Bagh-e-Jinnah [Lawrence Gardens]
Places you visit often and become familiar with can fail to excite your senses. A few of them, however, never exhaust your curiosity and continue to reveal novel secrets. Bagh-e-Jinnah is like this. I have visited it a dozen times and my desire to explore it further still persists. Located on Lawrence Road next to the Lahore Zoo, it contains lush green trees, flower beds, colorful butterflies and resplendent green hills covered in grass.
For the writer, Bagh-e-Jinnah is an exciting sensory experience because of the expansive walks, plentiful flowers and old trees. Despite being located on one of the busiest roads of the city, this garden breaks free of the din and commotion of urban life.
I decided to spend a few hours there on a particularly clear Saturday morning. I entered the Garden through the back gate in an effort to get a different view of the space. As I walked in and looked up at the tall trees climbing towards the skies, I understood why I felt compelled to visit these gardens at least once a week. Crows ruled the air with their shrill cawing and a number of other little birds added their own sound to the natural symphony. I strolled on the charcoal roads, clay paths and cemented causeways spread delicately throughout the gardens.
As I passed in front of the library, which contains thousands of books and archives, I was struck by how beautiful its white, Victorian exterior is. A group of students standing behind a poster in front of the building laughed in chorus. I looked around and saw that a photographer stood poised to take their picture. I continued walking and climbed up one of the green hills. A light breeze made the leaves rustle. Shivering, I sat down on a bench near a tree branch and felt as though, in this idyllic location, I could solve any problem life could bring my way. I watched families, couples and friends walking around and enjoying the scenery. I saw how the pink-white flowers of the Buddha trees were falling; a sign that autumn had officially arrived.
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The most appealing thing about the Bagh-e-Jinnah is that when you move towards its heart, the cacophony of vehicles outside dies down and the chaos of the city melts away. There is a chance that you might get lost in the gardens on your first visit. But it is only when you are literally lost in nature, that will you be able to find the essence of this place.