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Hira Mandi
November, 1989 Ayesha

Hira Mandi

Lahore, Pakistan

Hira Mandi, a neighborhood on the east of the Badshahi Mosque, is (literally) the diamond market. But at night it turned into another type of 'diamond' market. By 10 P.M. the narrow streets were crammed with strolling men, cruising, looking for action, Pakistani style. Only men . . . and of course, in the business establishments, were the 'natch' (dancing) girls. A remnant of a bygone age.

The girls in all shades of satins and silks. Sparkley in sequins. Filmy Punjabi shalwar kameez and smoky flowing gossamer thin dupattas. Heavily made-up and glittering golden bejewelled. Sitting in upper-story windows and balconies, looking down, looking enticing, the men walking below, gazing up at them longingly. Some would beckon coyly with surma rimmed eyes sparkling, their red voluptuous lips mouthing unheard half-imagined words of encouragement. The houses lean half-hazardly against one another. Stairways and dimly lit passageways leading to the various rooms. Downstairs the musicians would be warming up. Mostly tabla, dholak, harmonium, and tambourine. And the shimmering sounds of the 'ghungrughan' (leather leggings covered with rows of small shinny brass bells, fastened to the dancing girls ankles). With graceful arched feet the girls stomped out the rhythms, dancing to the accompaniment of the pounding drums. Fat madames sitting on plush cushions, faces painted, ostentatious rings on corpulent fingers, silver filigreed paan boxes by their sides, watched the doorways for potential customers.

By 11:30 the dancing started. The hypnotizing beat of the drums and dholaks mixing and carrying down the streets. In front of the houses, the drone of the harmoniums would be heard. The fronts of the houses, open on the bottom floor, were brightly lit behind veils and curtains of transparent gauze like fabrics of all hues. The street became a surging press of humanity, predominately male. Vendors, beggars, food, lights, and colours. Cars slowly squeezing between the massed people. The pounding of drums, and the ringing of bells. Money changers on the street with their glass-covered card table size cases, filled with wads of crisp new rupee notes. Ones, fives, and tens, held together with thin rubber bands stretched to the breaking point, where you could change money to shower the dancing girls, the key to keep them spinning.

This is an excerpt taken from the first chapter of my book, 'Some Time On the Frontier-A Pakistan Journal' You can find it here http://www.pbase.com/noorkhan/image/78226038

I haven't hung out in Hira Mandi since this photo was taken, but it was already changing (into something less exotic) by the early 90's.


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search engine submissions 22-May-2013 19:32
OTH kicks ass! omg i love the show and i know everything about it .. lol anyways love the show. .michelle
Hera 08-May-2013 07:30
Heramande move com
Hasan 05-Jan-2013 17:06
Hi am hasan i .want a girl.am littl boy
Guest 02-Apr-2012 10:22
hi frendz
my name is tahir and iam living in Lahore occupation is Girl sale and buy
I have uniqe variety u will not ever seen like Misri Girls are Availaible
and also afghani girls at suitable rate
address
main hera mandi lahore
call me at 0346-9087316
Noor Khan11-Oct-2011 20:29
No! LOL... that is not my business.
Guest 10-Oct-2011 04:57
hi noor send me any call girl number 03219155173
Guest 12-Sep-2011 18:54
Rizwan from multan shujabad yeha pr kio lahore ka khubsurt aur histrical manzar deakhe den
ahmed 09-Jun-2010 04:42
i want 1 girl for time pass so me information at my email adress
Amir 09-Feb-2010 22:56
Hello,How are you.i hope you will be fine, i need for girls, some time pass, please contact me 03056640484,
420 18-Aug-2009 18:01
heera mandi must champa house iam stay in america and iam sialkoti
Guest 25-Jan-2009 17:45
great information and a fantastic literature review for us as a student of media if we want to do any reseach.....and your are good ethongraph...
Noor Khan24-Aug-2008 13:47
Bigboss,
You must be from/or in Pakistan?
A 'westerner' would never call this a sexy photo.
bigboss 24-Aug-2008 11:05
sexy pics upload this website
Noor Khan10-Jul-2008 02:30
Most of my Lahore snaps are of the 'other' side.
Guest 09-Jul-2008 21:46
Its the dark side of lahore. I think that we should project the better side.
Hodero13-Apr-2008 20:41
As I said,..you are better than Khaled Hussaini;much more of a poet.
Big V my friend.
Eldar Kadymov11-Apr-2008 16:35
I don't believe the dancing was the only entertainment offered by this place, there should've been something else after... fascinating story and your language disclose you as a poet, whether with pulwar or bazuka...
Guest 15-Oct-2007 05:07
its time to change the system.
b'coz nobody like dis type of life>
atif 07-Sep-2007 05:38
this web is very good
Guest 05-May-2007 12:39
Too Old Photo coz I can see still One Rupee!
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