With the onset of winter, Lahore not only takes on a more pleasant view but the force of the vaunted Lahori summer is also decisively shaken. As such mornings are beautiful while the evenings are a sight to behold. What has made the drop in mercury more welcome is that there has also been a drop in the daily infections from COVID-19 due to which even a casual stroll across any Lahore thoroughfare as evening approaches will reveal the gradually increasing agglomerations of traffic.
Even more welcome with the onset of winter is the steep return and rise of cultural activities, for which the city is justly famous. Two recent developments affecting Lahore have recently been announced. Firstly, the chairperson of Lahore Arts Council Muneeza Hashmi announced earlier this week that with the approaching winter and lesser infections from COVID-19, soon various cultural activities will be held to celebrate the elevation of Lahore in 2019 by UNESCO as a ‘City of Literature’.
Secondly, the Punjab government has approved the first-ever Punjab Culture Policy of 2021 after a gap of 11 years to revive and protect cultural heritage of the province and to promote cultural activity for economic, social and spiritual as well as personal well-being of the people of Punjab. The policy has widened the scope of culture from dance, singing and other performing arts to codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, art, norms of behaviour and system of beliefs. The policy promotes libraries, book culture and reading habits.
Furthermore, in a separate development, in a bid to continue commemorating Lahore’s icons, the civil society, led by a non-government organisation, plans to install four plaques today (Sunday): the philanthropist Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, the journalist Maulana Zafar Ali, the playwright Agha Hashar Kashmiri and classical musician Bade Ghulam Ali will be so honoured. All these exciting developments promise that the coming winter in Lahore would be an eventful and enjoyable one for the citizens of this historic city after a long lull due to the depredations of COVID-19.