On the day of the Carnival Lahore School of Economics is a completely different sight to see.
The usual green I see outside my classrooms was spotted with orange today. Some of these oranges were moving quickly across the green while others were staying in one place. The ones that were moving were carrying boxes of packed food and placing them on the tables that were also spaced out across the green. The oranges that were staying in one place trying to hold down the matching colored decorations from being carried away by the wind.
Looking closely at the decorations I realized they were of a very contrasting nature. Some were clusters of orange and blue balloons tied sparingly across just one half of the green, and some were brightly painted clay pots and wooden toys placed on only the other half. Dividing these two halves were 3 wooden pegs each adorned with shimmering netted cloth of red, gold and green. There were blue and orange chart paper cut outs of the letter ‘A’ hanging from a sting joined between the 3 pegs. These ‘A’s were dancing to the beat of the music, which was sourced at one corner of the green. Every time the beat changed my eyes were to gaze at either one or the other half of the green.
When my ears picked up the thumping of the Dhol my eyes went to that half of the green that was laid out with big orange, yellow and pink floor cushions. The tiny pieces of glass embroidered on the cushion glittered against the bright sun. When my ears picked up the shrill notes of the electric guitar my eyes went to that half of the green that was decorated with orange balloons, silver and golden reflective confetti, crinkle paper and multicolored paper strings.
These contrasts were stimulating my eyes and ears to feel like I was present in two different places though physically I was in one and it was the all set upon the same piece of green. But the nature of the décor and music made it clear to me why the entrance to this green displayed a banner saying “A Tale of Two Cities”, but even if I had not read that, my sense told me the entire tale as I walked by the usual green outside my classroom.