All posts filed under: Pakistan

The Wait Of Baltistan: Remembering Love and Lessons While Teaching in the Border Village of Turtuk – VI

On the Great Himalayan Road Journey to Baltistan, the final journey continuing from Call of the Now- I Life and nothing more- II Road will tell you- III Remember me with a Lotus- IV The Gun Mountains and other Gods- V : ँ : As i sit to write this final chapter, many memories from my journey that I first took eleven years ago arrive. Vivid. Bringing a state of spiritual alertness. An all round high, more out of oxygen levels shelving by the night, at that height. Breathing deep. I wasn’t able to stop my popcorn like popping soul at the sight of the Himalayas. More so I felt young. Carrying freedom in my eyes as I was being taken care of for months and if I wanted to, for as long, to only teach. Incidents, accidents; new kind of trees, new crops, thin air, cold wind, white walls, narrow streets, mountain dogs, brick lanes, chants, monasteries, Tibetan flags; the mountain life; that air of newness like teenage romance, lived shortly. As a week …

At War, with the truth. With Afghanistan and her Killers: A photographic Essay of Twenty Years

I wasn’t really planning to write anything, after The Sins of America any more of whatever turned out in Afghanistan as there seemed no point to keep poking but it all changed the moment i saw a video of the US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who while facing the toughest grilling of his carrier remarked that “they inherited a deadline, and did not inherit any plan,”. It angered me to say the least. World’s strongest, resource filled country actually had no plan for 20 years. And it is safe to say that they have no plan to deal with anything under the sun, leave China; I do not think anymore that anyone of us will ever get to know anything about the origins the Corona virus. The funniest part is, that those terrorists who were once on the UN blacklist, were carrying millions of money on their heads, the deadliest of human killers have become great again. Google Mullah Baradar, the Taliban co-founder is now on this week’s ‘Times ‘100 most influential people of …

The Sins of America

Things have been volatile in our part of the world. Unsettling, as what happened was not conceived well before or rather this only was the peace deal. The Peace deals that started taking shape of some form during the Trump era, without any allies on the table; of all not even India who for last twenty years singlehandedly built almost everything for the Afghan nation- from the roads to schools, to their dams, to even the Parliament- this was never what the Indians were working for and it has shaken the trust the allies had on them. As every other being thought that the Taliban would be given a fight, tall talks of resistance by the afghan forces were given, President Ghani talking about winning the final war against the battles that Taliban has won fled just like the US Army, quietly in the night. Biden talking about the inevitability of Kabul falling, or it not being the rerun of what happened in Vietnam, rather it is the worst what will take shape in the …

The Gun Mountains and Other Gods -V

On the Road to Baltistan, continuing from Call of the Now- I Life and nothing more- II Road will tell you- III Remember me with a Lotus- IV : ँ : Before we reach Turtuk, Baltistan; it was important to dedicate an essay only to the journey. My travels that saw me traversing through these dangerous, rough and meditative landscapes that over the years helped changing me, even my cells. For many years this road has been my road to inner work and of the outside world, and i imagine one which taught me best how to discern. This National Highway that runs from Srinagar, Kashmir to Leh is called the NH Delta- 1 and is the most important road that joins the valley of Kashmir to Laddakh. La that is ‘a mountain pass’, and ddakh is the ‘King’- this land that is the king of the mountain passes, running along the mighty river Indus, parallel to the most active, volatile border in the world, the Line of Control with Pakistan. Ever since the partition …

Life and nothing more- II

Continuing from Call of the Now, for the Great Himalayan Road Reunion. : ँ : To Srinagara, to zojila, to Leh, to Hanle, to the land that invoked my spirit, beyond the Indus, towards the Karakoram, to the parents of my children in Turtuk, to the man who flipped, to all the treks that lead to mahadeva and Gaura; to the top of that Himalayan mountain where the first tyre burst, to i don’t know what pass that came after where hundred’s of horses ran just to take left, and we took towards sky. Stone laden river bed that kept us moving on a conical mountain all afternoon, many called it a road. Through a broken bridge, through the ditches connecting another ditch on the World Yoga day. To stopping in front of the snow, and drinking it. To dipping in the coldest river Tirthan, to filling stomach from the river Chandrabhaga. To standing all night under the milky way. To crying for my parted child, to buying eyes for Rasool bhai. While laughing at …

Learning from Mahatma, knowing Gandhi

There were many things i never liked about my school. And the foremost was that it unintentionally took my freedom away or so i think. I was never introduced to any ancient Indian texts, neither I learnt anything about Yoga or even Sanskrit till i was 13. A child like me who only wanted to see and know of the world was made to sit and learn answers to the question for examinations after every three months more like a parrot. So much so my unlearning started before i could wake up my interest for higher learning. And soon it started effecting my results in higher classes or that is what i think of it now probably because i couldn’t pursue anything apart from five subjects at school. I feel liberated at the thought that I am not in school. And more so there is no more need to answer questions about Gandhi’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle. School history curriculum was also one reason i did not take Modern History of India as my …