I was bitten by the nostalgia bug pretty early and remain happily infected. The affliction blossomed over the years and has been my muse, my saviour and a fuzzy source of warmth and tranquillity. Memories sweeten through the ages just like wine, Elvis would sing in his inimitable,deep drawl. I have spent many evenings driving on the roads of Lahore imbibing these soulful lyrics. And they never fail to summon fond moments lost in the mist of time. Another year has disappeared, utterly indifferent to the dazed, struggling to hold on to days slipping by. Years always do. Our phones are smarter, stoic and unmoved as they silently abandon the year gone while we act silly, finding it difficult to let go of our sunny afternoons and amber evenings. Memories rarely knock and have a knack for barging in, drowning us in a haze of longing, regret and affection. It could be a meaningful glance, a fragrant whisper, a poignant moment with a loved one, a sun-kissed winter afternoon, something said or left unsaid, or a song of Sinatra and I am swept off my feet by the downpour from the past. The seasons of Lahore indulge and have a knack for brewing the sweetest of memories. Lahore wears red in the summer; the sky spits fire. Yet there is something‘Jenesaiquoi’ about the warm afternoons when the squeaking fan sounds like a lullaby and when the heat seems to lighten your burden of guilt. Winter is charmingly seductive, serving ice cream on a warm plate and which Dickens so beautifully put, “When there is winter in the shade and summer in the light.” Monsoon rains cleanse the city to pristine green, releasing an intoxicating aroma, a heave of relief as water splashes love onto the parched earth.Spring is a riot of colours, autumn a harbinger of gloom, a saffron bride without trappings but no less inviting. The seasons are amorous and flirt with the willing. I respond happily and remember. When I am awakened by the call of azan floating on the morning breeze, when I hear the faint whistle of the train, when the raindrops make love to the leaves, when I sit by the fireplace as the wood crackles and the flames leap, memories come flooding. And I remember.Memories rarely, knock and have a knack for barging in, drowning us in a haze of longing, regret and affectionI remember the lazy summer afternoons when the school bell sounded better than anything else in the world. It would liberate us from the clutches of squares and circles. I could buy a sandwich at the canteen for two rupees and dig into it with the abandon of a man untouched by the worries of the world. I remember the carefree loitering with friends and sharing of insights on how best to arouse the affections of the nymphs. When Harold Robbins and Hustler excited more than Dickens and the study of human anatomy seemed faintly erotic. Times were simple, so was happiness. While most would dream about hitching a ride with Dorothy to the Emerald City, I lived in a world painted by the great Ibne Safi. A world of underground bars and cabarets, inhabited by his supremely endearing characters, Imran and Fareedi. How I would see myself as Captain Hameed vicariously experiencing his fetishes and how we all wished in our hearts to miraculously acquire Fareedi’s machismo. Imran’s wit and laidback demeanour towards life were no less fascinating. I remember my first date and the quivering anticipation. The pleasure of late night calls till dawn broke, of aimless driving on the desolate roads, of the unwitting body contact and of the heartfelt vows, only a man blessed with a lover would know. I remember my days at Warwick. How my room perched over a little lake and how the wooden bridge curved lovingly over the shimmering water. I would always keep the window of my room open. Perhaps to beckon serenity, let the surreal quiet seduce me into a state of sublime peace. I remember the long, meandering walks through the meadows under clouds pregnant with poise or under a sun shining on a gleaming landscape. The water puddles laden with green moss, evening silhouettes of people wallowing in the fragrant air, the proud old trees standing tall having seen it all. I remember the weekend pilgrimage to the university pub when ‘a pint a pound’ would lift me to heaven to take on all that is profound. The wisps of smoke wafting from a friend’s cigarette, the aroma of the brew and perfume filling the space between us. Burning tobacco, beer and -perfume made for the perfect menage a trois.I remember Government College Lahore at the break of dawn. The majestic red building, the dazzlingly green sprawl kneeling at its feet and the tower affectionately watching over us all. I remember the Gymkhana veranda, the worn out cane sofas and staring into the endless expanse of the Golf course. Sipping coffee on a winter afternoon, the green seemed to stretch into infinity. Getting old has one thing good about it. How years make the burden of memories heavier and sweeter. Such a pleasure to quaff flutes of this lovely wine. The writer has years of experience with both corporate and public sectors. He moonlights as a journalistPublished in Daily Times, January 31st 2018.