Panorama Shopping Centre: Cheap and Quick
During the daytime, Panorama Shopping Centre looks insipid and uninviting. Time and rain have eroded its outer walls and left its once brilliantly-lit facade dull. However, when night spreads around and hides its worn-down appearances, the little colorful lights hanging down from the sides of its walls gives the building a life of its own.
In a Nutshell:
- Quintessentially Lahori shopping experience
- You’ll come across your fair share of strays (cats/kids)
- All sorts of fabrics and fashions
- A shoestring budget? No problem
- Don’t pet the strays (cats/kids)
- Family friendly
My visit to Panorama was during the day and so, I was met by empty hallways and mostly shuttered shops. As I walked in, I was greeted by an array of gold and jewelry shops one after the other. I could not resist feeling, for the moment, like the stealthy villain from a heist movie, who takes pictures of strategic significance before going off smoothly and stealing a ridiculous amount of jewelry. Contemplating the theft appeal that these films romanticize for teenagers, I made my way further into the shopping center.
The numbers of visitors in this immense building were scarce. Downstairs, some sweepers were still cleaning the floor with their machines. Under normal circumstances, this should have discouraged customers from approaching the mall, but Panorama is anything but normal.
Like many other shopping malls, Panorama Shopping Centre offers clothes of all kinds for women, children, and men (with a clear preference for the latter). Here and there, some shops offer tailoring services too. Unlike other shopping malls, the brands and suppliers of these items of clothing remain unnamed and, at times, untraceable as well. I did not see many girls or women in the mall, which emphasized the traditional patriarchal setup of most wholesale marketplaces.
While loitering about in Panorama Shopping Centre and nodding to the shopkeepers’ attempts to lure me to their stores, I happened to see a headless mannequin wearing a fancy blue jacket and jeans. He looked perfect for those existentialist memes, you know, the ones that have subtitles such as “airheads be shopping like-”. I looked around to see if anybody could see (and judge) me and then took a picture. I stood there for a while, sharing silence and solitude.
Walking around the corner, I noticed a clothed statue of a child with a white face, which looked as if it was mischievously sneaking away from the company of other children. There were more mannequins inhabiting the place than people at this time of the day. I climbed up and down the stairs to size up the whole place. There was a refreshment shop and the classic juice corner that serve weary visitors after they have bought bundles of clothes.
Before coming out of the mall, I came across a cat. Now, I’m not a cat-lover – in the sense that I have never had a cat to love – but they tend to appear in my articles and poems without my permission. Once a friend promised me a beautiful kitten and when it was born, she refused to give it to me, pointing out that I can hardly look after myself.
Overall, Panorama Shopping Centre offers an insight into the mixed and varied community of shoppers in Lahore. It is an ideal place for hoarders and people looking for cheap and easy fixes to their fashion-fueled needs. The architecture itself, located amongst the colonial remnants of Mall Road is a sight to be admired. I cannot, however, promise some great shopping experience once you have entered its congested corridors.
Panorama Shopping Mall, Mall Road, (92)42 36299679