Walking along Westminster bridge
was like walking along Wahdat road in Lahore
with hordes of people instead of cars -
dark and dirty, both lined with rubbish and puddles of muck
though Wahdat road has never been deemed
to be where “earth has not anything to show
more fair” - I kick a plastic bottle to the side         
and remember Pakistan means ‘land of the pure’
A London taxi only fits five
but we were a family of six
asked to squash in the back
with no concern about our seatbelts -
Is there no highway patrol, demerits?
And they were white drivers flouting the law
Last time we’d visited Lahore
my mother had been invited to the Punjab club
as a friend of the daughter of a member
(it was so exclusive a member has to die
for a spot to become available)
it was one of their literary evenings:
we expected men in shalwar kameez
 reclining on floor cushions
sheesha pipe in hand, stroking
 their handlebar moustaches, recitals
of Iqbal’s poetry streaming from their mouths
while fragrant samosas with imli sauce are served on trays
Instead, men in stiff suits sat
in rows before a lectern
where a speaker orated about
Shakespeare - in English, of course
and they all ate cucumber sandwiches
Yet here in London, in the brand new mall
at Whitehall, their Parramatta Westfield
all I hear are snatches of Urdu
 and all I see is a huge Khaadi store
- a Pakistani fashion brand –
and I browse racks of kurtis with white women

Reference: ‘Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802’ by William Wordsworth