Ever wondered what makes someone from Lucknow, so Lakhnawi? Here's our take on the true Lakhnawi and what makes them who they are!
Lucknow is a city of many things but foremost it is the city of the almost 3 million people who live here. Lucknowites are passionate people, a group of individuals who identify as one, of one culture and come together to form a community that is as diverse as it is loving, interesting and fun.
What makes someone a true 'Lucknowi', is surely the language they speak, the love they have in their hearts for 'Ganjing', the way they call you aap instead of tum or tu and there are umpteen number of other reasons why a Lucknowite is the way he/she is! So here's what (we think) makes up a 'real' Lucknowite and how you can distinguish them in a crowd.
The True Lakhnawi
When we speak of a Lakhnawi, we speak of someone who has imbibed the basic essence of our city, from the politeness of voice to the sophistication of palate, a Lakhnawi has it all. So if you want to brew yourself a Lucknowite or become one, here's the surest recipe to do so.
Take a melting pot of culture and stir it with tolerance, for a Lucknowite has a big heart and is all accepting, no matter what their culture, creed or religion is. Simmer it slowly and stir in a plate of biryani bought from the lanes of Chowk- once you see it disappear, add in a plate of Tunday ke Kebab.
Now take this pot to Hazratganj, because a true Lakhnawi can never stay away from the iconic lanes of this part of town. Here, let the pot soak in all the glory, all the history and all the noises. Also, do not forget to feed this pot a plate of 'Basket Chaat' made specifically by the Royal Cafe wale chacha.
From here, take a detour towards the old city, head to Chowk, add a few items of authentic chikan in the pot, mix it with a few drops of itar and let the sweet aroma wash your senses. Once there, take your pot to Bhool Bhulaiya and click its picture among the relics of the olden days because any Lakhnawi is incomplete without a picture in front of this ancient monument.
After you're done here, take the road to the lanes of Aminabad with your pot, feed it some delicious Prakash ki Kulfi, some jalebis from Netram and maybe a plate of khasta kachaudi from Ajay, if the pot isn't too full.
Now your pot is almost ready to give you the 'Lucknowite' you've wanted- all you have to do is tear a few pages of the most romantic nazms and let the pot read them by the sides of the Clock Tower. After this, take a ride to the Marine Drive on a clear day and let it stew in the heat of this city, quench its thirst with Chhedilal's mango shake, eat at Bombay Pav Bhaji and relentlessly complain about the traffic here in Lucknow.
Once your pot gets up, talking of paan, singing a ghazal and thinking of spending it's birthday in one of the poshest pubs of Gomti Nagar, you can proudly say "Mubarak ho Lakhnawi hua hai".
This piece is supposed to describe the collective traits of Lucknowites, the people who make this city what it is. The people that we are and will forever be, no matter which city, country or continent we live in. Share with a Lucknowite!
"Meri rooh mein basa hai is shehar ka har zarra,
Meri saanson mein shehar ki mehak ghul si gayi h."