The story for کل دی گل (Yesterday), came out of a walk in the Walled City in Lahore with my friend Sarfaraz Lodhi. He had grown up within the walled city and I was doing some research and as usual enjoying all that there was in my favorite city. We spent the day visiting his old family home, some friends as well as historic buildings such as Naunihal Singh’s Haveli (now the Victoria Higher Secondary School). While walking we noticed the unmistakable architecture of an old Mandir (Hindu Temple), visible between two buildings. With the encroachment of surrounding buildings, the Mandir was only visible from that one location from the street, otherwise it was hidden behind other buildings. We walked all around, trying to find a way in, until we found one path that lead back to it. Some nervous looking people refused to let us down that path. It was likely some illegal kabza party (land grabbers). Another time, I went out in search of Dai Anga’s tomb with my cousins. We ended up at a half crumbled mausoleum with beautiful tile work and decaying bricks. Inside there were signs of homeless dwellers who likely came there in the night and signs of drug use. There is something fascinating about these disappearing remains of past wonder. They hold stories in their broken forms and connect us to ever diminishing connections between communities and the value that lies therein.
Amna was inspired by two tough little girls. One I met in Belgam, Karnataka, India, and the other in Mughalpura, Lahore, Pakistan. The girl in India was in a nursery school. Her head was shaved, but the hair was starting to grow back a little. Despite that, she still had a little hair band on. I remember, we were playing duck duck goose with the kids, and she fell down while running, shattering her little bangles. She was the only girl in the class. She said nothing, got back up and kept playing. The girl in Pakistan had several older siblings and relatives with whom she tagged along and played. We played pithu on a rooftop a few times. One day she too returned with head shaved for the summer.
While walking around the old city, I have also, seen kids playing cricket on rooftops. Just as when I played with kids in the street, the ball gets hit into people’s homes, sometimes to be returned and sometimes never to be seen again, thus ending a game. These were some of the inspirations for this story. It featured more characters and locations than اک احساس دو اکھاں نال چنگا (An Understanding Greater than Sight), so there were more concept sketches to design it all.