Makyaaj, Kites Kid Wear and Seap by Sanaa Arif joined hands with us and we set out on our mission!
We started touring the streets and picked out these heroes.
Razia is a timid girl who couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of dress up. She held on to my hand until i took her to the dressing room hoping I don’t leave her behind. I couldn’t have either ways. I mean look at that smile!
Omar is too composed for his age. His bubbly smile and succinct replies intrigued everyone.
Fajar is a princess that dares to dream. She is naughty and definitely knows how to pose!
Wasif Loves cricket and posing is a tough job for him. He is not too big on conversation either!
Fatima and Rimsha
These two managed to dodge me for the before shots because who wants a photo without being dressed up? I realised that once i saw them hiding behind the dressing table giggling. Seeing the amount of happiness it gave them, I didn’t want to upset the status quo!
This gentlemen here is my new best friend! Dress up was too boring for him so he just walked around with me looking for balloons. He loves guns and his imagination is better than most of us!
One thing that we didn’t hope to learn was that the source of happiness for these magicians isn’t money. Its happiness itself! I specifically show before after shots to prove the point asserted. Urban culture doesn’t make these children happy, simplicity does. The clothes do make them look sassy though!