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ALTAF KAZEE FROM PAKISTAN ON BOK CELEBRATION

A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION – LAHORE STYLE
BY: ALTAAF KAZI
The less said about the second ODI the better…South Africa only have themselves to blame for allowing Pakistan back into the series…
No demons in the wicket and 266 was certainly gettable by their standards…They made a complete hash of the run chase – this even after the Pakistani fielders dropped 5 catches…
However no sooner had I got back to my hotel did the celebrations start…I thought mine would start at 2am coz I was always confident the BOKS would lift the William Web Ellis trophy…Not to be though, a band was outside to greet us with some wonderful tunes and I thought here we go again, me getting Royal Treatment…I looked behind me and there were a group of people, elegantly dressed in Pakistan’s finest traditional clothing…I soon realized the music procession was to welcome a bride to be – it was her big night…just like the Springboks…
You see, the centrally located Pearl Continental Hotel or PC is the other happening spot in Lahore…here with it’s 7 different types of restaurant and a mini mall as well, the high society flyers of Lahore make their presence felt…My immediate reaction upon arrival on Wednesday was to think that a wedding was taking place…I quickly learnt that if you come to the PC to socialize you have to dress for the occasion…Status is a huge thing in Pakistan as people continue to want to out do each other…Almost like Laudium(just Joking!!!)
So back to the wedding…lots of noise…lots of colour and there were four of them on Saturday night…But as much as these newly wed couples thought that their occasion was the highlight of the evening, it just couldn’t match what the Bokke had planned for us!!
Kick-off was midnight Lahore time and the Proteas team room on the 6th floor was packed to capacity…The noise and cheers while singing the national anthem reverberated through the hotel, out doing and out performing the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan wannabe down stairs…Curious onlookers peeped through the room, but they failed to understand what all the fuss was about…Nevertheless for the next 2 hours we all sat nervously at times watching John Smit’s men relive 1995….
The final whistle sparked further wild celebrations that at the time of writing was still going on…I’m missing out so I’m going to have to end this here….
I’m proud to be South African…Lahore will always be a special place for me…50 years down the line I’ll remember this day – the day I saw the Boks win the world cup for a second time – and who would’ve thought I’d be in Lahore to witness it…
Room 642 will never be the same again!!!
It’s party time and the babalas that follows will be worth it for many people I guess…
As for me, I aint gonna sleep now, although its 4:05am…Faisalabad beckons and I’m being picked up in 5 hours time for the trek by road…
I’ll miss Lahore…
Altaaf Kazi for
swoosh0018.com in Lahore




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