Basant A Lost Festival Of Lahore English Literature Essay

Basant, a meeting that represents the approaching of spring, a meeting that would gather people from all walks of life, a meeting that could cover the sky with colors, an event that would spread happiness ubiquitously. It had been celebrated with a lot of vigor, love and excitement in Punjab, but however this attractive and full of cheerfulness festival is now more of an historical event due for some unwise serves on part of illiterate, ignorant and reckless people. The ignorance of few has snatched away the delight of million others and deprived the country of a great cultural festival.

Basant is a centuries old cultural traditions of Punjab. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, all equally, celebrated it with great happiness and gusto. Yellow is the color of your day as it depicts the blossoming planting season blooms and the yellow mustard areas of Punjab. Ladies would wear yellow saris and dupattas whereas children would include yellowish turbans in their clothing. You can find no barriers of religions or different socio-economic course; everyone would get together and praise the day. Girls would can get on the swings and sing the customary Basant songs that reflected the liveliness and romance of life in Punjab. Kite-flying was one of the key activities on the day and there would be competitions among visitors to slice loose others' kites.

There cant be a much better place to observe this day than the ethnic and historic capital of Punjab, Lahore. Additionally it is known as extremely festive and the most happening city of Pakistan. During the February of almost each year the sky above Lahore is filled up with multi-colored kites during daytime and with white kites during the night. Words like Booo Kata, Patang, Pecha, Pinna and Charkhi can be been told just about everywhere. Music and party is just about everywhere and air is filled with the aroma of intoxicating traditional food. Many people are involved in this festival and all benefit from the spectacle of a huge selection of multi-colored kites filling the sky above their precious city of Lahore heralding the coming of a fresh spring. In the first days and nights Basant was limited to the old-walled city, however over recent past it has pass on to far corners of the town as well. Folks from different places observe this day in their unique style; some undertake it by flying kites while others get together and revel in traditional food and bhangra music. While I was exploring about Basant in Gwalmandi (area near old food avenue), I interviewed this young lad about age 15. I asked him what have you any idea about basant. He replied. . " jab hum patangein uratay hein. . " (the day when we take flight kites). AS I asked him about his preparations for that day, I used to be surprised to hear about his enthusiasm. He told me that he would start saving money from his pocket money 2-3 weeks before Basant. He'd use those personal savings to buy kites and strings and collect them before day of Basant. It is celebrated with great happiness in Lahore, as Daily Times expresses

"There's a lot of dash at kite outlets, especially in old Lahore as children and middle-aged men gathered to purchase a common coloured kites and string. Rehan, an intermediate college student said. . . the event was area of the city's culture, adding a volume of special meals were also ready for the occasion. Arsalan, a resident of the Walled City, said Basant was the function of shades and lighting, adding a number of individuals in his area got installed signals at their residences. He said "the party of kites in equipment and lighting" would be visible to everyone who look up at the sky".

Although Basant is famous throughout Pakistan, it is Lahore that made it popular around the globe as the greatest kite celebration. Revelers come from other cities and countries as well to experience that one of a sort event in the ethnical center of Punjab. They are simply interested either by family and friends or by different touring companies. I was seated with Mr Ivan Vrubel, a controlling director of an Polish company, at the Pearl Continental Hotels, when subject matter of Basant came up up. He acquired very thrilled and recalled his first basant in Lahore in the entire year 2004. I remember him expressing something along the lines of 'I emerged to Lahore for a meeting with my clients during feb 2004, after the meeting, they asked me to remain for the weekend for a few festivity called Basant. It was something not used to me but nonetheless I decided to stay. The next morning they chosen me from the visitor house and drove me to one of their relatives house in Iqbal Town. Everyone was at the rooftop, dressed up in bright colors, generally yellow and white. I got presented with a yellow shawl. The sound systems were participating in some sort of desi music, something I experienced never noticed before. The young were soaring kites and shouting Boo KAata after brief intervals. On the attributes a buffet was place with plenty of desi foods. Being the meals lover that I am, whenever I got the opportunity I would set you back the dining tables and pick up something to consume. Everything was simply delightful. We danced and shouted before dusk. It had been something I've never experienced, natural Lahori Culture. Since that time I have already been arriving to Lahore for the festival. . "

Upon requesting a local traveler company who accommodate such outsiders, I could get my hands on one with their schedules in 2010 2010 basant mela. On the first day guests will be greeted at the air-port in traditional style and then they will be taken to the hotels with proper guides describing them about the event in basant. Once they reach the hotels, they will be welcomed by ethnical troupe serving them Lasi. Later they will be served with tradition array of food in Punjabi Cultural atmosphere. Following the food they will be taken to the old walled city to witness the night time kite-flying and illuminate vibrant, historical monuments and balconies. On the second day arrangements are created in lawns. The receptionists at the lawns will decorate the delegates with yellow scarves and Gajras (Bangles made with flowers). After the reception they'll be interested with Punjabi food. After the breakfast, a kite traveling competition will be organized and friends will discover free kites and strings. Through out the day, there will be performances by cultural troupe and famous folk performers. There will be display of dancing horses and jhumars. During the night, you will see a tonga trip to the meals Street where guests will enjoy the meals at the Punjabi Food Celebration. At last there will be a tour on Bugees of Lahore avenues at night, after which the delegates will be taken back again to the hotels.

Although Basant brings much enjoyment and positivity to the city, over the recent years it gained factor of controversy producing a ban from the government. The ban was due to several deaths of innocent residents triggered by glass-coated or material strings. The families of the victims requested the Supreme Courtroom to ban this sport once and for all. These were also successful to a great scope when the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Shehbaz Sharif, signed up with their cause. In one of his declaration on the problem he said, " We cannot allow people to play with the lives of standard individuals in the name of sport". Afterwards a new twist was added to their protest when some associates of the hardline extremist Muslim Jamaat-e-Islami party declared that the celebration was initiated in the memory of haqiqat rai who was simply hanged for blaspheming against our precious Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). As a result of this assertion thousand of Muslims in the town started protesting from the event. An advocate of Lahore High Court docket, MD Tahir, argued that lots of dangers, like the kite strings and vitality breakdowns, resulted from kite soaring. Because of this the kite soaring was restricted in Pakistan in 2005. And since that time basant is a bone of contention between two different communities, one in favor of basant while the second against it. Several liberal imagination like Salman Taseer voted and only basant at several occasions. Within an interview to the press at governor house in 2009 2009 he said Basant was an important part of Punjab's culture and it ought to be celebrated as a huge social event, therefore, he'd celebrate the festivity and available the gates of the Governor House for general public who wish to sign up for him. His affirmation experienced several severe criticisms. Statistics like Ahmed Salman Baloch, the president of company Lahore, condemned the ex-governer and they warned him of besieging the Governor House if such celebrations were carried out.

Those who advocate the ban of Basant base their quarrels on several factors. First in-line are the Deadly wires used by some ignorants. These wire connections are coated with glass or are constructed of metal. These brings about thousands of fatalities each season. People have been shouting for ban of such strings however the police, who is already failing to control the increasing street crime, hasn't done anything to stop the illegal developing and sales of the dangerous strings. But these metallic cables are not the sole problem they reference to. Most buffs of Basant are through to their roofs flying kites but however thousands of homes in Lahore do not have guard railings that can prevent people from dropping. This brings us to their second argument; the insecure rooftops creating several deaths. During the celebration, people are so indulged in kite traveling that often they forget about their safety and often go beyond the safe areas in pursuit of something that might even eliminate their lives. Their third discussion is that Basant is for the rich only as it brings nothing but grieves and hassle for the poor. On the day of Basant people driving bicycles and motorcycles are most unsafe as the constant threat of sharpened strings cutting their throats haunts them. The other day I met a avenue hawker selling Gol Gappas, we experienced talking about his daily sales and stuff. I noticed it as a perfect opportunity to take his view on Basant. He was flabbergasted at the mention of that subject shouting " Sahib bohat bari laanat hai yeh Basant 2 saal pehlay mera bhanja motorcycle pe ja raha tha aur is thandi ki waja se us ka gala kat gaya"(sir, Basant is a curse. . 2 yrs ago my nephew died after his throat was cut by this string). It really is unfair for those belonging to a low socio-economic course. Some even think that its like stating, " unless you own an automobile, too bad - you cant venture out". Another wicked that prevails on Basant is Aerial Firing. Some ill-mannered people, not caring about the consequences of their activities, fire a huge selection of bullets in to the sky. They do that basically for the pleasure of defeating anyone in the kite-flying competition or maybe for the sake of showing off. Several people lost their lives when those bullets on their way back to ground pierced right through their skulls. Another reason behind their hatred was the electricity breakdowns triggered by those metal strings. It could result in hours of blackout and the complete town suffered from electricity loss for hours. The Lahore Electric Source Company, which boasts Basant costs it 180, 000 in lost earnings and destroyed equipment yearly Finally, they oppose Basant on spiritual basis. As explained already, some feel that basant is celebrated in the recollection of any Hindu who was hanged for blasphemy. Since almost all of the populace of Lahore is Muslim, these were able to get quite a sizable vote upon this point.

On the other hand there's a group who are in favor of this festival. They can be more liberal towards the whole issue of celebrating Basant. Characters claim that there are damaging effects of the ban enforced by the government on the industry. Basic secretary of Lahore Kite Traveling Association, Sheikh Muhammad Saleem, said that almost 500000 individuals are straight or indirectly related to the kite traveling business. The business has grown during the last few years to a massive Rs 500 Mil industry. The expense of the paper used in kite making is projected at around Rs 110 million and the price tag on the string is predicted at around Rs 60 million. The process of kite making involves around Rs 70 million. He added ' I know a lot of individuals who have discontinued this business and are now doing labor. . . People from different countries thronged the city to remember the mela rooftops of most hotels were booked and everyone from berry vendors to pan sellers, all felt the economic growth"Muhammad Siddique, a kite seller in Gwalmandi, was working as a laborer. " I never thought that my business could be ruined such as this and I would turn into a labourer. " he said, adding, 'although it was a seasonal business, I used to earn much more in a single season than I do working for the whole season as a laborer. " Apart from economic aspects of the festival, there have been other benefits as well. On this day friends and individuals gather to commemorate the entrance of spring and coil. Everyone relishes those scrumptious foods and the Bhangra music. Upon requesting about Basant, Mrs. Sameen, a 36 calendar year old housewife and citizen of DHA, replied, "I miss Basant, we used to go to my parent's devote Model Town on the night time of Basant my dad made all the preparations for BBQ children would soar kites while others would benefit from the meals and chit chats on view airI wish somehow we're able to do that again. "

As mentioned preceding Basant helped bring a lot of tourism to Pakistan as it portrayed a positive image of the country across the world. Folks from countries like USA, Great britain, UAE, Canada, Germany and France used to come quickly to Lahore to take pleasure from the basant mela. This inflow of holidaymakers during the planting season season had a collateral effect on the other businesses as well. For instance, the hoteling and restaurant businesses experienced a surge in customers that designed increased revenues for the aforementioned sectors. Aside from this, such tourists also visited other historic sites of Lahore like the Lahore fort, badshahi mosque and food road which brought revenues to the local businesses. "Since 9/11, people think Pakistanis are terrorists but it's not true. We live a liberal, fun-loving people, " said Syed Zulfiqar Hussain, the organiser of the event. He quotes that Basant brings 20m into Punjab. Owner of an area restaurant, Mr Bilal Tanweer told me within an interview that through the three months of the basant season he used to witness a surge in sales due to tourists who used to invest big bucks during their getaways. However with the passage of time and diminishing basant festivities, there has been a declining trend in the abroad tourists and hence his business has been struggling.

Based on the main one to one interviews and the research carried out, it is obvious that the ban on Basant should be lifted due to its detrimental results on the market as well as the culture of the town. In times like these when Pakistan is going through a critical situation, wherever one see one discovers some news that's not very pleasing, media like bomb blasts, murders of innocents or price hikes, one can use some days and nights to divert his mind away from such events. Occurrences like Basant could focus on such needs of Pakistani land. Apart from that Basant has been area of the abundant Lahori Culture for many years. Since the medieval times, Basant was recognized and celebrated by the Chishti saints. Nizamuddin Auliya of delhi converted it into an act of devotion, and Amir Khusrau's tunes captured the multi-layered development of this celebration. Punjabi poets such as Shah Hussain offered a Sufi flavour to it. Hussain, in one of his Kaafis, says: 'The Dearest supports the string in his palm and I am His kite. " The festival offers a interpretation to all and sundry: from playful kids to fans and Sufis; from profit-seekers who developed livelihoods throughout the basant mela to the community as a whole. Basant was never an "unislamic" celebration. Every individual of the modern culture, regardless of the fact that they are Muslims, Hindus or Sikhs, as all neighborhoods prior to partition celebrated it, should rejoice it. Aman Ullah Khan Arman in his book "Urs Aur Melay" released in 1959 by Kitab Manzil Lahore, creates: "Basant is a seasonal celebration of Indo-Pak sub-continent and it does not have any religious bearings. Basant is the herald of the spring and coil and it is celebrated in winter"

Efforts should be produced to make this festivity as peaceful and safe as is possible. All of the necessary solution should be taken to avoid any kind of casualty. Bicycles should be made safe with antinas, wire connections or safety displays as it was suggested in 2009 2009 and 2010. This would eliminate the danger of deaths by pointed glass covered strings. Although this may add a little to the expenditures of the rider but hey, there is nothing costly than one's life. If possible the government should supply the general public with such rods and increase public recognition regarding their safety. Aside from these rods, the material strings used in kite soaring should be managed. Rigid bans should be enforced on their production and who ever before violates regulations should be imprisoned and greatly punished. Matching to a survey there are two companies that manufacture such dangerous strings that threaten life. The problem is definitely not kite-flying or the happening; it's the lethal string that amputates anything it comes in contact with. Lahore Kite Flying Relationship should standardize the sort of twine or string allowed to be utilized on Basant. If this is done with success, no matter how big the kite is made, the string will never cut anyone's throat. Apart from those producing the material strings, the user of such strings should also be made responsible and their activities relinquished. This might avoid the electricity loss during Basant and millions of rupees in loss encountered by LESCO. The Aerial firing must be halted as it wiped out several innocents in previous years. It can be easily done if the authorities is given some specialists. It had been done previously in 2009 2009 by Shahbaz Sharif, so that it can be carried out again. To safeguard young children yet others from dropping from roofs, adults must supervise them or when possible the kite flying tournaments should be assemble in open up grounds. Ahsan Irfan is a 23 yr old scholar of Punjab University who injured his arm in a tumble from a roof structure while soaring a kite in 2006. He said 'I am saddened that Basant has been suspendedit is a helpful activity and we ought to be given a chance to relax and distract ourselves from all the miserable things going on in the country right now". I recall that when 7 years back I arrived to Lahore for Basant with my children, we visited the Competition Course Earth on Jail Street. We were supported some family friends from Upper Shopping mall and Johar Town. It had been a beautiful day. I found colors everywhere I viewed in the bottom. From a 4 time old to a 75-year-old person, everyone was show celebrate the Event of colors. It had been so peaceful. If Basant is organized in such grounds, it might give an chance to everyone to enjoy Basant within an undisturbed and peaceful manner spreading nothing but happiness.

Basant should be celebrated with all the zest and energy. Everyone is swept up in the soul and activities of the event. Maybe it is because all one really had a need to celebrate is an extended string and a kite. All over the place one looks, one can find people attired and furnished in a palette of colors. It can help more like treatment in revitalizing a fresh spirit to refresh the annoyed hearts and so to add all the strength and energy to the life span of people ridden with politics instability and strife. Basant affiliates to an astonishing and significant raise to the economy and ways to place Lahore pleased on the cultural map of the world. Although India has been seeking to adapt the festival for quite some time now but the truth is that Basant is actually a Lahori custom that runs inside our blood. "Kite soaring is my love, I am crazy about kite traveling and I'll do what ever it takes to revive this happening, " says an 18-year-old fan. This is one celebration people enjoy irrespective of the suffocating shackles of communal or economic course. It yields huge revenues for the government without costing much. The federal government should announce Basant in advance so that individuals from around the globe can make ideas and manage the security arrangements because the ban on Basant is a superb cultural reduction to Lahore also to Pakistan generally, and with the ban on Basant in its 7th year, the location is a poorer place.

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