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Dating Scene in Pakistan: There Are No Discos in Lahore

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Tehman Lall is a young, Lahore-based MBA student.

Tehman, it is Question Time Pakistan. You have dated girls. Confess.

No, but I really need to and should!

Liar! I saw you in Shalimar Gardens. You were holding hands with a woman.

Take a break, Mayank. You are seeing things, but yes, Shalimar Gardens is the place. It is a good haunt for middle-class doves. Hey, add Lawrence Gardens, Race-Course Park, and Model Town Park, too, in the list.

Public parks for middle-class doves! Interesting – What about the rich-papa kids? Discos?

There are no discos in Lahore, but right mood, food and style are important to the moneyed lovebirds. Cafes and restaurants at Gulberg and Defense are wildly popular, but do you know the most happening and intimate hideout?

I'm all ears.

The lush-green Jallo Park near Wagah at India-Pakistan border remains a favorite – for all classes. It is situated slightly away from the Lahore city, a good thing since it keeps you away from the prying eyes of uncles and aunties.

Then there is always your car! Couples like isolated, dimly lit parking lots and streets in Defense, Gulberg, and Model Town. Sadly, Lahore Police are always on a sniff out.

Pray, why?

Apparently, prostitution is making inroads in these areas as well, with similar techniques and methods, if you please!

Oh, I thought Heera Mandi was the place for that. Hey Tehman, do you tell your Mom and Dad before going to meet your girl?

Let's not talk of my folks, buddy. I think most parents are no longer naive about these issues. Nowadays they try too hard to limit their children's social exposure, especially towards the opposite sex. I guess parents do get that "sinking feeling" when their kids start spending too much time on cell-phones, with friends, and on Internet chat sites.

If they could be a little less smart… Now, don’t think I’m referring to you, but do your close friends hold hands in malls and parks – making a nice show for the rest of the people?

I know people who've tried smooching and the sorts in cars and parks. I also know people who've seen that. Does that answer your odd query?

Yes, thanks. Tehman, you are a boy, she is a girl. You look at her. You wanna talk to her. So will you go and say hello to her?

Huff, not that easy, dude! You have to understand there is a diverse mix of young adults in Pakistani society, ranging from ultra-conservatives to ultra-modernized. Mostly, boys and girls keep their distance. It is not like you could just walk up to the girl and start singing to her.

However, I've heard of instances, generally in the Defense Housing Society, of complete strangers getting to know each other in music stores. Isn't that interesting?

Very fascinating. How is the scene in colleges?

Things are relaxed in numbered colleges and universities, which are mostly private and cater to the largely affluent students.

The government colleges have a very conservative culture, but boys and girls interact even there. Given the uncalled interference of the extremist Islamic student bodies there, the mel-milaap (interaction) is on a very basic level. However, forget about the dating. It is difficult to be friendly with girls when such "watchdogs" are around.

In universities, though, both boys and girls obviously have to learn to interact with each other. From my personal experience I can say it is tough. Worse, in my university, we have segregated post-graduate classes for men and women. Damn!

Tehman, do you feel dating is a result of over-exposure to Hollywood flicks?

Not at all, but unfortunately it is believed to be by many. I feel we are social and sexual beings, and interaction between the sexes is extremely important for our growth as individuals, as a society and for a mobilized youth.

Don’t trends like dating and pre-marital sex run counter to the Pakistani culture?

Perhaps it does. That is why most of the middle-class households, apart from conservatives of course, remain against it. They believe it is an amreekan concept and that the young are being morally corrupted by such liberation.

So watching Friends and Desperate Housewives is not good for us after all?

Mayank, I'm not sure if that really matters. I've spent time with both the ultra-old-fashioned and the ultra-modern young boys and girls, and I fear I spotted no "traditional values" in either of them.

I have also met youngsters who are quite traditional, aware of their roots, culture, and beliefs and yet have no qualms interacting with the opposite sex in a mature and healthy manner. Some of them are fully aware of the western lifestyle but still do not seem to be influenced by the cable culture.

I wonder what you mean by "mature and healthy manner". Now Tehman, don't make a face, please. I was only joking. Thanks for chatting.

Be good and get a life, Mayank!

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About Mayank Austen Soofi

  • abir

    well im strongly against dating as as religion and our society does not allow this at all.and im amazed how people can say that mixing of opposite sexes is a healthy thing,just look at the western society and their problems and the depression rate that they have, this is the consequence of this so called healthy sex behavior,their family system is almost dead and the most unfortunate thing is that some of pakistani people also seem to be impressed by this culture but this is just because they dont have the proper knowledge,freedom at the expense of respect cannot be accepted and by the way what does they mean by freedom?

  • STM

    “their family system is almost dead”

    What utter nonsense.

  • Aku

    “their family system is almost dead”

    Wow, what colossal ignorance. This might, MIGHT, be true of certain parts of Europe, but not for the Majority of the West, especially America. The adoption of Dating in the Far East, has not lead to this type of collapse of the family system either.

  • STM

    It’s not even true for parts of Europe … as you say, it shows colossal ignorance and is typical of the type of rubbish that is drip-fed to people in certain parts of the world who’d like to believe this is true. No wonder we all feel like we are bashing our heads against brick walls when it comes to this type of nonsense. The first casualty of a war of words is truth.

  • abir

    ‘family system of Europe is almost dead’
    wel it is a general feeling among most of the Europeans about their family system it is not my innovation and i had a full research on it and if it is drip-fed then this is by Europeans themselves,just have a look at ur own statistics

  • Generalizing alltogether has never really proved to be of any good. I wouldn’t agree that all European families have lost their sense of values, but living in Europe, I think I can state that their lifestyle does not allude to what is written in The Bible, Torah or Qur’an, for that matter. I live in Denmark and the majority of Danes are athiests, not leaving any space for decisions taken on account of religion. You do what you feel is ‘right’, and whatever is ‘right’ for them, may not be construed as right for people with other beliefs. My point is that, they have a different lifestyle, that definitely does not coincide with the Muslim way of living, and I believe that should be all right. For them. The Pakistani society does not welcome this lifestyle, and that’s just the way it is. No need to be rebellious and be ‘Western’ because it all comes down to one cold hard fact: You will always be categorized as ‘them’. Dating or no dating.

  • shan

    in Islam, making sex or meeting like clubs and pubs bare or covered, is not allowed and we are proud to b islamic…

  • i want to talk to a girl in lahore who wants to date with me.

  • time out dudes what pakistan are you talking about a muslim state whith no islamic morrels whereprostitution alcohol rape drugs and robberys are rife different rules for people whithmony different rules for the poor.

    i used to live in europe was broght up and bourn there thebig differenceis the religion and notting else pakistan a supposadly islamic state white muslim holdings and a common bongade of brother hood yeh im my dreams

    the west there morels and values are not basedonthere religion they are based on freedom of movement and free speach so basicaly they can shag who they want and drink what theywantnever go to church and still celabrate cristmass even thow they are athists

    as for pakistanis what do theydo look to the west as a role model then lock the kids in thehouse saying theygone bad every hose has a telly where the family sits andwhaches indian moves and dramas about sex and dating dayin day out where the elders of the family whach mugerey whith there frends this is the trend i begger to thing what will happen in another 10 years time when girs will be comeing home pregnantand bastard will be given to theorphanages or some sort of back ally abortions will becommon place thise country is only influenced by the usa and the uk thats allthe goverment is moveing toward that is what theyounger generation are and have accepted ask a kid to count iyk tho teen chaar and he like im lost one two tree comes easy exactly like the bpacket of condoms at every paan shop pulled of and cuked aouside the gate of a mosque or my house thise is the real pakistan i was so happy to move hear permanantly 3 years don the line im dying to leave.

  • azad

    how can i discuss with a person who is mently sik ? his used language shows his stander of morals which he learned from a the socity he feels proud of that socity and culture.there is no thing wrong with Pakistan ,we are the only wrong,we now how to negatively criticise but never try to contribute as much as we can for our mother land.

  • sadia

    name sadia
    quallification bsc
    from multan
    searching a sincear friend who support me
    i am 20 year old,
    i you like sincear friendship [Personal contact info deleted]
    wish you all the best
    Allah Hafi

  • Gohar..;)

    Ummmm… Wht the hEck is GoIn oN TehMAn…

    u tiLl didn’t got any so caLled GAL…:P




  • imran rafiq

    only date for sex i m 27 but i like old women sex i m doing job as accountant

  • imran rafiq

    i m lahore doing job as accountant i m 27 i like sex old women

  • nadeem

    Hi sadia

  • nadeem

    Sadia from multan [Personal contact info deleted]. I m from pak but now i m in ireland.

  • ali adil

    im searching honest lover who will b my best friend nd hope she will b my wife.