Peshawar City. 12 September 1992.

“Late night discussions of something important forgotten.

The long ‘lost’ rambles through canvas and dust, old, city market. Massive and maze-like it sprawls like a lazy Asian dream. Busy in sound only.

The cool sight of gold on red velvet in a shady street, the hot money market, full of men and sincerity.

The hopeless talking with one man about his dreams of studying in England. My guilt.

The old friend seller, recognition, and a rush of comfort and ease as I share with them cawwa and a biscuit or two. The endless promise of,

“Anything. Anything you want , Madame, I will send to you….”

Tikk. O.K. I am a simple person. I ask no more than the comfort of your friendship and the shade of your store on this hot dusty day.

A street wise man is he, Hajee Zameer.

“Many animals make up the jungle.” says he.

I say, ” I think I am the monkey!”. They all laugh with me.

There is another tourist in my hotel I have grown to respect.

A quiet engineer, disguised as an artist.

Yesterday we walked together, in a contented kind of way, through the market world.

A small boy, selling bags.

“Bag sir? Aik rupeea, aik rupee…”

On and on he went, running next to us.

Slowly my friend stopped and took a bag, examined it slowly and then deliberately placed it over the boy’s head!

The boy laughed. The street laughed. I laughed. Nice.

A man with 7 live chickens nestling in the crook of his arm.

Mango juice and sweat.

Quiet moments. Business only….studying silver….going back today to buy more. Special kind. For selling in India.

Bumped into some old familiar faces from last year. Very good to see them.

One guy, weary and thin and working very hard in the anti-opium offices…showed me the new posters and art work. Too busy to stop for long.

And then the Canadian I had met in Goa, who had recommended I come to Pakistan and the Kalash in the first place! What a small world eh! Met up in the Dean’s Hotel that evening for a long catch up and dinner. Very nice. Miss him now…I am going up into the mountains and he is coming down. Very excited now about seeing my Kalash friends again!”


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