Bol kay lub azaad hein teray!

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Pak tea house epitomizes this urdu phrase “Bol kay lub azad hein teray” to the brim. On the bustling Mall road near the famous Anarkali bazaar of Lahore, Pak tea house has been restored yesterday — It is a big stride towards bringing back the glory days of street journalism and community involvement.

From its inception in pre partition days ( under the name of India tea house) till the vibrant 60’s — its was the incubator for churning out progressive thinking and literary luminaries across the country. It was home to anti status quo and progressive Poets like Habib Jalib and Faiz Ahmad Faiz to name a few — as part of the famous cult named ‘Halqa-i-Arbab-e-Zouq’. People would touch upon any issue of social significance from a trivial one to a taboo on a tea table. Poets and writers would light up the ambience through their pieces of art — in turn imbuing the audiences with a sense of purpose to uplift the society.

Unlike the brick and mortar coffee shops sprouting on every nook of Lahore — Pak tea house is one with a heart, where emotions can be felt. I am dying to pay homage to the place — whose contribution in shaping progressive mindsets in our country has not been celebrated in our historical archives. I hope this revival of a revolutionary hot spot lives up to its expectation of nurturing literary minds, progressive writers and intellectual gurus alike.

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