Basant: Pakistan

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Basant by the sea

By Gloria Caleb


Basant by the sea
Basant by the sea

As spring comes and flowers begin to bloom, the Basant hype hits Karachi and a string of activities begins in the metropolis, writes Gloria Caleb

Those days are history when Basant was synonymous with Lahore only. People flocked to the fort city to celebrate the kite-flying festival. Fun and festivity filled the air and people enthusiastically participated in various activities to celebrate spring.

However, since the past few years this trend has made it’s way to Karachi, and now Karachiites are also getting on to the Basant bandwagon, and are having a ball.

Basant by the sea

Basant and Karachi –– strange bedfellows one would think, but not any more. With the arrival of spring and blooming of flowers, a string of activities have begun in the metropolis. Concerts, theatre plays, carnivals and various other events have made the city come alive, bringing hope for a happy year. Spring truly is a time for hope — a time when we can put aside our differences, get together and have fun.

The Ladies Forum, planned a day out on the seashore to celebrate the spring festival recently. This has been a continuous practice since the past seven years, arranged by Farzana Rahman, and brings together the who’s who from all walks of life along with families out to have wholesome fun. Indulging in food and music, people also flew kites and enjoyed camel and horse rides. Many competitions were also held. The most difficult one was choosing the prettiest girl in the beauty contest. The culmination of the contest was picking out the Spring Queen from the crowd. Former hockey giant Islahuddin’s daughter bagged the title.

The ambience that was created was extremely traditional and gave one a taste of the true spirit of Basant. One could see women adorned in yellow outfits and men sporting the yellow duppatas on their shalwar kameez. The people who wanted to enjoy the sea, sat on the takhts, adorned with maroon carpets and gao takias.

The music was lively and also brought many amateur artists to the fore who performed well. Not just this, the programme had its share of professionals as well. Amjad Farid Sabri took the audience by storm with his singing and various television stars such as Ayaz Khan and Hasan Soomro kept the crowd entertained by their compering. The best part of the whole event was that even though it was dominated by ladies, men seemed to enjoy the festival just as much.

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