Hun Lahore Ae!

My university campus was a good few sectors away from our home in Islamabad. I had to first take a bus to Karachi Company (G-9) and then a wagon from there to F-10. The second part of the commute was interesting.

The wagons, almost always Toyota Hiace, embark from this station in G-9. And even though they were smaller than the coaster buses, it used to take a fair amount of time for them to fill up.

The conductors preferred that the wagons left the station only when full. Sometimes they did use to leave with a couple of seats vacant. They would go with the door open, in that case and pick remaining passengers along the way.

Every conductor had a signal for the driver to go full-throttle once the wagon was full. This one guy, who unlike others was always in a joyous mood for no reason, had a very particular signal.

“Hun Lahore ae!*” he would shout, informing the driver that everything was at peace, the wagon was full.

* We are in Lahore now!

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Dear Sohail Sahib,

Apologies that this note isn’t about the very charming post “Hun Lahore Ae”, though I liked it very much. I lived in Islamabad for about a year (1985-86) and half and traveled in some of those wagons myself.

After quite some time I tried to visit Folk Punjab website, only to find that it has been shut down. This has saddened me a lot.

Your website helped me rediscover my maan boli “Punjabi” once more through the Sufiana Kalam that you had posted on the website. I downloaded quite a few of those and almost always play them when driving. This journey of re-discovery started from accidental listening of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s “Oh Disdi” qwali and is still ongoing.

I can’t ask you to continue to do something that you don’t find useful anymore. Just want to thank you for the hard work you did to put it together and how it made me appreciate the beauty of Punjabi language.

I will always miss Folk Punjab. Wish I could talk or meet you sometime. Please feel free to reply to my email if you want.

Thanks a lot, one more time.

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