We approach our second anniversary with great aplomb. As we celebrate two years of our journey, we are happy to uphold our promise of promoting, preserving and presenting art, literature and heritage through text and photo documentation as well as video shorts. In an attempt to encourage mass engagement with the elements that form our collective sense of cultured community, this issue is a dedication to our informed consciousness of the above.

Our cover features the princely state of Bahawalpur in all its regalia and former glory. In a high fashion editorial shoot, we visit the once stately home of Nawab Sir Sadiq V, one of the top patrons of the arts and humanities, and showcase it in the light of haute couture from the leading fashion houses of the country.

Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, travel historian Salman Rashid narrates a compelling historical account of the city of Bahawalpur from the times of the Rajput prince in the 10th century who laid the foundations of the mighty Derawar Fort in the Cholistan Desert to the reign of the Abbasids caliphate who became the founders of this vastly affluent state.

In an ode to the city of her birth, journalist Nuzhat Saadia Siddiqi also pays a visit to Bahawalpur and pens an emotional narrative of fascination and wonderment from the times when opulence and romance reigned supreme there.

The world of letters has been abuzz with much activity lately. We present in-depth details from a) the successful sixth iteration of the annual Lahore Literary Festival to b) the ninth edition of the Karachi Literature Festival and finally c) the launch of the second volume of the Aleph Review- an anthology of creative expression covering all forms of poetry, prose and art.

Whilst on the topic on creativity and cultural endeavors, the event that marked the seasonal calendar for best design energy was the first edition of the much awaited Lahore Biennale. With artwork exhibitions and events hosted at various iconic venues across the city, it featured over fifty celebrated artists and collectives from ten diverse countries across the world. Betmaster

Although all issues are curated with great attention and care, this being our anniversary issue, has been painstakingly curated to reflect not only our national best but to also bring forth the forgotten treasures. We have poured our hearts and souls into every page, as each printed story and image reflects our fervent hope to inspire and excite you. Through this compilation, we hope, as the Guardian so aptly puts it, you can see the “Pakistan that too often gets lost in reporting.”