Poet is a restaurant situated in the heart of Lahore, no, not in Gulberg, in the actual Lahore city, the one that has been since a lot more than just a couple of 100 years. It is in the Allama Iqbal Park, next to the Minar-e-Pakistan or the Monument of Pakistan, and the Badshahi Mosque, as well as the Lahore Fort.
Apart from many heritage sites, a completely glowed up infrastructure, live music and not-so-bad food it was a great experience. The chandeliers were rich and fancy, two fort guards welcomed my family by making way with their extra large spears, and the dinner was followed by an extra-ass water show called the dancing waters, not half as bad as the Bath and Body Works fragrance, and then they gave us a tour of the whole park on Go Carts and Buggies, that basically summed the whole experience and turned it into some exotic holiday memory.
It made me feel like I was some princess from a glorious royal family, strolling in the royal gardens, it was picturesque, it was beautiful, it was surreal. It was dreamy and clean, which public area ever is? But, this was amazing.
It was like an island away from the city, silent and magical in the nights twilight and the beautiful rain. I was mesmerized.
I came home and realized, ‘What the Bloody fuck’!
The entire zone is a tourist place for both locals and foreign tours, of all classes, colors, and creed. The local and historic attractions make it a welcomed and appealing spot for everyone. But, when we were to enter the gate of the park, the 3rd gate, the guard asked why did we want to enter?
And we answered, to go to The Poet. Unless someone wants to spend a lavish 1500 rs+ per head, take out a good 3-4 hours, deal with the horrible service to have okay food, you can not enter the area. Well, to be fair there was Bundu Khan as well, but, either you buy food from them, or you go home, sweetie, because there ain’t no other way to enter the cleaner zones of the park, there is no top-notch family-safe service for you to caddy around and roam the park, especially at night. Do you want to visit the lake? You can not unless you have been to the exotic holiday experience because that is how capitalism works.
It was a beautiful cultural, historic and modern experience at the same time, but it came with a price tag, not with government responsibility and it was limited access, restricted for many, open for a few.
Everybody else can crowd at the other gates in the broad daylight where mercury shoots to a boiled 50 degrees and the sun is angry. Bravo Modern Govt!